If you cross the Bosphorous from Istanbul taking the ferry from Besiktas you will land on the eastern side of the river at Kadıköy. A short journey will bring you to the Art and Design Faculty of Marmara University; a large building with an extensive exhibition gallery and an outside cafe where the talented students drink tea and watch the hens run around in the courtyard. Teesside academic staff first met fashion and textile design academics from Marmara University in 2012 at a conference in the Ukraine. Turkish fashion lecturer Vildan Tok Dereci was the first to travel to Teesside bringing an exhibition of her textile art works to the Constantine Gallery. The relationship between the Fashion and Textiles Faculty at Marmara University has grown from academic mobility to student collaborative projects. Last year students from the textiles department partnered up with fashion students in the School of Arts and Creative Industries realising that collaboration is key to creativity. The outcome was an amazing series of fashion creations that let the textile design sing whilst utilising sophisticated and imaginative fashion silhouettes.
Jessica Thompson -David