Studying under a world-renowned designer is a dream for any interior design student, and it’s a dream that came true for High Point University senior Ally-Catherine Trenary.
Trenary was accepted to attend the University of the Arts in London, one of the premiere design schools in the world, over the summer. There, she studied textiles under Margaret Campbell. Campbell is best known for teaching the likes of Alexander McQueen, designing the Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl halftime costumes and working with dozens of designers who show at London’s fashion week.
“Walking into Central St. Martins that first day, knowing that designers like Zac Posen, Alexander McQuen, Jenny Packman and Stella McCartney began their journeys as students in the same school, possibly even the same table, was overwhelming,” says Trenary. “What I did not know that first day was that I would be learning textile techniques like acid dying, vat dying or devoré from Margaret Campbell, the couture dyer for many of the fashion houses in Europe.”
Trenary says she not only learned from her teachers, but also the international students in her class, who brought different perspectives to each technique.
In the class, Trenary learned new textile techniques including heat pressing, acid dying, discharge, devoré and heat transferring. In the last week, the students combined all of the techniques and fabrics to create collections for a large exhibition within the school.
“Many of my classmates have begun their textile design business in their respective countries, and were there to learn from Margaret better techniques. Making those connections, learning about the techniques of dying from Margaret and being at Central St. Martins, I know that textile design will be in my future.”
Trenary’s interest in textiles started at HPU, while taking a textile course from Maxine Campbell, director of the Sechrest Gallery and instructor in the School of Art and Design. She credits HPU for preparing her to get the most out of the experience.
“When presenting my textiles at the exhibition, I was complimented several times about the presentation of my textiles and my professional business appearance. HPU and the Interior Design faculty have taught all of us how to present ourselves in a positive light.”
Trenary is excited to take on her last year at HPU with the new momentum she gained over the summer.
“I keep a sketchbook and pencils with me now wherever I go, because you never know when the simplest thing will inspire you.”