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Meet the Technicians: Jodie Ruffle

Jodie Ruffle studied BA (Hons) Fashion at Middlesex University, beginning her career with an internship at Jonathan Saunders before going on to work at Alexander McQueen and creating costumes for the National Youth Ballet, among many other career highlights. She is now Technical Manager, Fashion at Middlesex University.

Jodie Ruffle Middlesex University fashion technicianCan you tell us about your background?

I studied BA (Hons) Fashion here at Middlesex, graduating in 2007. During my degree I interned with Jonathan Saunders, returning for consecutive seasons after this. Upon graduating I took on a Design Assistant placement at Alexander McQueen, where I continued to work for one year, on two collections shown at Paris Fashion Week as well as specialist projects for ballets, performances and museums in London. I then went to work as Assistant Designer and Studio Manager to Fashion Fringe finalist, Jade Kang.

Additional freelance work has included a season in the costume department at the National Youth Ballet, technical work for brands including Preen, Martine Rose, Work|Out|Life and work for styling projects for Italian Vogue. In addition to this I have designed, cut and made small collections for online sales and eight bespoke wedding dresses for private clients.

In November 2011, I started working at Middlesex University and joined the Fashion Textiles team permanently in February 2012.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently studying for an MA Fashion here at Middlesex University, which has become my main focus outside of work.

In addition to this, I work intermittently as a visiting lecturer on the BA Fashion course at De Montfort University, and also as part of the programme team at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. I often take on freelance design and technical work for other designers and also for bespoke clothing for private clients, although currently I am concentrating on my masters.

What has been your career highlight to date?

Working at McQueen was a big highlight, and probably the place where I learnt the most about the inner workings of the fashion industry.

Here at Middlesex, the final shows are always a highlight; seeing what the students have managed to produce, and the amazing press they get from it. Last year we had students' work featured in Italian Vogue, Idol magazine, Wonderland, Dazed and iD.

Can you tell us about the facilities you work with here at Middlesex?

We offer a huge range of facilities, from the traditional, like weaving looms, domestic knitting machines and screen printing, right up to the most cutting edge including laser cutting, digital embroidery and 3D printing – all supported by technicians with really advanced knowledge and experience. There is an incredible amount of specialised machinery and staff across the School of Art and Design and anyone from any course can utilise this, producing skilled and well-rounded students ready to enter the industry.

What do you enjoy most about working with students at Middlesex?

I work with second and third year students and being able to spend two years with them, teaching them new skills and seeing them develop as designers and young adults, is really rewarding. Knowing you are sending talented, mature and skilful students out into the world gives you a huge sense of pride in your work.

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