Chung-Lin’s Villa Nova work placement

27th November 2019

22 year-old Chung-Lin Chen was the Young Creative Awards 2019 winner in the Fashion & Textiles category (19 – 24 age group).

The judges – from award sponsors Romo – were very impressed with Chung-Lin’s accomplished fashion knitwear, commending the way she blended fashion with fine art, and the sensitivity she showed to colour and texture.

As part of her YCA prize, Chung-Lin had the opportunity to spend a week with the design team at Villa Nova, a division of the Romo Group.  Founded in 1993, the Villa Nova studio specialise in creating modern, versatile fabrics, wallcoverings and accessories.

We were very pleased when Chung-Lin – who recently started her second year at NTU studying Fashion Knitwear Design – wrote to tell us about her experience at Villa Nova:

“On my first day at Villa Nova, everyone was very welcoming with hot tea, and I was shown around the Collections Room, where they store all the sample books and design boards for their cushion, wallcovering and weaving fabric collections.

“The process was explained to me, how the designers are inspired by primary resources which are then turned into design, which is exactly the same way I work at University! I now know why we need to do all the research and drawing at University!

“After my induction, I was given a job to rearrange the sales board, which is the board which has all the fabric and wallpaper samples on. This is updated very frequently, so they know which pattern or which colours are selling best.

“Over the next two days I worked on colour boards and trend reports from 2020 Spring/Summer London Fashion Week, which was really good practice for me! Very useful for my second year at University and for future placements.

“One very exciting thing is I got the opportunity to meet someone from the mill, who brought hundreds of samples with new techniques from India – it was a great experience to get an inside view of the industry.

“Last but not least, my final job was to weave two panels for the “look book” shoot happening this week. It was good to have a bit of crafty experience, and I am excited to see my work appear in the look book!

“Overall I was really pleased with the experience, everyone was very nice and kind to me, and taught me a lot of different things! I am very grateful to Young Creative Awards and Villa Nova for giving me this experience.”

Hayley McAfee, Head Creative at Villa Nova added:

“My team and I thoroughly enjoyed welcoming Chung–Lin into our design studio for a week, she was extremely friendly and very enthusiastic.

“As a team of design graduates we understand that as a student it is sometimes hard to imagine how your creative ideas can blossom into commercial products on a larger scale. Chung-Lin got an insight of our design processes, from the origination of concepts and artwork though the various trialling and colouration stages to the finalised fabrics and wallcoverings. She also saw us planning photoshoots for web, brochures and the other marketing materials that are necessary for our collection launches.

“Chung-Lin’s talent and creativity were unquestionable when we first selected her as a Young Creatives Award winner, but on a more personal level her friendly nature was a pleasure to us all and she slotted perfectly into our team. We were all sad to say farewell and we wish her much success in the future.”

Huge thanks to the teams at Villa Nova and Romo for their support of the Young Creative Awards and for giving Chung-Lin such a valuable work placement opportunity.