Tamara Cincik and His Majesty the King

Professor of Fashion and Sustainability discusses importance of craft with His Majesty the King

Bath Spa University’s Tamara Cincik, Professor of Fashion and Sustainability and founder of Fashion Roundtable, the only think tank for the fashion and textiles industry, was invited to attend the King’s Foundation’s Celebration of Craft festive event at Highgrove House in Tetbury on Friday 8 December 2023. Tamara shares a glimpse into this unique experience in her blog post below. 

Headshot of Tamara Cincik

On Friday 8 December I was invited to the King's Foundation Celebration of Craft at Highgrove House in Tetbury, for a Christmas event in the presence of His Majesty the King. 

The King's Foundation is a charity launched by the King as a vehicle to train the next generation of skilled craftspeople – including in fashion and textiles – in heritage techniques valuable to many traditional UK industries. 

Highgrove, alongside Dumfries House, is where the King's Foundation host their residential training courses in craft and creative practice. In terms of fashion, they partner with Chanel on an intensive six-month residential course based primarily at Highgrove for postgraduates, currently specialising in embroidery.  

In an era when AI and digitisation could eat up so many job opportunities, it is clear to me that critical creative thinking and highly-skilled craft-based work will be covetable and long lasting. Therefore, by focusing on handmade craft specialist skills, the work of the King's Foundation is shining a light on the role of specialism in career development and valuing heritage craft skills for not only the beauty they create, but also the job opportunities they offer. 

After seeing the training centre and meeting students across embroidery, I met our very own Bath Spa alumna Jamila Ives who is Curriculum Coordinator for Textiles there. She showed me the most beautiful pieces of work by their embroidery students. I also had the opportunity to see blacksmithing and where the carpentry students train at the Snowdon School of Design. These carpenters were creating the most beautifully redesigned Windsor chairs as one of their projects, and again showed an exemplary level of design acumen, and critical creative thinking. 

Walking past carol singers, I was then ushered into a room to meet with HM the King where alongside guests, there were other projects supported by the King's Foundation on show. These included knitting, and a fantastic upcycling initiative, where curtains from Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace had been upcycled by students of The King’s Foundation into seven one-off fashion pieces that are currently being auctioned online, alongside other collectibles and unique experiences to raise money for the charity. Each garment took 8-10 hours to create and was tailored by hand at their Dumfries House headquarters. 

The King was very interested in the work we do at Fashion Roundtable in promoting fibre sovereignty, heritage skills and regenerative practice. Not only was it obviously an honour to meet His Majesty and to share what I do through my work at Bath Spa University, it was also fantastic to meet likeminded people with expertise across design, craft and creativity, all with a shared belief in valuing our heritage and supporting the educational opportunities for future generations. It was a truly memorable occasion.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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