After studying for a BA (Hons) and Post Graduate qualification in Fashion and Textiles at the University of Ulster, Alison created knitted and woven fabric for La Chasse Couturier Peter Lewis-Crown; a discreet fashion house who could include the Royal Family in their clientele listings. Working in Milan as a freelance designer, she was engaged by agent Lucia Raffaelli, Editor of Vogue, which created design opportunities with Jean Muir, Kenzo and Pierre Cardin. Continuing to work as a freelance designer throughout her career Alison has exhibited at the British Yarn Show, New York Trade Fare, Pitti Uomo and IndigoParis, creating design work predominantly for Europe and USA.
Working as an in-house designer for Belfast based Company Glen-Tara Fabrics involved the development of men’s, women’s and children’s knitwear for a number of High Street labels. During this time Glen-Tara was the first company in Ireland to invest in emerging new CAD CAM technologies in knitting and as a result Alison was able to develop her skills in cutting- edge knitting machine manufacturing including Universal, Shima, Stoll and Diamant. With key interests in both pedagogy and research, Alison has presented both Nationally and Internationally at conferences including, EFYE (European First Year Experience, ELSE (International Scientific Conference, E learning and Software in Education), IFKT (International Federation of Knitting Technology) and Autex, on education and research in knitted textiles, materials and design.
Research has also included a Fusion project with luxury brand knitwear company, Inis Meain based on the Aran Islands. Alison has completed a number of Innovation projects with current research focussed on the development of knitted products for 'health and wellbeing'.
Alison is Placement and Employability Coordinator for Belfast School of Art, is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a Fellow of the Centre of Higher Education Research and Practice