GIOVENTU » Fun being a fashionista

It’s fun being a fashionista!

But it’s hard work too… One fashion student’s personal perspective

Walking through the Kingston university library with my fellow fashion students always results in the students from every other course gawping at us as if we are aliens!

This may be because one of us would be wearing a bright green and gold turban (a 5ft Italian girl)...the other with huge, long blonde hair in Shirley Temple ringlets (who happens to be a 6 ft 2 male) or the other with a half shaven head and dark purple lipstick.

Or perhaps because we run through screaming Lady Gaga lyrics?

However, this does not mean we take our course any less seriously than the rest. In fact, when we explain our workload to others they are always surprised, and definitely not envious!

The way we dress is not to shock or seek attention, but, and as cliche as it sounds, we do it to express ourselves.

Fashion students endure constant harsh criticism from tutors and to stay positive and keep your head up you have to be obsessed with what you love to do and strive to be better.

Everyone embraces the head to toe black phase every now and then, I certainly have, but then other days I will dress as what my tutor described as fortune teller chic, just to because it perks me up.

When you take yourself less seriously you can enjoy yourself more, especially when you are chained to a mannequin from 7am in a boiling hot studio until security kick us out at night!

Students at Central Saint Martins have work that they have slaved over for weeks torn up in their faces, and told to start again.

We have group crits where we all present our final jacket or trouser that we have worked day and night on for generally a month and a tutor goes through each of us and if your lucky, he/she will like them, if not love them, but if not, students have ran out of the room crying from their un p.c. comments.

This is if you are allowed in the crit in the first place, for students have been locked outside for being thirty seconds late and disqualified from presenting their collections to big designer labels in the various competitions we have to try and win a placement in the industry.

But we love it.

We happily work on our projects morning until night because we are obsessed with what we do.

If turbans are a feature in someone’s project, all they want to do is wear, draw, photograph, and talk about turbans.

During our trip to New York where we visited the head office of Banana Republic, the head designer told us that they would send their team to somewhere like Morocco just for inspiration, and they would come back with a photo of a shadow from a door behind a market because they loved that colour, but they will then design hundreds and hundreds of looks all starting from that.

Being in New York with my friends from my course was the most incredible experience. We learned many things, such as the fact that apparently Americans aren’t as fond of fur as us Londoners who accidentally waltzed into a Vegan restaurant heaving with the stuff!

We saw a major brand’s process of designing clothes right from research and mood boards, to fittings etc.

We also snuck out of the YMCA hostel at night in denim jumpsuits and killer heels to go drinking in the lower east side and bumped into a few famous faces, then visited exhibitions with a stomach that felt like a washing machine the next day where one of my friends casually spoke to Mario Testino!

My experience in fashion so far has been full of laughing, grafting, partying, exploring and most importantly learning. You learn how to deal with criticisms, time management, and people skills and I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else!

Lara Fiori

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