In June, our 21 Fashion Futures finalists took part in an intensive Summer School at the University of East London. With only 5 days to produce their final garments for London Fashion Week, the pressure was on.
The week had its highs and lows, with days filled with excitement, stress and a good few learning curves! The challenge was tough, but with plenty of help on hand from FAD volunteers and each other, the finalists perfected their pattern-cutting skills and learnt to sew on industrial machines. They painted, beaded, quilted, laced, fringed and embroidered until their garments were complete, ready to be showcased at Fashion Scout on Monday 19th September.
We caught up with finalist Cleoluana Fernandes about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures because I wanted to broaden my horizons, experience new things and improve my application for universities and fashion courses.”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief?
“I mainly gained inspiration from the V&A trip and an Indian fruit called Biel; I kept doing different sketches and experimenting with shapes. I hit a moment where I thought my design was too basic, or too obvious, so I tried to challenge myself with something I’ve never done before.”
How was your week at our Summer School at UEL?
“Fashion Futures has been hard, I’ve had to focus a lot. Summer School has been very fun though, I like using the industrial machines.”
What have you learnt from Fashion Futures so far?
“Fashion Futures has taught me to be more precise in my research, so it’s not too broad and so that someone who’s looking at my work can understand the colour, shapes and techniques I’ve used. This experience has also taught me about teamwork. I’ve been working with others and we’ve all been helping each other. It’s nice knowing little things I know can help others and vice versa. Taking part in the Summer School has taught me that I have to be willing to put in hours of work and never give up. You just need to focus on the end goal and enjoy the process in between.”
What’s next for you?
“I want to be a designer, I’m going to do fashion design at university and I’m on the lookout for courses that let you do both menswear and womenswear. Then, I want to start my own brand.”
What problems do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“I think a lot of young people question themselves, because if you don’t have someone to advise you then it’s easy to feel like you’re by yourself. I also think young people struggle with finance and maybe even self belief.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.