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 Cleopatra Thompson about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures to get a further insight into what fashion and textiles really entails and to improve my skills so I’d feel ready for university. I also thought it’d be a good experience and it’s definitely worth it!”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief.
“I’m making a jumpsuit inspired by Indian street style, the colours and the culture. My main source of inspiration was Indian architecture and the Mughal temples.I found it really interesting to research another culture; it allowed us to branch out with our colours and fabrics as well.”
How has your week been at our Summer School at UEL?
“My week’s been very, very good, quite intensive and tiring but it’s been good.”
What has Fashion Futures taught you so far?
“Fashion Futures has taught me a lot of basic things, like seam allowance. It’s taught me about the different approaches you can take to design. It’s taught me how important it is to refine things, to go back and make sure everything’s up to a good standard. At the beginning of the week I was questioning whether or not I want to do fashion, because I was finding it really hard. It’s been a big eye-opener, but I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s definitely pushed me more in this direction. It’s helped me with my career exploration.”
What’s next for you?
“I want to go to university, but I think I’ll do a foundation year before that to equip me with the necessary skills. I think my goal is just to carry on doing what I love; this is something I really enjoy so hopefully I can carry on doing fashion and design. I’d like to explore the different paths within the industry.”
What challenges do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“People say fashion is competitive, but every industry is. It’s easy to worry and think you’re not good enough. When you compare your work to everyone else’s it can be quite tough.Sometimes when I say I want to study fashion, people say ‘oh that’s so stupid’, but it’s so much harder than everyone thinks. It’s hard to be confident enough to say you want to do fashion without feeling ashamed. That was a pretty big barrier for me, being confident enough to say I want to do fashion.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.