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 Eleanor Mutare about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures because I want to get into the industry and I thought this would be a great way to break through and experience it. Fashion Week was a complete shock to me and it’ll be a massive bonus to get to see my design on the runway.”
How has your week been at our Summer School at UEL?
“My week’s been stressful but I know I’m going to feel great when I actually see what I’ve made. It’s definitely worth giving up some of my holidays for; I’ve learnt that you have to sacrifice a lot to get to where you want. If I didn’t do Fashion Futures I may never get to see my designs at London Fashion Week, taking opportunities like this has got me where I am today and has made me more confident.”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief.
“My design is pretty complicated; it’s based on the Indian sari. I looked at the sari and tried to think of ways to adapt the techniques used to create something different, so I made a jumpsuit. I picked and mixed different ideas and different aspects of the culture to create my design.”
What has Fashion Futures taught you so far?
“Fashion Futures has taught me that nothing is really impossible, as long as you have the idea you can make it work somehow. The whole FAD process is challenging, fast paced but highly educational, we got a sense of what working in industry is actually like. It made my decision to become a fashion designer much easier and I’m so grateful for the chance.”
How excited are you for LFW?
“I’m so excited for my garment to be showcased on an actual catwalk, to make it even more exciting it’s going to be at London Fashion Week. I owe a lot to FAD they have given me this opportunity and believed in my ideas.”
What’s next for you?
“I want to keep practicing making garments and then set up my own shop.”
What challenges do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“Besides the competition, I would say finance is the biggest barrier for young people entering the fashion industry. It’s not a cheap industry to be in, with the cost of fabrics and the equipment that you need, it’s hard to profit and it’s hard to break through if you haven’t got the fancy name or the fancy labels behind you.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.