This month, 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 Ellen Poppy Hill about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures because it was the perfect opportunity, when I heard about it I just had to apply. One of the girls from my school, who is one of my favourite designers, was part of FAD a few years ago and when I found out that she experienced the same journey I was embarking on, it made me really excited.”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief.
“When we went to the V&A I was inspired by the textures and shapes, there was a menswear garment from the 1800s and it was loads of layers, pleats and gathering, I was inspired by that to make my jumpsuit. There was also a little statue in one of the religious shrines, and his whole body was padded, like a quilt, so I used that and made a jacket inspired by the shape and texture of it.”
How has your week been at our Summer School at UEL?
“My week’s been stressful, intense and fun. When you achieve something you feel like it’s been worth all the stress.”
What has Fashion Futures taught you so far?
“I’ve learnt so much at Fashion Futures, mainly in garment construction. The help I’ve had has been insane, ridiculously amazing. I’ve learnt so much more than I did in A-Level, just from being here for a week. It’s given me confidence to do more. I’ve also learnt that to be a designer and maker in the fashion industry doesn’t come easily, you have to be resilient and passionate to succeed and it’s also harder than you think. With the amount I have learnt, especially in construction, it has built my desire to do and learn more because it’s what I want to do in the future. It’s tough, but that’s fashion I suppose!”
How excited are you for LFW?
“I’m so excited! Everyone has put in so much hard work, time and love in to this project and it’s going to be so rewarding to see it come together in one show, especially at LFW! I can’t wait!”
What challenges do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“It’s really hard and really competitive trying to get into the industry. There’s so much pressure to be an individual and have your own style, and it’s moving so quickly so to make something that’s new and individual is hard. I’ll do a design and then I’ll go on Instagram and I’ll see someone has already made it. This kind of programme is really good for young people, to show that you’re willing and able.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.