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 Natalie Brotherton of Lewisham College about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures because it was a really good opportunity. At the time I figured I might as well go for it, there was nothing to lose and everything to gain. It seemed like something that would help me progress. Showing at LFW really puts your name on the map.”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief.
“The brief challenged us to mix Indian fashion with London street style. My whole outfit is based on geometric shapes and sharp edges. It’s a simple looking design; actually making it wasn’t so simple! I have a zip around the waist that completely undoes the bottom from the top, I’ve got pockets and you can wear it as two separate pieces or as one piece. It’s very versatile and practical.”
How has your week been at our Summer School at UEL?
“It’s been very difficult and very challenging, but things like this allow you to grow and I’ll go away having learnt things about myself. I’m learning more about what I can handle, it’s so much more than just learning how to pattern cut and how to sew.”
What has Fashion Futures taught you so far?
“I’m learning where I can go, I’m learning about thinking outside the box. What I’m making is outside of my comfort zone, I’ve never made a jumpsuit before; I’ve never even made a pair of trousers before! I’m looking more at how I design things, rather than taking the design brief literally, you can really mould it to your own style.”
How excited are you for the LFW show?
“I honestly can’t wait for the show, it feels like such a big step and a massive opportunity for me, because I haven’t shown friends and family the complete outfit, it feels like an unveiling.”
What challenges do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“I think a lot of the time people don’t take you seriously. I have applied to so many jobs and not received a response, even when I’ve tried to follow up with them. A lot of jobs require experience, which you won’t necessarily have if you’re fresh out of university or school.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.