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 Valerie Olu about her Fashion Futures experience so far.
Why did you apply for Fashion Futures?
“I applied for Fashion Futures because it was a new opportunity for me and I’ve never challenged myself to something like this before.”
Tell us about your design and how it was inspired by the brief.
“The concept was to relate the Asian culture to street style and I noticed that people wore a lot of waistcoats, so my design combined patterns from the Asian culture. Peacock feathers inspired me to make the pattern and I used lace and draping.”
How has your week been at our Summer School at UEL?
“My week’s been good but stressful; so far working with the lace has been the most difficult part but I’ve learnt how to use the industrial machines properly.”
What has Fashion Futures taught you so far?
“I’ve learnt to be more organised, I’ve learnt to be independent and try to work things out for myself; I’ve also learnt to be more patient.”
What’s next for you?
“Hopefully in 5 years I will have finished university, got a job and have done some travelling. I want a job in design, but maybe also something like marketing.”
What challenges do you think young people face when trying to get jobs in the fashion industry?
“I think it can be really difficult to get experience, that’s what businesses look for nowadays. Also money, not everyone can afford to be in fashion.”
Fashion Futures would not be possible without our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda.