In April the city centre of Winchester came alive with the Winchester Fashion Week. Students from Winchester School of Art participated in this week-long event by displaying their designs in various shop windows. Let’s meet two students who took part in the event, to find out their thoughts about the week and employability as part of your studies in general…
Sun Lam is an MA Fashion Design student from Hong Kong and displayed her garment in a store called Toscanaccio. Sun told us about the background to her designs: “My garment is from my collection called MIND CRACK, this collection is a juxtaposition project combines the inspiration of Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution and the Barbie Liberation Organisation. The 6 outfits were designed from the view of politics and social behaviour in order to convey the idea of breaking the standard and inspire people to think outside the standard.”
Eloise Lancaster, a third year fashion design student displayed her designs in the window of Cadogan, a luxury Women’s and Menswear shop in Winchester: “The outfit chosen was part of my pre-collection work, which was inspired by taxidermy and preservation. The idea was to use traditional tailoring techniques in an innovative way. The suit is now part of their window display for the duration of Winchester Fashion Week.”
When asked if either had taken part in anything similar before, they replied:
Sun: As this is the first year I study in UK, so I have never had this kind of experience, and I feel so thankful of being selected for participating in the Fashion Week. I think this is a good opportunity to show student’s work. I think taking part in Fashion Week help me to build my CV which can be an advantage for finding my future job.
Eloise: Nothing exactly like this, this is the first time I have had to showcase my work outside of uni. I think it’s great to try and get as much exposure as possible as a student, so this opportunity is very exciting – any exposure of our work and designs is good for our portfolios and CV’s.
What other work experience or extra-curricular activities have you taken part in along your studies?
Sun: I didn’t take part of any work experience for this year, however, I have joined a society called Enactus, and I am doing a project with a team called Rival & Co. which is a student run social enterprise at University of Southampton.
Eloise: I have carried out 2 fashion-based internships since being at uni. Last year I worked on Savile Row at Richard James, a bespoke and ready-to-wear tailoring brand.
And what is your view on internships, and students developing their skills through real life experiences?
Sun: I think it is important for students to do internships and I really hope that I can have the opportunity to do internship for this year. As internship provides student a great opportunity to know more about their working industry, and this is also beneficial for finding their graduate job. Students should take part in more events like this to show their works to the public as a designer. It is better for students to work for internships as they can learn more practical things that school didn’t teach.
Eloise: I think internships are essential to all students. Working in industry gave me insight into how a fashion brands work, season to season, and made me aware of the different job opportunities there are within a company like Richard James. After we graduate, any contacts you make can help. Plus it really improves your CV. To any future students, I’d say always try to get your work out there, whenever possible. Anything extra can set you apart from other graduates competing for jobs.