Fashion Education | Lesson 1

Lesson 1: How to recognise and reach your own passions and talents

Fashion has always been and will always be; complex, relevent, forward and controversial. There are so many fields in which a person can work in, from jobs in garment tech to fashion magazines and marketing – not to mention the digital possibilities and the-all-so art of being a fashion blogger/influencer. With all the options out there, it’s hard to chose your desired field within the huge ever-growing industry.

I chose Birmingham City University in 2012 as my first option as I knew it was one of the only universities to have a range of course options, within the course – I loved the structure. With options to specialise in costume, accessories, design, garment technology and communication  – there was no way I wouldn’t find where my true passions were hiding.

First year was a basic ball ache of re-doing what I had done in college, surprisingly I was one of the very few who had done a BTEC L3 In Fashion, the rest had done A levels, so I had a head start. I didn’t learn much in terms of the education side, a part from learning to reduce my inner maximalist (not so 2013 as minimalism was peeking and not just in fashion) so I toned down the volume of work I was creating and used some free time getting to know the students in years above. I didn’t learn anything new from the tutors that year – apart from some basic photoshop skills.

QUICK TIP! No one can really teach you Adobe programmes – you must teach yourself by using the software; You Tube helps too.  

I learnt from the students, mainly the 3rd years, the soon to be graduates – the soon to be showing at Graduate Fashion Week, Graduates. Stephie Lee, a student in particular whom I volunteered to help during her FMP (Final Major Project) introduced me to the Wacom drawing tablet, she patiently showed me how to use it. I’d be sewing buttons and making shoe covers while she worked tirelessly on her portfolio, which was the best I’d seen at the time. I never looked back and in 2nd year my mum bought me my own drawing tablet, which I used for every project since and I still use it almost daily for illustrations and layouts. An absolute investment piece for a fashion education kit.

Realise your own passions:

Start by doing a  S.W.O.T analysis on yourself (see below for FREE DOWNLOAD)

Take notes of what you enjoy most, what can you spend hours doing and not realising

My least favourite were:

SPECIFICATION DRAWINGS | pattern drafting | draping | sewing/manufacturing

My favourite were:

Editorial design | research | portfolio design | illustrations | photoshoots | marketing | working in a team

You may be better at something you don’t like doing, but mastering what you do like is an art form in itself and worth the graft when you’ve worked extra hard to improve yourself. I didn’t like Indesign when I first used it, it was daunting. I had no idea what to do, so I spent most of my second year of summer designing an on campus magazine – learning Indesign and luckily, in time for my placement. It is now a program I use daily and I couldn’t live without. I still don’t know the ins and outs, but hardly any does. My boss at Style Birmingham was so good at Indesign and he even said that he didn’t know how it all worked despite using it for 6 years!

I knew I liked pattern cutting the least after 2 years of impatiently trying to master a basic shirt pattern in collage. I played it safe. I never pushed my self as a conductor, dress maker or seamstress. I plan to now that I’m not in education as I know I wont be marked for what I sew, and only I will wear it. Above all; my mum is a very talented seamstress and great teacher who wont fail me if I sew wrong.

Prejudice alert!!! // I was told in high school that I was too smart to do textiles, there were only offering that as an option for the lower sets in the year. HOW INSANE IS THAT?! textiles, fashion and the clothing industry as a whole is dismissed and judged as a shallow and easy. only those who study it, teach it and work in it know the truth. 

As a graduate I realise that all what I excelled in from primary school to University was all relative – My high school A in Media Studies, my B in English Literature, my passion for english writing, all to achieving my first 1st in business and entrepreneurship during L4. Along with my second ever 1st  for my FMP in L6 (Allora mag) All of which make up the structure for my future: What I plan to do as an individual – A writer, publisher, entrepreneur, creative director, stylist, designer (fashion, editorial, web and app designer) most importantly a innovator of new media and freelance GIRL BOSS!

So look at your strengths and weaknesses, think about what you exelled in at school, along with what drives you most within your fashion course. It’s a world of many possibilities! and the fashion industry needs you and your talents!

Do a S.W.O.T analysis on yourself, this will help you with personal development in and out of your education – GET YOUR FREEBIE HERE and do it right instantly!

Image Credit: Adobe Stock | © seventyfour | #205876849

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and if you have any lessons or experiences tell –  please share!

– Keep styling, my lovely style feeders-


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