Guest post: by level one student Rhian Owen
On Saturday 19th October, the Victoria and Albert museum held its annual fashion festival, aimed at 16-24 year olds. Run by CreateVoice (the V and A’s young people collective), the day included a range of lectures, from portfolios and business start-up advice to interviews with high profile designers. The day also offered demonstrations , such as pattern cutting masterclasses and advice from industry professionals. There was a representative available from Savile Row, workshops on shoe design, fashion illustration and photography, as well as presentations on new fabrics.
The Victoria and Albert museum fashion curator Oriole Cullen spoke on the impressive organisation required to run the Fashion in Motion shows, which have featured designers such as Jenny Packham and Stephane Rolland in recent months.
It was also a great opportunity to hear about what students at the London colleges are doing, and it certainly revealed how competitive it is in the city. Recent graduates from the London College of Fashion forecast bleak futures for those wishing to join the industry- one felt that setting up your own design business was futile, but other graduates disagreed, despite assenting that earning the money to build up the initial business was extremely challenging. Alexis Housden revealed he was intending to overcome this hurdle by winning competitions and putting the prize money into his business. Maria Grachvogel advised us to ignore what is going on around you and only create what you want to create to enable you to set the trends, rather than follow them. Henry Holland told amusing anecdotes of his experiences so far as a designer, and said that “fun” was his biggest inspiration. Meanwhile, up and coming new designers, such as Mathew Miller and Agi & Sam spoke about the challenges they have faced in recent months. All spoke of having to use a different mindset when running your own fashion business, saying you spend perhaps only 10% of the time designing and 90% running the business side of it. The day was filled with a lot of useful information for anyone wanting to enter into the fashion industry, and celebrated the diversity of fashion opportunities in London.