BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology
"I am still amazed with the constant support offered to us as students."
I chose to study BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology because I felt that it offered such a wide range of possibilities for me, there is the chance to have creative freedom with your designs whilst at the same time developing the technological skills to have practicality in your garments. I did not know exactly what I wanted to do after university when I joined, but this course allows you to explore many different areas. I like that we study at a range of areas in fashion, not only design and technology but also elements of business and communication. Learning about these different topics has really helped when it has come to applying for placements and I’m sure it will be useful for getting a graduate role.
The teaching and facilities are amazing for students on my programme, for example the late nights and Saturday openings are just one thing that Manchester Fashion Institute has implemented to ensure that there is enough time and space to carry out our work. There are pattern and sewing rooms that you have access to up to 5 days a week (depending on timetabled sessions), and you can be shown how to use machines if you are unsure by the technicians or tutors. The possibilities are so wide in regards to technology, you just have to experiment with them!
At the start of my second year we worked on an outerwear brief, I really enjoyed it because it was so broad with the themes that could be chosen, on this programme there is always a lot of freedom when designing. I re-worked a duffle coat to fit with my chosen theme and it ended up working out really well. At the end of the brief, we presented our work at the Outerwear Showcase for other students, staff and industry. After doing this project, it has confirmed my love for outerwear and I really like the idea of going into designing outerwear when I graduate.
To this day, I am still amazed with the constant support offered to us as students. Tutors are always replying to their emails and they are always so willing to help. In particular, to this year my design tutor has been such a support to me. She has sat with me numerous times to go through my portfolio for placement applications and is always just an email away whenever questions arise. She will push me to make sure that my work is of the best of my ability and I can only thank her for doing that. I would not have got my placement without her constant support. My personal tutor has also been very supportive this year, not only within particular units, but also with pastoral issues that have come up. I really do believe that this course is one of a kind with the level of support that is offered to students and this is one reason why I am so happy that I chose it.
Alongside my normal timetable, I have been on a couple of trips that have supported my studies. In November, we went to Amsterdam to visit Denim City and the Denham Studios. I found this trip very interesting, as I did not know that much about the history of denim and information like this could be translated really well into design work. I used some samples that I made at Denim City in a live brief project with Old Navy, so it all linked nicely together.
I have also been on a study trip to Savile Row. This trip was great, as I had not visited Savile Row before. We visited Gieves and Hawkes and then Scabal, both were as fascinating as each other, even though they are slightly different tailors. Visiting whilst doing a tailoring brief was really valuable because it gave me an insight into the techniques used.
I am currently considering going into design rather than the garment technology side of fashion. I really enjoy researching projects and developing ideas from them. My placement is a design internship so I think that will help me decide on what I like to do within industry.
A long-term goal would probably be to be a designer for a brand; whether this is a designer or high street company, I do not know that yet. I have never wanted my own label, but have always aspired to design for another company.
Top tips for students
My main piece of advice would be to do what you want to do because at the end of the day, you will be putting in the hours to get the work finished. Everything that you do at university is to benefit yourself, so if you want to do well you have to be willing to put in the effort. I think that there is so much support on the course, that you have nothing to worry about if you are concerned about your skills or abilities. As long as you are willing to learn and work hard, anything is possible. Lastly, I would say to really appreciate what you do, because that is the thing that will get you out of bed every day.