Ella Kenneally

BA (Hons) Fashion Art Direction

The Course

While studying Fashion Art Direction we had the opportunity to experiment across a wide range of roles and mediums, from photography, creative direction and styling to casting and editorial work. Work differed, from individual projects to large interdisciplinary projects, as well as opportunities to work on client briefs. I loved working collaboratively on big projects with the BA (Hons) Fashion students, particularly in second year when we produced a fashion show for the fashion students, along with a large shoot and Look book. I learnt how key collaboration is to produce high level work, and what it would be like in industry. There are also great opportunities to work on client briefs and go for a variety of awards and competitions to give you a proper feel for industry work. Everyone focuses on different strengths by third year, but you have the chance to learn and experiment in everything which means you learn a multitude of skills that you can take through to various paths in fashion.

Industry Placement/Internship

I didn’t do a placement whilst at University, but would highly recommend anyone else to do one to gain valuable industry experience, as it would really help when applying to jobs. I did some freelance work whilst at University for companies such as, Refinery29 and Hundred Showroom, and learnt valuable skills to take forward. I worked as a freelance photographer, creative director and stylist, creating digital and print material within a diverse multitude of briefs, developing and understanding commercial awareness. Work extended to casting, backstage photography and creating fashion editorials. Having a hands-on mentality, I applied myself to every task and obstacle I came across, taking initiative and adapting to manage on site problems. The experience you gain from working in professional environments is key for creative development.

Student Support

Anze and Adam were amazing as tutors and mentors, always ready to help and gave great constructive criticism and advice about my work. They helped with everything from concept development, to casting and contacts for individual and group projects; as well as setting up client briefs with a range of creatives. They were always on hand to listen to use when we were at our most stressed (and probably a right pain!), and helped and guided us through anything!

After Graduation

When I graduated from University, I won the Graduate Fashion Foundation, Fashion Publication Award 2020 at Graduate Fashion Week for my series of publications and online platform Woman Up. I created, wrote and published fashion and sports publication, and online platform; Woman Up, selling 50 copies in 6 weeks. Only 4% of printed sports coverage is dedicated to women’s sport. Woman Up is changing that statistic and is a fresh, new platform for Sportswomen giving women in sports a platform to be seen and heard. Receiving support and positive feedback from Hearst, Girlfans, Thiiird and FemFam Zine Publications. Alongside this I have been searching for permanent work in London.

Advice for Future Fashion Graduates

Work hard but more importantly enjoy your work and the course, create concepts and projects you’re passionate about it’ll make your work so much easier! Make friends and connections for the future, across many disciplines and make use of all the facilities and workshops on offer. Just get involved in as much as possible, and utilise everything on offer to you! You have pure creative freedom at university, so really make the most of it!

Ella currently works as a freelance photographer in London, visit her website here