Our guest blog this week, about being a fashion student, is by 17-year-old Jack Crowther - (that's him in the picture montage above). He attends Batley School of Art & Design, in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire and studies a Level Three Extended Diploma in Fashion Textiles.
Pictures below: models wearing Jack's designs
Jack's five-year-plan is to be working for the colour trend prediction company Pantone View. Jack turns 18 in 24 days time...plus he sometimes assists the team at Lovely's Vintage Emporium. We think he rocks. Over to Jack:
Living It Up Studying Fashion by Jack Crowther
Fashion is not something you study, it's a way of life. The reason for this is because other subjects rarely change, fashion is fast, so fast that as soon as you see one trend on the shelves the next trend will have been designed, made and is ready awaiting to replace whatever your looking at.
Trends are predicted at least one and sometimes even two seasons ahead of the current one. No other business is like this as fashion is always looking to the tomorrow, the next week, the next year. The way to predict this is to find the inspirations for it. Inspiration will have struck from somewhere and finding it is one of the 'musts'. It's hard to do at first but once you've trained your eye to do it, you'll be doing it for the rest of your life. I'm my case I kept trying to look forward and pick up any hints for the next season - you can find these hints absolutely anywhere, whether it be in previous collections, a certain celebrity or even a type of food.
It's really fascinating what inspires designers. The downside to having a good eye for what's hot is you also have a bigger eye for what's not. And sometimes it can throw spanners in the works with colleges or friends etc, especially if like me you have a rather large mouth...
The second factor to studying fashion is actually been able to make garments, you would be surprised at the number of fashion students who do not make their own garments. This is paving the paving the way for a broken down industry which in my opinion is fantastic, because instead of having one person that does everything you will have three: 1. a designer, the person that actually designs the clothes; 2. a pattern drafter, someone who takes the design to make a template then works alongside person; 3. a seamstress who will then go and make the garment. This modern approach is much more efficient because it's considerably quicker from sketch to garment, and in larger brands this approach has already been adopted. In reason I am able to do all of the above which enables me to make my own clothes, meaning I'm able to make exactly what I wanted instead of having to search for it.
Picture below: some of Jack's designs
The third part to being a fashion student is the pressure to look good whilst also being up to your eyebrows deep in stress - how can it be done? Well the best tip I can give you is you need a diary, preferably a separate page for each day. Using your mobile phone is good but when you have a spontaneous idea for a design, a pattern or something similar your diary is always there to record it which is priceless because it's always full of inspiration.
Picture below: Jack's fashion diary
Your wardrobe will start out colourful but is most likely to end up a black/white/grey capsule wardrobe as these are the most timeless colours you can get, meaning when you are in a hasty rush to be somewhere you will be able to mix and match with your eyes closed and still look fantastic.
I thoroughly enjoy being a fashion student and recommend anyone to try it out - yes it is difficult but it's also extremely fun as there's always something new and lots of interesting people to meet.
Read Jack's blog HERE