Fashion Students

Money Saving Tips for Fashion Design Students

Studying fashion design is a very expensive business! So I’ve put together a few money saving tips for anyone already studying fashion design, or any of you who are planning on studying fashion design in the future!

#1 – Set yourself a budget

At the beginning of every academic year, or at the beginning of every project, set yourself a budget for how much you are willing to spend on fabrics, art supplies and anything else you may need for the time period. This ensures that you are keeping an eye on how much your spending, and stops you from getting carried away!

When you buy anything related to your course, keep the receipts as a record for how much you’ve spent and periodically check how your budget is doing throughout the year/term.

Your university will often give a rough idea of how much they expect you’ll spend in the first, second and third year – so look to these as a guideline when setting yourself your own budget.

#2 – Check with your tutor before splashing the cash!

Before you head out to buy your fabrics and haberdasheries, check with your tutor that you are buying the right thing for your design and concept. It’s easy to get stuck in the fabric shop not knowing what to buy, which results in you buying everything! Or, going to the fabric shop, buying the fabric you think is right, and then getting back to uni to be told that you bought the wrong fabric/haberdashery for your project.

This is especially important for the first year, as you may not be experienced enough to know the type of fabric you should buy, the kind of zip you should buy and also how many metres of fabric you should buy. It’s always best to check before going shopping!

#3 – Go to student friendly fabric shops

There are a good number of fabric shops out there in London (have a look at my list of fabric and haberdashery shops here), but not all of them are student friendly – price wise. This is particularly true in your first, and even second year, when you are learning the ropes and are sure to make a few mistakes here or there when sewing. My tip is to buy fabrics from cheaper priced stores, such as the ones on Goldhawk Road or Woolcrest Textiles in East London as much as you possibly can.

Of course, some of these shops may not have the quality that you are looking for, but if you look hard enough you can sometimes find some real gems of amazing rolls of fabrics that could work for your project. I think it’s best to leave the more expensive shops for your second and third year when getting high-quality fabrics are a bit more important and when you’re a bit more experienced. You can still visit and get swatches of fabrics from more expensive shops so that you can build your knowledge of fabrics so that you’re ready for your final collection!

#4 – Always ask for student discount!

Being a student is one of the few opportunities you get in life to get discounts! So make sure you ask in every shop if they do student discount or not. A lot of fabric and art stores will offer a student discount of up to 10% so it’s definitely worth enquiring as the savings can add up!

#5 – Keep all your leftover fabrics

Usually, at the end of a project, you’ll be left with a little bit of fabric left over that could be used in the future. Make sure you keep it stored somewhere safe and clean so that in a future project you can look in your own fabric collection to see if there’s something that can be used. This can help you save money for future projects, or can even be used for your own personal projects!

I hope these tips were useful to you all! Let me know if you have any money saving tips of your own on Instagram and Twitter!


Featured Illustrator: Sara Ligari

This weeks featured illustrator is Sara Ligari. Sara Ligari is one of my favourite illustrators, she’s one of the illustrators that I look to for inspiration while I’m discovering my own illustration style. I hope you love her work as much as I do!

Name: Sara Ligari
Based in: Milan
Facebook: /sara.ligari
Instagram: @saraligari

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Fashion Events in London this Autumn & Winter (2016/17)

I can’t believe Summer 2016 is almost over already!! With September right around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to update you all on some of the upcoming fashion events happening this Autumn/Winter 2016/17!

Africa Fashion Week London
Olympia London
9th – 10th September 2016 
Find out more

London Fashion Weekend 
Saatchi Gallery 
22 – 25 September 2016
Find out more

1920s Jazz Age Fashion & Photographs
Fashion & Textiles Museum 
23 September – 15 January 2017
Find out more

Stylist Live
Business Design Centre 
13 – 16 October 2016 
Find out more

India Fashion Week London
ExCel Centre London
15 – 16 October 2016 
Find out more

UCAS Design Your Future 2016 
ExCel Centre London
15 – 16 November 2016 
Find out more

The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show 
ExCel Centre London 
17 – 19 November 2016 
Find out more

The Fashion Awards 2016 
Royal Albert Hall 
5th December 2016 
Find out more 

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear
Victoria & Albert Museum
16 April 2016 – 12 March 2017
Find out more



Useful Websites for Fashion Design Students

One of the best things to do whilst you’re studying is to create a library of great resources you can alway dip into when you need inspiration, or certain tools that are useful for your craft. There are hundreds of great online resources out there for creatives to use, but I’ve compiled a few of my favourite websites that I always find myself going back to as a fashion design student.

#1 – Show Studio

I personally love to use this website to look at their Fashion Illustration collections as they feature really talented illustrators on their site.

#2 – Vogue Runway

The best resource for looking at designers latest collections, and also looking back at past collections. I love discovering new designers I’ve never heard of using this site and I think this is a crucial resource for any fashion design student.

#3 – ArtsThread

A great website with a huge collection of creative student portfolios ranging from Fashion and Textiles to Fine Art and Ceramics. I find it really inspiring to look at other students portfolios.

#4 – Fashion Workie

This is an amazing resource to find fashion related jobs and internships that not only covers fashion design jobs, but also jobs/internships in fashion marketing, retail, buying etc.

#5 – Pinterest

You all probably know this website well already, but I find Pinterest a really great starting point for any project to find some visual inspiration for any theme or concept you may be looking at. It also great to collect images of great catwalk images and fashion illustrations to be inspired by.

#6 – The Cutting Class

An AMAZING blog that analyses catwalk shows and designer’s collections in terms of construction and pattern cutting. It’s really useful to look for way that designers use construction techniques, such as darts and seams, as part of their designs. They also have a great book ‘How Patterns Work’ which is also worth picking up.

Finding your own Fashion Illustration Style

Hey Guys,

So today I thought I’d share with you my tips on how to find your own fashion illustration style. As a fashion design student I know how important it is to develop your own style of drawing to communicate your final design ideas. This is something that I have struggled with for a while as a student, but I have learnt that it is definitely something that comes with practice and that it is definitely a journey – I’m still working on developing my own illustration style now!

Although I haven’t figured out my own style completely just yet, I am feeling a lot more confident in my drawing style and I have a few tips on how you can also get started on your own illustration journey!

#1 – Research the work of other fashion illustrators 

This is a very important step, it is key that you find other illustrators who inspire you and whose work you admire.

Some of my favourite places to find illustrators is Instagram (I’ve put a few of my favourite accounts below), Pinterest and ShowStudio.

A photo posted by Esra Røise (@esrarois) on

A photo posted by @conradroset on

#2 – Choose a few of your favourite illustrators 

After you feel you’ve done a good amount of research, choose a few of your favourite illustrators – no more than five. Note the techniques and medias that they use that you particularly like.

#3 – Find some editorial fashion photography images

Find some fashion photography images that you like that you can use as drawing references. This is a great way to come up with ideas for poses and composition for your illustrations. My favourite place to look for fashion photography images are magazines such as Dazed & Confused and Love Magazine.

If you prefer to draw completely from imagination, you can skip this step!

#4 – Draw, Draw, Draw!

Using the fashion photography images you found as references, and taking inspiration from your favourite illustrators, start drawing! Remember, these drawings do not need to be perfect masterpieces – they are all part of your development. This should be a fun process, so don’t be too hard on yourself, just keep drawing and one day everything will start clicking into place.

Try and vary the techniques that you use, including the media that you use, for example; use watercolour, pencils, fine-liners, ink etc. Combine different techniques from different illustrators to create individual pieces and unique ideas.

I hope this has been useful to some of you guys. Remember that I am also going through this same process trying to develop my own drawing style, so we’re all in this together! If you want to follow my progress you can follow me on Instagram where I occasionally post some of my practice illustrations. Feel free to tag me in any illustrations that you’ve created too, I’d love to see all of your work.


Fashion Events in London this Summer

With the Summer holidays just around the corner, I thought it was a good time to update you all on some of the upcoming fashion events happening this Spring/Summer 2016! Going to events and exhibitions is a great way to stay inspired over the long summer break. I hope you guys have a chance to go to some of the great exhibitions and events happening in London this year. Here are some that I found that could be of interest to you guys:

Vogue 100: A Century of Style 
National Portrait Gallery
Until 22nd May 2016
Find out more

The Vogue 100 Festival 2016 
East Albert Lawn & Royal Geographic Society
21st – 22nd May 2016
Find out more

Graduate Fashion Week 2016 
The Old Truman Brewery
5th – 8th June 2016
Find out more

New Designers Part 1
Business Design Centre
29th June – 2nd July 2016
Find out more

Botticelli Reimagined 
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Until 3rd July 2016
Find out more

Missoni Art Colour 
Fashion and Textile Museum
Until 4th September 2016
Find out more

Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear 
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Until 12th March 2017
Find out more

When University Doesn’t Go As Planned…

Starting University is exciting. Meeting new people, learning new things and possibly moving to a new place. But sometimes it just doesn’t go as you expected.

I first started University in 2014, excited and ready to take the first step towards my dream career. However, as I got into my first term studying fashion design, I realised I wasn’t enjoying my course as much as I thought I would. I hadn’t made any friends, I didn’t enjoy my classes, I wasn’t learning what I expected and I didn’t particularly like most of my tutors. But I told myself I had to work through it, I thought it might improve if I kept going. So I slogged through the first term, failing my first project. I managed to make it through the second term, improving my grades, and struggled through the third. But I made it and I passed first year. I was so relieved to have made it to the summer break, so I removed University from my mind and enjoyed the holidays!

But, three months later, starting back in the second year, I realised that I really didn’t want to be there. I still hadn’t made any good friends, I didn’t feel like I learnt much from my first year and I just felt in my gut that this wasn’t the right place for me. So I decided to take the brave move to leave this University.

I was lucky to have people around me to discuss my options with, family and previous teachers. They helped me realise that it wasn’t the course I disliked, but the institution itself. Their methods, and way of teaching didn’t suit me as a student, so I decided to transfer to a different University that was more suited to me. However, because of the lack of teaching I’d received from my past institution and the knock on effect that this had on my confidence, the course leader of the new University decided that it’d be best if I re-did first year to consolidate my skills as a designer. At first I was a bit unsure whether I wanted to do this, it involved going backwards and paying another year of tuition fees. But I decided that it was worth doing, as it was a place I thought I could really grow and really be happy in.

Although this was a tough experience for me, I’m glad that I went through it. I think it made me a much stronger person and I am much happier at the University that I’m in now. Hopefully, from my experience I can help anyone else who feels the same way I did. I think it’s important for students to enjoy University, so if something doesn’t feel right, do something about it! Here are a few tips for anyone feeling this way.

If it’s the course…

If you’re at a University that you really love, i.e you’ve made good friends, like the area and the atmosphere, but you’re just not enjoying what you’re learning. You may have just chosen the wrong course! If you think that’s you, make an appointment to talk to the course leader about how you’re feeling. Usually, if you do this in the first term, they should be able to transfer you to a different course (if there are spaces free). If you’re in the second or third term, it’s still worth talking to your course leader to see if there’s is anything else you can do.

If it’s the University…

If you know that you love the subject you’re studying, but you don’t enjoy the way it’s taught or the atmosphere of the University, you may need to transfer. This one’s a bit trickier, but ultimately you’ll still need to go to see your course leader to let them know that you want to leave. But before you do this, make sure that you’ve secured yourself a space at another University more suited to you. The best way to do this is to try and get in touch with the course leader at your preferred University and see if they’ll allow you to transfer (you may need to go in for an interview like I did). If you can’t transfer, you may need to withdraw from your University and apply through UCAS for the following year – I don’t know the details of how this works so I would talk to the admissions team at your chosen University or speak to someone at UCAS. Whatever happens, make sure that you inform Student Finance (if you are a UK student) so that your funding is correct for you.

If it’s University in General…

You might get to University and realise the whole experience just isn’t for you, and that’s fine! Just make sure you’ve really thought about your decision and spoken to family and people you trust about it. Again, if you decide to leave University completely you’ll have to speak to your course leader. But my advice to anyone that decides to leave University is to make sure you have something else planned to do. Whether that’s a job, apprenticeship or even starting your own business! It’s important that you have something to wake up to in the morning, and something to keep you motivated.

All in all, the most important thing is to make sure whatever you do makes you happy. I know it’s cliché, but life is way to short to go somewhere, and do something that you don’t enjoy.


My Favourite Instagram Accounts to Follow

On an average day, I spend a considerable amount of time scrolling through Instagram (I’m trying to cut down, but its just so hard to stop!) so I thought I’d share with you guys some of my favourite Instagram accounts to follow. Theres a mixture of fashion, illustration and inspirational related account, so I hope there’s a few that you’d like to follow too!

eagerly awaiting the Swedish School of Textiles Show with our #fashionfutures 2015 contingent #lfw #fashionscout

A photo posted by The FAD Team (@fad_charity) on

Amazing shoes sketches by @aa_cavalcante on Fashionary Shoes sketchbook!! 👠👠 A photo posted by fashionary (@fashionary) on

‘Who’s That Girl?’ by Hayden Williams

A photo posted by Hayden Williams (@hayden_williams) on

#Valfre A photo posted by ilse Valfré (@valfre) on

And after the rain, a rainbow. See every look from @christopherkane’s #ss16 #lfw show at now

A photo posted by British Vogue (@britishvogue) on

A photo posted by T.S ABE (@ts_abe) on

Lettering by @markvanleeuwn

A photo posted by Calligritype (@calligritype) on

#tbt “Love/Hate” 2011 #art #painting #illustration #artwork #instagood #artoftheday #love #classic A photo posted by Scott Rohlfs (@scottrohlfs) on

Craft now, clean later. #illustration #girl #neon #afro #hair

A photo posted by Niki Pilkington (@nikipilkington) on

You may think the frog is going to turn into a prince…it’s not, it’s just a cute frog, and frogs deserve kisses 💋🐸👸🏻 A photo posted by Little girly drawings🌸 (@trendydoodles) on