Fashion Students

Preparing for your First Year at University

So, you’ve got yourself a place on a fashion course 👏👏👏 … what next?

I’ve put together a list of things to consider when preparing for your first year on a fashion course at University. Enjoy!

#1 – Pack your bags! (if you’re moving)

If you’ve chosen to move to a new town or city to study, you’ll have a lot more to prepare for! I personally didn’t choose this option, as I decided to stay at home whilst studying, so I don’t want to give you any bad advice. So, instead, I’ve found loads of great links to websites that have advice on things to prepare before heading off to uni & information about student accomodation in general.

  1. UCAS – Preparing for your undergraduate studies
  2. UCAS – Undergraduate accomodation
  3. WhatUni? – A guide to moving away
  4. Independent – 50 essential things every student should take with them
  5. Which? University – Student accomodation 
Prepare for First Year

*image from Highways England

#2 – Sort out your finances

Firstly, if you’re using student finance for your tuition fee and maintenece loan, make sure all your student finance is sorted out way before you start university. Find out more information about student finance here.

The next thing you may want to consider is opening up a student bank account. It’s a good idea to have a student bank account for your student maintenence loan to be paid into. Apart from

this, student bank account are often a lot better than normal bank accounts as most offer interest free overdrafts, which may come in useful if you’re having any financial difficulty throughout your studies. Another reason is that banks often give some great freebies for students opening a student bank account such as a free 16-25 Rail Card (Santander). Read more about student bank accounts here and here.

I also recommend you look into any student discount cards and deals you can get. Look into things like the 16-25 Rail Card, Unidays, NUS Extra Card and the 18+ Student Oyster photocard. You’ll have to wait until you actually start university to activate some of these (as you need a uni email address), but some you’ll be able to apply for before you start.

Read more tips about money at university here.

Prepare for First Year

#3 – Buy your equipment

As a fashion student, you’ll need to purchase some of your own equipment. Your university will almost definitely supply the machinery, irons and pattern cutting paper. However, you will need to purchase some of your own sewing and drawing equipment. Most universities will send you a list of equipment you need to buy before the term starts, so make sure you’ve purchased everything that is required of you during the summer break so that you’re ready to start in September. Some good places to buy your equipment are Morplan, Amazon, MacCulloch & Wallis, Cass Art, Cowling and Wilcox and London Graphic Centre.

If you’re university hasn’t given you a list of equipment before the term starts, I would recommend you emailing them to ask for one or putting some budget aside to buy equipment once the term starts. I wouldn’t recommend buying your equipment without a guideline from your university as you may waste your money on things you don’t need!

You may also have a book list before your start, although this is less common on a fashion course. I personally wouldn’t recommend buying any books until you actually start the course, as the university library usually stock most books you’ll need as a fashion student. Once you get started and find books in the library or as recommended by your tutor that you find particularly useful, then I would recommend buying books. I always buy my books from Amazon.

#4 – Do your summer project!

Most universities will give you a small summer project to do before you start the course. I would recommend you do this as soon as possible! Don’t give into temptation to leave it to the last minute. You want to give a good first impression to your tutors, and start the year as you mean to go on, so do your summer project as soon as they give it to you 🙂

Prepare for First Year

#5 – Research the fashion industry

This doesn’t have to be extensive (unless you want it to be), but have a look at some recent designer collections on Vogue Runway, research into fashion illustrators on Show Studio and look at some student work on the GFW website. It just gets you prepared for the three (or four) years to come!

I hope this gave you some good tips as you’re getting ready to begin your university career! I wish you all the best of luck for September 🙂

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Typical Week of a Fashion Student

We’re well into summer 2017, and I hope you’re all enjoying a well-deserved break! Some of you may be preparing to go to university in September to study fashion, some of you may be preparing to get into your final year of sixth form/college to start your university applications and some of you may just be interested in what it’s like to study fashion design. Whatever stage you’re at, I thought it may be useful to share the typical week of a fashion student from my own experiences. Of course, each university’s fashion course will be organised slightly differently, so see this as a guide to what you could expect if you choose to study a fashion design course.

MONDAY

10am1pm: Fashion Drawing/Illustration Workshop or CAD Workshop

Most fashion courses will offer a drawing/illustration class as part of their course. In these classes, you may learn how to draw a fashion figure and how use fashion figures in your design work. You may also learn about drawing technical drawings (by hand) of your designs and learn about different fashion illustration techniques. In the first year, these classes tend to be a lot more structured, but as you progress through the course, they become a lot more independent and focused on your own drawing style.

Most courses also teach computer skills, mostly focused on using the Adobe software including Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.

typical week of a fashion student

TUESDAY

All day: Independent Study

University courses are a lot more independent that courses at sixth form or college. Typically you’ll get at least one full day to work on your project brief independently. Depending on what stage of the project you’re at, you’ll spend an independent study day in the library, in the fashion studio, at fabric/haberdashery shops, at museums, galleries, or at home working on your project.

WEDNESDAY

10am – 5pm: Pattern Cutting or Manufacture Workshop

A key part of any fashion design degree course is pattern cutting and sewing. These classes are where you’ll learn the basics of flat pattern cutting, draping on the stand and using industrial machinery. When you start working on your individual projects, it will be in this class that you’ll learn how to bring your design drawings to life! These classes are crucial to attend, it’s your chance to learn new skills and to ask specific questions about how to create your designs.

typical week of a fashion student

THURSDAY

10am – 11am: Cultural and Historical Studies Lecture

11.30am – 1.30pm: Cultural and Historical Studies Seminar

Fashion design courses will also typically include a unit on cultural and/or historical studies. This usually consists of a lecture with all the students on the course, and then a seminar with smaller groups. You’ll learn about the history of fashion and important events in fashion history that have influenced where fashion is today. You may also learn important aspects of cultural studies that have an impact on art and design. The outcome of this unit is usually a report or essay, so you’re expected to engage with academic texts and you’re taught the fundamentals of academic research and academic writing.

typical week of a fashion student

FRIDAY

10am – 5pm: Design Workshop 10am – 10.30am: Design Tutorial

OR

10am – 10.30am: Design Tutorial

Every fashion design course will have classes or tutorials based around learning the basics of fashion design. In these classes or tutorials, you will learn how to answer project briefs, how to do good research and how to best your research to create interesting and contemporary designs. Depending on the university and which year you’re in, these classes/tutorials may be quite hands on, where you are designing and working on your project during the class, with your tutor there to offer advice and feedback. Or, it may be more about showing your work each week to your design tutor, getting feedback, asking questions and then going away to work on your project independently.

I hope this post has offered you guys some insight into what it’s like to study a fashion design course. As you can see, it’s a lot of hard work! But, it can be really fun and rewarding if you work hard, stay organised and engage with all your peers and tutors.

If you have any more questions about studying fashion design that I didn’t answer here, tweet me @tizz_tazz and I’ll try and answer your questions in a future blog post.

Thank you for reading!

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How to Promote Yourself

As a creative student, it is important to find ways of standing out in a very competitive job market. One way you can achieve this is by promoting yourself and your work throughout your studies. Doing this can prove useful when you’re looking for a work placement, internship, or even a job when you graduate, as you’ll have a really strong and professional online presence. I’ve put together a few ideas of ways you can promote yourself throughout your studies.

#1 – Website or Blog

This is a great way to creatively share your work. You can design or find a website template that reflects your style, and share your work and personal experiences on your own website. It can look even more professional if you are able to buy your own website domain. This is an option that may be more suitable at the end of your second year or in your third year as it is an investment that may be more useful to you when you are about to graduate and are looking for your first job.

Below are some websites that are great for creating a blog or website:

How to promote yourself

#2 – Artsthread

Artsthread is a website that allows you to sign up and upload your portfolio(s) of work. It’s a great place to upload your work as it’s a global network of creative students, graduates, institutions and brands. They have a large database of creative brands looking for new graduates, interns, and freelancers, so there are lots of opportunities to be discovered. Artsthread also have information on current design grants, competitions, internships, and exhibitions. It’s also a great place to look at other students work to be inspired, and see what your peers are up to.

#3 – LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a business and employment focused social networking site. I advise creating an account, using a professional image of yourself, with all the information that you would find on your CV. This includes your education history, job history, achievements, volunteering experience, and skills. You can then use your profile to network with professionals in the creative industry, and stay connected with your peers and people you’ve worked with.

How to promote yourself

#4 – Instagram

You can use any form of social media to promote yourself and your work in a professional manner, but as a creative with lots of visual work to share, I find that Instagram is the best social media option. It allows you to easily post images of your university work, and anything else that you work on outside of your university course. I recommend keeping your professional and personal social media accounts separate to ensure you appear professional to any future employers or clients. Instagram is another way you can network with your peers and professionals in the creative industries. Try following brands that you would like to work for in the future, as they sometimes post internship and job opportunities on their social media accounts.

 

Other blog posts you might find useful: 

 

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Staying Creative During Summer

After a stressful academic year, the temptation for every student is to Netflix and sleep your way to September when it starts all over again! And although you should definitely give yourself a well-deserved break, you should also find time over summer to keep practicing your skills and staying creative so that it’s not too much of a shock when you get back to it in the new academic year.

I’ve put together a few ideas of things to do during the summer break to stay creative:

#1 – Visit galleries, museums, and exhibitions 

There are so many great galleries, museums, and exhibitions to visit to see other artist’s work and things that may inspire you for next year. If you’re going on holiday, find out if there are any galleries or museums near where you are staying and visit places in other countries to inspire you!

If you live in London or are planning to visit London this summer (2017), have a look at the list of creative events that I put together a few weeks ago to see if there is anything that you might be interested in.

#2 – Go to craft fairs

There are so many talented artists, designers, and makers out there selling their work. Show some support and be inspired by their grind. You may decide to sell your own work whilst at Uni, or when you graduate so it’s a good opportunity to see what running your own creative business is all about too.

Research online to see if there any good craft fairs in your area.

Some good craft fairs/markets that I’ve come across are:

#3 – Do a short course

Learn something new this summer! It doesn’t have to be exactly related to what you’re studying, it could just be something that you’ve always wanted to learn. I recently did a short Photography course, it isn’t directly linked to fashion, but it’s really helped be learn tips on how best to photograph my fashion degree work!

Research into your local colleges or universities to see if they offer any short courses that are affordable. If you have a slightly larger budget UAL offer loads of short creative courses that may be worth looking into.

#4 – Keep a sketchbook/journal

Buy or make a summer sketchbook to practice your drawing, designing and/or painting skills. Set yourself a project, or loads of small projects. Challenge yourself to take a photo each day of your summer and stick it in. Just have fun with it – there are no rules!

Let me know what other things you do to stay creative over on Twitter – @tizz_tazz

Career Advice


One of the things I struggled with when I was going through ‘the process’ from school to college and then to uni was getting ‘real’ advice. Yes, I got all the leaflets and attended all the school/college careers fairs, which were really useful, but I wished I got to hear more advice & information from people that had recently gone through the experience, specifically in fashion.

Now I have my own experience and want to share it with you!

Look out for my student and career-themed blog posts, and sign up to my newsletter to get updates and free resources to help you with your studies and career progression.

Sign up to get my career advice updates:

Finding a Summer Work Placement

With summer break just around the corner (or already started for some!), I’m sure the majority of students nationwide are dreaming of two to three months of no deadlines, no alarm clocks, and no coursework (WOOHOO!). However, as well as catching up on sleep, some students may also be looking for a great experience to add to their CV and learn some new skills.

A summer work placements is a great opportunity to network with people in your industry, learn new skills and get some experience on your CV. It can sometimes be difficult finding the right work placement for you, so I’ve put together some tips that I’ve learned over the years that might help.

#1  – Create an amazing CV

You need a CV to send to possible employers to let them know a bit about you. For a creative placement in a creative industry, try to find a creative way to display your contact information, education, work experience and skills on an A4 page. Make sure it is clear, but also eye-catching and relevant to the types of positions you want to apply for.

Find more of my CV writing tips here.

#2 – Write a cover letter

Sometimes you may need to send a cover letter along with your CV. A cover letter is a short letter that details why you are applying for the position, what relevant experience you have and states your availability. Don’t make it too general, try to tailor everything you say to the company and position you are applying for.

#3 – Research

Once you have your CV and cover letter sorted, start researching for possible placement opportunities. Think about what area of Fashion you may be interested in learning more about. If you’re already on a degree course, think about what role would complement your degree. Brainstorm some ideas of jobs you’d like to learn more about and companies that you may like to work for. If you need some help thinking of possible job roles in the fashion industry, this book is great to learn more about fashion jobs.

After you’ve had a think about what kind of roles and companies you may be interested in, have a look at these websites to find current opportunities that may suit you.

If there is a very specific brand that you are looking to intern for, another good option is to have a look at their social media profiles to see if there are any vacancies. If that fails, another idea is to email or phone them directly enquiring about an opportunity.

#4 – Apply!

Once you’ve found roles that you’re interested in applying for, start sending out your CV and cover letter and wait for responses. It may take a while to get responses from some companies as they may be busy, but hopefully, you’ll get a good few replies which may invite you for a face to face interview or telephone interview.

Remember, when you are applying for any job or internship the interview stage is as much about you working out if you want to work for the company/brand as it is about them working out if they think you’d be a good fit in their organisation, so try not to be too nervous or anxious.

I hope this helped some of you looking for work placement this summer, or at any other times in the year. I’d love to hear if any of you have any tips for your fellow students looking for a work placement, so tweet me @tizz_tazz if you do 🙂

Graduate Fashion Week 2017

Graduate Fashion Week 2017 came to an end on Wednesday 7th June with Halina North from Edinburgh College of Art announced the Gold Award winner. Congratulations to her! Read more about the GFW17 winners here.

Thanks to the amazing team at FAD (@fadcharity), I was able to attend a few shows during Graduate Fashion Week 2017 and meet some of the talented FAD Competition finalists who were presenting in GFW17 (including @zoe_alexandria_ & @laurampritchard). I thought it’d be nice to share with you some pictures I took during GFW of the amazing work by graduating students.

 

Nottingham Trent University 1

Amazing glittery outfit by a student at Nottingham Trent University

 

Lovely print from a Nottingham Trent student

Lovely print from a Nottingham Trent student

 

Great texture from Nottingham Trent!

Great texture from Nottingham Trent!

 

Fantastic structural collection by a UCA Epsom student.

Fantastic structural collection by a UCA Epsom student.

 

UCA Rochester

Amazing collection from talented FAD Competition finalist @belizabethselway

 

UCA Epsom 4

Fab outfit by UCA Epsom student.

 

Innovative collection incorporating balloons from UCA Epsom student

Innovative collection incorporating balloons from UCA Epsom student

 

Great menswear collection from UCA Epsom student @jamie_backshall

Great menswear collection from UCA Epsom student @jamie_backshall

 

Seaside inspired final outfit by UCA Epsom student!

Seaside inspired final outfit by UCA Epsom student!

What a great GFW 2017! Congratulations to all the graduating students of 2017.

I would love to know if any of you got to visit GFW this year, tweet me @tizz_tazz.

Creative Events in London this Summer 2017

With the summer academic term coming to an end, and summer break just beginning, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my annual list of events for you guys to visit this summer!

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion
Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington
27th May 2017 – 18th Feb 2018
Find out more

The World of Anna Sui
Fashion and Textile Museum, London Bridge
26th May – 1 October 2017
Find out more 

Graduate Fashion Week
Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
4th – 7th June 2017
Find out more 

New Designers
Business Design Centre, Angel
28th June to 8th July 2017
Find out more 

Joyce Pensato: Forgettabout It
Lisson Gallery, Edgware Road
19th May – 24th June 2017
Find out more

JĂĽrgen Partenheimer: Lichtschwarm
White Cube, Bermondsey
16th May – 18th June 2017
Find out more

Joel Shapiro
Pace Burlington Gardens, Mayfair
19th May – 17th June 2017
Find out more

Ashley Bickerton
Newport Street Gallery, Lambeth
16th May – 20th August 2017
Find out more

David Batchelor: Psychogeometry
Matt’s Gallery, Borough
18th May – 11th June 2017
Find out more

Let me know if you attend any of these events via Twitter (@tizz_tazz), there are definitely a few that I have my eye on.  Also, tweet me if you know of any events that I’ve missed off this list.

CV Writing Tips for Fashion Students

Whilst you’re studying, it’s a good idea to have a CV made up as a working document. Throughout your course, you can keep a record of your achievements and experiences by updating your CV as you go along. This is really useful for when you’re looking to start applying for work placements and internships during summer and/or during University placement years/terms because your CV is always ready to send out!

Below I’ve listed a few tips that I’ve picked up through my two years at University may be useful in creating your CV, whatever stage of your course you’re in:

#1 – Make it eye-catching

Fashion is a competitive industry. There are hundreds, if not thousands of fashion students looking for opportunities, so try to make your CV as individual and eye-catching as possible. This is your chance to present yourself to the industry, so try to create a CV that reflects your personality as well as your academic achievements and experience.

#2 – Align to specific industry or particular company

Make sure all your information, including your skills and personal statement, are aligned with the industry or company you are targeting. If you are looking for a practical role, like a pattern cutter or machinist, ensure you list skills that demonstrate that you know how to use industrial machinery or create flat patterns or can drape on the stand etc.

#3 – Make sure it’s neat and easy to read

Companies can get sent hundreds of applications and CVs for a role. If your CV isn’t neatly presented and hard to read, it may get tossed aside. Ensure someone can pick up your CV and see the main points easily and clearly. Have a good think about how you are going to layout your CV. Try to keep it on one page if possible, and use bullets points to list your information.

#4 – Ensure you’ve included all the important info

CVs usually include; personal details (name, contact info), a profile/personal statement (just a few lines), education/qualifications, achievements, skills, experience, and references. You can also include any relevant interests if you think it will add to your application or show more of your personality.

Remember, sometimes it may be necessary to tailor your information depending on the industry/company you are applying to.

#5 – Get a second opinion

Once you’ve created a draft copy of your CV, have someone check it over for you. This could be a tutor, career advisor or parent. If you know someone that works in the industry/company that you want to apply to, ask if they wouldn’t mind checking it over too!

For more layout ideas and tips, have a look at this Pinterest board.

I hope these few tips have been useful for you! If you have any more tips you’d like to share, leave a comment below or tweet me @tizz_tazz.

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
Website: cargocollective.com/saraligari
Facebook: /sara.ligari
Tumblr: saraligariwatercolors.tumblr.com
Instagram: @saraligari

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