Passionate Fashion Designer/Bartender/Adventurer & Backpacker
As fashion adapts to this fast-growing tendency of activism some brands still have a long way to go to become trustworthy and true in their actions. Advertising faux pas is widespread across all industries, not just fashion. It is inspiring that brands want to become more engaged with the real-life events, but they need to learn from brands who do it successfully.
The future of fashion is going to be shaped by Gen-Z and their lifestyles as consumers and designers. This generation is different, born with an obligation and a belief that nothing is going to change if they don't do it. By being the change that is creating a need for new kinder and socially responsible fashion environment.
Looking forward, I believe that activism is the future of the fashion industry. This is still an emerging trend and undoubtedly many mistakes and success stories are going to develop. As for me personally, I will continue to be a part of the new generation of designers that can't imagine any other way of doing things than as sustainably as possible, give back to society and tackle taboo subjects. The fashion industry is the best industry in the world and I hope that my fellow course mates will acknowledge that and choose to stay in the industry after graduation.
As I'm finishing this dissertation there is more evidence that I could research, new information and stories appear daily. Maybe 2019 is going to be the year of big change. An Example, Paris Haute Couture(Spring-Summer 2019 fashion week ongoing at the week of finishing this dissertation) Victor&Rolf crated fashion statement that makes me believe in future fashion activism.
5 THINGS THAT I LEARNED FROM MY INTERNSHIP AT TANK MAGAZINE
1 - Expect nothing and everything
As in many businesses, there are busy times and quiet times. I managed to experience both. The first week was very quiet and not everything was clear to me. But in my last week, it was crazy and hectic a true hands-on experience of how to get things DONE.
2 - The Devil doesn't wear Prada
Not only fashion designers but, editors and stylists leave everything to the last minute. One of the main tasks was to help stylist Alice Ray and fashion director Caroline Issa to pull clothes for their imagined fashion shoots. Pulling clothes is a term that I have heard before in
The Devil Wears Prada and it is basically doing everything to get the designers full look, accessories, all the clothes that you see on the page from PR agencies. Sounds easy? mmhh.
If you have ever ordered something online and the company has lost your parcel or they can't say when it will arrive then you can imagine a little bit of what pulling looks means.
Emails-Emails- Follow-up emails- Emails-call- follow-up call- emails - - -
And only then the end result ;)
3-Teamwork is everything
It is important to clearly communicate across the team about who is taking up what jobs.
It was easy in the beginning to get everything done and even squeeze in a minute to do some side work. But in the last week, it was just a few interns and sometimes doing more than you thought you could would lead you to miss some important information. At the end of the day, we all are humans and the fact that you did most of the job on your own and didn't ask for help because you wanted to get all the credit does not matter. It is always better to get a thing done together and share the success.
4- You already got it
The reason why I choose to this internship was my curiosity about the photoshoot and
how they are created in magazines. I have been doing my own shoots for design projects for as long as I have been creating my portfolio. I enjoyed the part of creating the art direction and directing them at the shoot, but I never knew that was an actual job.
The idea of exploring my career opportunities and doing something different than fashion design really excites me. By assisting at the Tank photoshoot, I learnt that I already know how to create one and when the time comes to do it for myself I will be capable of it. This internship gave me the confidence that I know more than I thought.
5- You intern, and you learn.
The most important lesson that I'm taking away is asking more questions during the interview and getting everything in a written email. The internship advertisements always sound more impressive and you get the idea that you will gain more. The best thing is to make the situation work for you and remember that sometimes saying no or leaving an internship where you don't see the gain is the best thing to do. At the end of the day you are giving them your time and your money so invest it wisely
Thanks, TANK !
A special thanks to my friend Jenny Thai who inspires me to write this blog posts and helps me see the glass half full ;)
For their 25th anniversary, Viktor&Rolf have thrown themselves an amazing exhibition that looks back at all the wearable art pieces they have created throughout the past quarter-century. I had a chance to visit this exhibition at Rotterdam’s Kunsthal art museum. To be honest, if this Dutch design duet would open their own museum I would happily spend all day there. Maybe for the 50th Anniversary.
I always get confused about the direction that I should start looking at the exhibition. In my mind, in Europe, you turn right at the entrance and go around but it could be my 2 years living in England that made me turn left and come across the final exhibit first.
Basically, I had dessert before the dinner. The 1st piece was looking back at "Russian doll " 1999 fashion show where they created Russian Matryoshka (матрёшка). Have a look for yourself at the link below.
Space had all the layers of the "Russian doll" outfit and it is amazing how many layers you can fit on one model.
The following room was a celebration of the best and most interesting fairy-tale garments that I have ever seen in real life. The garments were borrowed from everywhere and some of them were replicated in a smaller doll variation: I have only one word how to describe it - CUTE! CUTE! CUTE!
In 2015 for their fall/winter haute couture fashion shows the actually created an art piece by undressing the models and creating an art gallery.
I remember seeing that fashion show for the 1st time it took my breath away. So brilliant and inspiring. Don't believe me? Have a look for yourself in a link below
Overall the exhibition was very inspiring and I would most definitely visit their museum if they do create one. It's amazing to see how fashion can be turned into art pieces. It was amazing to see the garments from legendary fashion shows in real life.
I have been applying for lots of internships daily and looking into possible dissertation research. At NTU we have a course, Design culture and context, that challenges you and makes you think about design deeper and analyse what influences it .
For me that’s just an amazing excuse to sit down and spend hours in library reading books, looking for visual evidence and researching different topics about modern culture that influences design. I have become curious about fashion being more political - taking stands about important things that are happening in our society but not really seeing through them but just getting them across long enough to sell stuff and attack attention. All this made me wonder if fashion can really be political? Should I, as a young designer, take a stand for my beliefs or should I just spread the joy of creativity? There are so many things that me and my long hours in library need to resolve.
I have found some interesting help already. Currently I’m very interested in Sheffield University Lecturer and modern philosopher Zygmud Bauman work. I have started his book Liquid modernity and I think his work is going to be a foundation for my dissertation topic that I’m still researching.
Overall, I just wish to understand what kind of designer I want to be. Do I need to make it personal or should I give into the trends that are influencing the consumer? The question that is depressing me is If as a young designer I should stand for something more or should I be commercial and think about how to sell my creativity ?
The innovation project is in progress and I have taken up a new challenge.
So far during my education I have practiced tailoring patterns from a person’s measurements using notes and starting from a white page and copying patterns from catwalks. During my studies at NTU I have learned that you can use standard pattern blocks, but for this innovation project I wanted to challenge myself. So, I stared my pattern by taking apart my own old leather jacket. But I’m doing a menswear project so after tracing down my pattern I needed to scale it up and adopt it to a man’s body.
I usually get my designs down within 2-4 toiles but for this project did at least 8 full toiles for my jacket with all the different ways of topstitching that I could use. I felt like I got down the design as I wanted to. But during the final garment manufacturing I realised that I should have tried my garment in a fake leather material but I hate doing toils in such unsustainable fabric as it harms the environment and my wallet. It is always hard for me to waste calico, to create unnecessary waste, therefore I always try to minimise my calico usage and upcycle my old garments if they are big enough to get some of the pattern pieces out of them. I have this huge bag of spare calico that I use for my detail toiling.
Today I finished my two week work experience at River Island.
During my first week I worked on a special customising project called “River Island couture” all the garments will be put into different stores across the UK. The trimmings patches, sequences and embroideries were inspired by Gucci and Dries Van Noten. Throughout both weeks I was shadowing different designers from the Menswear department and introduced to their schedules and daily tasks.
During my second week I was attending fitting sessions to see the process of how a garment gets from the design stage to the store. I also shadowed knitwear, denim, outwear and accessories designers. I helped to do research and learned about story board and mood board creation for meetings. During my time at River Island I got to learn many aspects and job duties of designers and other departments. I learned how to do industry standard specification drawings and how my day would look if I ever worked in a commercial brand of the same scale.
During my time shadowing the knitwear designer I got a chance to design a Christmas jumper, hopefully it will be in the store just in time for festive season.
My experience at River Island was amazing opportunity. I got to learn so many things about the company and get good hands-on industry experience.
annakeo.weebly.com/fashion-design.html full portfolio
Recently my year got briefed on a new project by Linda Leaver. The task is to research and innovate adaptive clothing that the fashion industry has ignored. I found this project challenging and complicated. At the beginning of my research I felt really surprised about how many people with needs are not accommodated with in the industry.
I found some very inspiring people as Sinead Burke, Erin Clark and Lola aka Sitting pretty.
My main inspiration came from a Famous artist Frida Kahlo and her lasting energy and powerful footsteps in art history. Her work and life story has always been a huge inspiration for everyone and I believe that can help as inspiration for women to feel sexier and empowered.
Have a look at my full project for Linda Leaver competition at my fashion design portfolio.
the concept page from my LL porftfolio
The end of the River Island project was fulfilling. It was great to see results of my hard work. In every design team there is work delegation, my team won the nomination for the best illustrated line up! The River Island designers were highly impressed with our professionally and high level of graphic design skills from our first presentation back in November.
And I won a work experience placement at River Island HQ.
The final illustration line up and some photos form backstage were I was organising the order and show running and last minute styling adjustments for every collection.
After this live industry project as a 2nd year the following project lets you be as free as you want, it’s called INNOVATION PROJECT. It gives me time to recharge and gain more of an idea of what I am as a designer and where I would like to work after my graduation.
My favourite place for inspirations are exhibitions and places I visited:
The Design museum in Chelsea
The National Portrait Gallery
And Just the wonders of London’s streets
I think that the biggest impression from all of them was the Ferrari exhibition. It is amazing to think as a product designer, consider all the aspects of your design and let the customer decide the final details. There is something quite fascinating about Ferrari - the magic and feeling that it creates. A Car so special that everyone dreams to have, although for most of us it will stay a dream.
February was a nice month to reflect on the previous project and get some fresh air and ideas for next one.
This project has been one of the most interesting experience so far in my professional life. I did challenge myself to the new level and learn how to work in the team. In the beginning, my biggest fear was teamwork and relying on someone else besides myself to get the work done. I got lucky my team was the best part of this project I have never thought that could happen. Everything was done together and we completed each other in areas where someone else wasn't that good. I learned a lot from them and we shared similar interests and passions. We helped each other and made someone stopped overcomplicated things "keep it simple" was often used in the studio. We divided our work and invested the same amount of time in this project. If I would have to choose a team for 3rd-year final graduate collection creation Shelby, Choca and Janine WOULD BE THE ONLY ONES I WOULD WORK WITH.
In the end we don't know how but we GOT IT ALL DONE AND WE ARE PROUD OF OUR ACHIEVEMENTS.
Overall, this live industry project has thought me the importance of every team starting form designers/pattern cutter/ manufactures and branding team. For this project, we needed to be all of them but we understood why the industry is divided into these sections and why we need to know how to do it all. The importance of time planning and material sourcing as well gaining useful contact as photographer, models and technicians around the university.
THANKS TO RIVE ISLAND FOR COLLABORATING WITH NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY.
>>>>NEXT PROJECT INNOVATION BUT BEFORE THAT I NEED A MIN BRAKE AND UPLOAD ALL MY WORK TO PORTFOLIO AND INSTAGRAM.
The theme of everything going wrong continued in style this week while we were finishing the manufacturing of the collection! Alongside finishing that, we also had to prepare for the final industry presentation. Finishing my outfit was problem after problem that needed fixing. Among other things, the waistband of my trousers was slightly off and needed fixing, and the lining for the overcoat turned out to be too small and needed some creative adjustments to make it fit. It took a lot of hours in the studio and very few hours of sleep, but by some miracle the team managed to submit the collection on time!
Handing in the collection didn’t mean we were finished with work though. Thursday and Friday nights were spent finishing the illustrations for the garments, and beginning to prepare for the presentation and portfolio hand-in next week.
On Saturday we had the photoshoot for the collection. We shot it in two car parks in Nottingham. Adrian and the models were amazing, and portrayed our concept perfectly. We tried to stray away from the standard shots and poses in lookbooks and do something more unconventional . Jamal was incredible at this as he is a movement artist and created fluid and innovative shots, helped by Adrian the photographer who is amazing. Directing this photoshoot was the bigger pleasure of all the project so far. I can't wait for photographies I know they are going to be amazing.
THANKS TO TEAM CHENLA- Models- Dan, Will, Jamal, Andy and Adam you were amazing. And of course photographer Adrian. More photos and updates you can always find at our @chenla.man instagram account.