Monday

EMMA BELL INTERVIEW

As you may know this time last year i carried out a full time work placement with designer Emma Bell, which provided me with some great fashion experience!... along with many funny ones which included flying mugs and two men who go by the name of sun beam and gnome... anyway! I help out where needed from time to time and I got to interview Emma for a section in my dissertation so i thought i would post up a few of the questions on the blog for those fashion students anxious about graduating and the industry that they face.


Since leaving education do you feel you were well prepared for the industry, are there certain areas which you wish you’d have been taught more about?

To be honest when I left Uni I suddenly realised that there was so much more that I should have been taught whilst studying. Yes, you get to leave with all of the technical knowledge and a nice portfolio but all of the things that really matter like experience and networking etc, are the things that are the most important. I think that Fashion courses should put more emphasis on things like brand identity, marketing and how exactly to make those vital links.


Would you ever of considered working for another designer having someone else name on your designs?


Yes and this is something I have done a lot in the past and still do now when it comes to working on freelance or commercial projects. Quite often I do design work for other brands which is most often following their brief so it’s not entirely in fitting with my design aesthetic but it’s good experience and it pays the bills and allows me to be able to work on my own brand.


Do you see fashion as art? Or fashion as industry? What are your opinions on this debate?

I would say it is definitely both in that ‘fashion’ is so multi-faceted that it would be impossible to just label it as one thing. There is no denying that in many aspects there are a lot of designers that are presenting their work as art however at the same time it remains an industry. Commercial design is as much of a sector when it comes to fashion.



Being a young designer do you feel you have been taken advantage of in anyway or guided in the wrong direction?

I think there is a huge amount of pressure on emerging designers and graduates from both the industry and your peer designers. I think its only too easy to be drawn into things that are not necessarily the best starting points for creating a long lasting career that you can maintain. When I was studying I recall it being constantly enforced from all angles that to branch into commercial projects is selling out, which explains why there is that whole Ugly Betty attitude within the industry that sees so many people turning their noses up at something that isn’t considered cutting edge or ‘cool’. When it comes to setting up your own brand the chances are you haven’t had any guidance on how to go about this so I think its only too easy to get sucked into things.


The industry has a very exploitative nature in general from an abundance of unpaid or badly paid jobs, people always wanting something for free and creatives constantly competing for opportunities, so I think young designers and graduates are prime targets. Employers are only too aware of how determined young designers are to succeed so it is very easy to be taken advantage of, which is why it is so important to build up your experience to know your own value.

HAPPY FUCKING NEW YEAR

Sadly the christmas break is over for my final year of studies, i had planned to do lots of work but i can honestly say over the past couple of weeks I've pretty much done... sweet.fuck.all. It was nice to venture back to my little village although at times rather boring and restraining, that is my own fault for not learning to drive! I've been back in the 41 slum, as me and my housemates like to call it, for a while now and I'm all settled back in (as much as you can settle in to a mouldy mouse infested house) and ready to continue the heart wrenching battle that comes along with creating a collection for a fashion design degree. I'm not too sure whats in store for me in the coming year I have been informed many times by tutors and students from last year that from now it will probably be the most stressful times of our lives! god and i thought it was horrible last term! As much as scaring the hell out of me it definitely excites me and it is definitely going to be the most satisfying year!