We caught up with one of our fashion design students, Emily Houghton, to find out about her interest in fashion design, what it's like to be student on the course and her plans for the future.
Emily has had an interest in sewing and fashion since a young age. “If I saw someone that had a really cool skirt, I would think ‘How have they made it? What have they used? What’s the best material?’.”
With a lot of experience in sewing, mainly with accessories and interiors, Emily’s passion began to develop. “I really wanted to explore different avenues and I wanted to do more clothing.”
Choosing the right course
Emily was keen to find a course that would fit in with her lifestyle. “The course is perfect for me; the perfect amount of contact hours and coursework to do in my own time.”
She chose the classroom option for the interaction she would have with the tutors. “I think having that class every two weeks, having them go through the course with you, bringing your work in, means you get a really thorough explanation and lot of guidance.”
“And it’s great having tutors that work in the industry,” she says. “Fashion changes all the time, every day, every week. So having someone who is working all week and then to come and teach you, it just allows you to get such a good angle on what is happening in fashion right now.”
“The support you get both in class and at home is really vast,” says Emily. From being able to email her tutors directly with queries about a task, to bringing in work to get a second opinion, Emily believes that it has all helped to develop her coursework even further.
“The online forum is really great because someone will ask a question and there will be a reply from maybe two or three tutors. There are online videos as well which are really helpful.”
Preparing for each class is also straightforward, Emily points out. “You’ll be emailed each week what you have to bring in, then you might do half a day of sewing and learning and the other half of the day covering assignments. There’s a good mixture.”
“In class you are with a bunch of people who want to do exactly the same thing as you. You form friendships really easily and it’s really nice to learn in this environment.” Camaraderie, she says, seeps into much of the classwork. “There’s quite a lot of group work in class, so you might have to come up with a garment or do some draping as a group, or have a debate about a certain aspect of fashion. So it’s really good to be able to bounce off other people.”
With the assignments, it’s always clear what you need to do to get a pass, a merit or a distinction, explains Emily. And the feedback will include areas where you could explore more or improve “because everyone can always improve and you’re getting feedback from really relevant people who know what they’re talking about in the fashion industry.”
Growing in confidence
Before she started the course, Emily says she was really inquisitive and would look at a dress and wonder how it was made. “Now I feel as though I could look at a garment either in a shop, or one I’ve drawn myself, and actually make up a plan of how I would bring it to life.” “My sketching has improved,” she goes on to say, “and my explanation skills have improved because it’s really important to be able to get your ideas across.”
Emily believes the course would appeal to anyone interested in fashion, of any standard or age. “You could be in a class with someone who knows nothing or with someone who has already done a course but you’ll both get so much out of it because it starts with the basics and goes up from there. It’s so tailored to each individual person.”
What the future holds
“I’m really interested in children’s fashion,” enthuses Emily. “I think you can be so creative. Kids want to wear things that are bright, that are fun, they’re not so lead by gender roles.”
Starting her own business now seems achievable to Emily. “In class they taught us how to do branding, how to make a logo, about originality. So it would be quite easy for me to go down that path and start up for myself. And the tutors are really helpful in guiding you and giving you the resources to go where you want to go.”
Inspired by Emily’s story and looking to pursue your interest in fashion design? View our full list of courses on our website.