· Initially in a commercial business such as House of Fraser.
· However, the designers are restricted to produce garments that appeal to a wide range of customers and this could frustrate me in terms of limited creative scope.
· This could be a good starting point though for getting some industry experience before potentially becoming a designer for my own business.
· A good way to build up some important contacts in the industry.
· Although there are staple jobs to be done, every day is different.
· Not very creative, more admin based.
· Plenty of career opportunities in magazines/fashion companies etc.
· Three levels; Buying assistant, assistant buyer and buyer.
· It takes about six years to work up to the role of buyer.
· Very admin based
· A chance to liaise with the design department and have a chance to be creative.
· Plenty of career opportunities as most fashion companies require buyers.
Action Plan for Year Three
· Practice sewing (using industrial machines) over Summer to improve my technique.
· Be more patient when I make garments. Problems will occur, I should be prepared for these and I shall have to deal with them in a patient manner.
· Experiment with a less formal approach to illustration. Don’t be afraid to play with different media and more contemporary illustration techniques.
· Practice using moulage as a pattern making technique rather than relying solely on flat pattern cutting techniques.
· Develop the use of video as a method of research and ideas development rather than as I final piece. Don’t be afraid to experiment with video as a way of combining images and discovering shapes.
· Keep an eye on the jobs that become available over the year. Even if the positions get filled, it’s still important to see the kind of jobs that are on offer as well as what is expected of a candidate.
· Update my CV with work experience completed and my portfolio regularly with strong images.
Today was the first day of my millinery elective. In the weeks before I have been putting together my research based on the brief theme 'royal ascot', the brief is fairly open and I've been looking at past styles as well as the history of the event which was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne. I have decided to base my hat around the idea of traditional decoration in a modern twist. I have been looking at the fashion/millinery styles of 1711 and have established that flowers, ribbons and feather were key, I want to take these styles and develop them on and into a contemporary version of an avant garde 1711 millinery style. I have produced some designs that are quite different and experimental which I hope will satisfy the brief.
Today I have been starting on my crown for my hat, I didn't buy quite enough of the sinamay I need, but have still managed to make a single layer of the crown and start on a wired flower sinamay corsage as a detail for my hat. I'm pleased with my work today and I'm trying to be really patient so that I can get a good neat result.
Day 2- Tuesday 7th April 2009
Today I have been working on the second layer of the crown of my hat as well as finishing the corsage. I have bought some white feather that compliment the electric blue sinamay and I want to put them in the centre of my flower as a stalk. This is proving a little tricky as I can't easily find a way to sew the feathers to the centre of the flower, however, I will carry on and hopefully the answer I will come! So far I'm pleased with my work. I've chosen a modern block which I think compliments the detail and is relevant to the brief.
Day 3- Wednesday 8th April 2009
This morning I made the two layers of the brim from my sinamay, put stifner on them and left them to dry! In the afternoon I tacked the wire and bias binding onto the edge of the brim then machine stitched these on. I'm generally fairly pleased with the finish. The stitching is neat except at the join where I had a couple of problems with bulkiness. This afternoon I also finished the corsage for the hat and managed to stitch the feathers on through hand stitching. I have covered the stitching with gold thread which brings out the colours.
Day 4- Thursday 9th April 2009
Today is the final day of the elective. This morning I worked on hand stitching together the brim and crown. This worked well and I am pleased with the result. I also added bias binding to cover the join and finally hand stitched in the pettersham ribbon inside the hat. I did this twice as the first time I was not satisfied with the neatness. The second time I concentrated more and managed to sew it only very neatly with very small stitches.
This afternoon I made a small facinator piece out of the left over sinamay and feathers. It is just a small extra piece but I think it works well with the hat. Finally, I bound all my paper work together. The deadline for the module isn't until 27th April but I will be in London then and so I hope to hand it all in in the next week. I only have my evaluation.
All in all, I am pleased with my hat and work. I have worked hard to make it neat and professional, and I think it is very appropriate for Ascot. Considering this is only the second hat I've ever made, I'm generally pleased with how much I have learnt and progressed. Hopefully I should do well!
Today we had the briefing for the new module, Research Practices. I can't deny, I'm a bit disapointed. I was hoping this project would be really experimental and would be a combination of all our skills from over the year: cad, photography, pattern making, illustrations etc. Instead, its based on out critical studies work, which is a module, no-one has really enjoyed. I know it is supposed to allow us to be 'open' and choose our own approach, but in fact, using critical studies makes it very limiting, and I don't see how academic work, which is essentially non-image based, can be transfered into research and inspiration for creative work. It's all just a bit frustrating. I've decided to look at organic architecture, and neo-plasticism. In other words, I'm looking at Frank Lloyd Wright and Mondrian; harmonic lines, aesthetically pleasing designs and simple organic shapes. I just hope I can feel inspired by this topic!
20th March 2009
Over the last two weeks I have been working on my research and ideas pages. After a difficult start, the project is definitely growing on me. I have found a good deal of inspiration in the visuals of Mondrian's studio and Wright's waterfall house. I have started doing some ideas sheets and sampling and I think I have some intital thoughts that I could work with in the designing of my toile. My only worry is that my ideas are too architecture based, and they will come out too structural. I want to play around with shapes and panels but I also hope to find some softer lines that could balance the design out. I intend on playing with shapes on a mannequin to try and combat this problem!
27th March 2009
Today I have been working on a pattern for a toile. I decided to do it in half scale as I find this less intimidating to work with, and I expect problems with the complicated panel design, so making several versions in half scale will save time and calico! My first pattern has worked fairly well, the pieces fit together well but I think it is too complicated on front (with all the panels) and too simple in shape. I need to minimise the detail and play with the introduction of the shapes I've found into the action garment shape, such as playing with the sleeves etc.
2nd April 2009
This week I have been working on adapting the pattern and coninuing with potential toile designs. My second toile has not worked well, due to the sleeve shape, and I am confussed how to prevent this. I shall try though, and continue to experiment with pattern shapes and styles.
13th April 2009
Over the last few weeks I have been developing the final pattern for my toile. I am pleased with the design, it appeals to my research into balance, shape, structure and harmony but is modern and interesting in shape. I intend to finish my toile this week before I go on work placement, so I can do my designs over the three weeks I am away.
I have also started on my statement of intent. I have looked over my research and feel that the idea of balance and organic harmony can be developed further next year. I just need to source some images, which I hope to get from books.
15th May 2009
During my placement in London I have been working on the designs for my final collection based on my toile which I managed to finish before I left. The pattern has worked very well and I am pleased with it. I have managed to continue with the details from this toile and develop them further into the collection. My only worry is that the shapes are limiting, and so i do intend to add some shapes from my previous research into the designs to add variation but also balance. My main aim for this week is to source fabrics appropriate to the season, and pick out my final collection.
19th May 2009
This week as been my final week on the project and I have been colouring my designs, greating a range plan and illustrations. I have felt a little stressed as it has been hard to do work over placement, but I know that I will get everything finished. I have also been working on the mood board for my statement of intent. The images look strong and are relevant to my topic, I just need to finish the text and type up the bibliography!
22nd May 2009
I have just handed in the project and I am very glad of it! I am pleased with what I produced and feel that my statement of intent will provide me with plenty of ideas and research starting points for next year. I am a little disapointed with my illustrations. I'm not sure if they're infitting with my collection style, but they are a bit creative and different. I wanted to try and show that I didn't just do everything on the computer aswell! Anyway, I am glad this project is in, and I hope to do well.
Today was the briefing for the new module 'Fashi0n Concepts and New Media'. Ian is really excited about the module as its a real chance for us all to push ourself and come up with some really creative ideas. I'm keen to get on though as there seems to be loads to do. Based on the word 'phantasmagoric', I'm going to start my research looking at optical illusions, Escher and Bridget Riley.
23rd January 2009
This week I've been working on my research, and trying to start on my design development. I've got some good garment and brand ideas, but it feels so rushed! I wish I had more time to really think about it all! I'm going to try and get all my design development done this week, so I can get on with the line-up and then concentrate on the event, as I know that is the most important part of the module. I hope I can think up some good ideas!
30th January 2009
This week I finished my line-up and have been planning my event. I'm really pleased with my line-up and I think it looks a bit quirky and different. I also think it'll work well with my brand identity. Based on my designs, I've decided to call my label 'phenomENA.' I think its really appropriate!
I've had a feel thoughts about the event, but at the moment I'm concentrating on research previous events for inspiration. I have thought though that I would like to have the event in the IMAX cinema at the London Science Museum, as I don't want a conventional catwalk show as its not really appropriate to the collection or the brand identity that I've created!
5th Febraury 2009
This week I've been putting together final ideas and getting the sheets done! It's all a bit stressful, and I feel like I have loads to do. Its also costing me a fortune as the sheets need to be A3 and in colour! I have had a good idea for my invitation though; I'd like it to be a puzzle cube with information about the event on the pieces, the trick being that you have to put the cube together to be able to read the information!
13th February 2009
Today I've been working on my critical path, and downloading some visuals for the video. I still have some sheets to do for the final portfolio, and my intivation still hasn't arrived, but I'm feeling positive, and I'm happy to see the brand coming together. I really want there to be a strong identity throughout the project, so I'm trying to make sure all the work ties together well.
26th February 2009
This is my last session to get everything done, and my video still isn't done!! I did some over reading week and it magically deleted itself from my memory stick which was very stressful. My invitation has only just arrived too, so I've had to rush a bit to put it all together, and the transfer paper I bought just hasn't worked and keeps peeling off the pieces which is very annoying. Still, I know I'll be done. I'm hoping to have some time tomorrow morning before the hand-in to do a quick website and some animations, so that I can hopefully grab some extra points there if the video doesn't turn out to well. Its going to be a late night!!
Today was the briefing for a brand new module, Innovative Cut. It looks really excited and I can't wait to get stuck in and working on the research sheets. This week we've been asked to get some fabrics, and to do some research on Japanese designers, and Margiela, as they use innovative cutting methods, which is an important part of this module. I'm going to go over to Dewsbury and get some fabrics to do some samples with.
19th January 2009
Today I did some samples and began to do some research inspired by the designers, and my chosen words 'twist and curve'. I'm not really sure what direction I want to go in at the moment, and I do feel like we're being pushed to get research done a bit too quickly. I don't feel ready to work with fabrics, and I don't want to waste time until I have an idea that could be inspiring.
26th January 2009
During this session we had a workshop to try and come up with a garment idea based around our research. I'm really didn't feel ready for this, and although I like what I've done, it really was pot look! I need to really crack on with research in my own time this week so I know what I'm doing. I think I'm going to start looking at twisting and distoring pictures of figures, combining the twist and curve words together.
9th February 2009
Today we've been working on patterns and first toiles. I really cracked on last week (as I really had to!), and now I feel a lot more focused. I'm also feeling better as the tutors have realized that we really did have too much to do, and people were horribly stressed, so they've pushed the deadline back for this module which is great news. I know now that I have time to do a really good garment rather than rushing it. I think I want my pattern to be soft and twisted. I don't want there to be any darts of straight lines, so it will twist and curve around the body.
23rd Febraury 2009
Having made my pattern and a toile, I'm pleased with the garment, but I do need to make some alterations. The length isn't right, and the side panels need to be changed to fit better. Its also a bit small so I need to add an inch or two to the front and back so it'll fit better!
I just need to decide know what I'm going to do about side details, and if I want the detail to be overlocked or edged in bias binding.
2nd March 2009
This week I have been finalising my pattern and I believe I am ready to start on my final garment. I am eager to get the project in as soon as possible as I am aware that I have many other modules on the go at the moment! I have been experimenting with the side panels and have decided that larger abstracted forms and overlocking in a contrasting colour work best to bring out the shapes and styles of the garment. This feature needs to be fairly complicated to bring out the simplicity in the main garment.
16th March 2009
Over the last few weeks I have been going through my research and checking that everything is there and works well. I'm very pleased with my paper work. I think it is strong, appropriate and well thought through. I only hope that my final garment is good enough. I need to get started on it! I seem to have so little time! I have cut out and overlocked the pieces, and intend on starting the sew them together soon!
23rd March 2009
This week I have been putting together my final garment and I'm afraid its all gone rather badly! The pattern turned out to be too big and so I had to take the stitches out and re-sew, which has left hole marks in the fabric and looks a little odd. Secondly, the overlocker hasn't been working well and it has left a bit of a mess on my hem and sleeves. I don't want to turn them up as that is not the kind of finish I was hoping for, but I'm worried that if I leave them like this, then they will look very messy and unprofessional. All in all, I'm very disapointed. I want to start again but have neither the money for fabric, the time, or the patience. I think I must realise that sometimes things don't go right and this is my project for that! Hopefully, the paper work will keep my mark at a reasonable level.
1st April 2009
This week I have decided to hand all my work in. I know the deadline isn't for a long time, and I did want to re-do my garment but I have had a very difficult few weeks and I am just eager to go home. I am aware that I will not receive a fantastic mark for this project and do understand why. I know I shall be disapointed, but it is my decision and I shall have to live with it! As I said, hopefully my paper work will help to bring my mark up.
This week we had a session on video editing and production for the new module was really interesting and I've learnt a lot. However, I'm going to come in for a day over reading week and do some practice to write up some detailed notes and produce some sceen shots for my file.
I've never used IMovie before and although I find it a bit confussing I think it's something I can get better at, like everything, with practice.
7th November 2008
Today we had a session on Illustrator, which is so relevant to the course at the moment. I've learnt loads of new skills, and Bruce was really patient with us so if we had a problem, we all felt like we could ask him. I really want to use these new skills in my range plan- but its time consumming and I need to get some practice in. Still, its a really good thing to learn, and I know I'll use this information in the future.
14th November 2008
Today we had a sessions using Flash Animator which was really tricky, but really satisfying to see it all come together. Bruce worked through a few basic animations with us, so we could see how they work and then we tried to do a couple of our own. To begin with, I really struggled as its just not something that comes naturally to me, but I gave it a good try.
19th November 2008
This afternoon we had a session on using professional photography equipment and techniques which is, again, something totally new to me. Out tutor showed us how the equipment worked, what all the options were on the cameras, how to use and edit lighting, and generally how to take a good, ad flattering picture. It was really interesting and I learnt a lot. I got into a group with Kate and Claire and we spend the rest of the afternoon playing around with the equipment ourselves and taking some photos. Some of them have turned out really well. I've realized that the more you practice, the better you become. Claire and I have said that we would like to book out the studio again and take some more photos that we can develop for the project. I'm particularly interested in taking some action shots, and I've asked Gemma Goldstone, who is a dancer to allow me to take some action shots of her that I can then play around with in Illustrator. All in all, its been great.
28th November 2008
This week has been dedicated to an introduction to Dreamweaver. I've never used it before, and I'm sorry to say that I found it unnecessarily complicated!
I don't understand about web coding and I doubt I ever will. However, I did listen intently and I've written myself some good notes to follow in the construction of my own website next week. This week I want to carry on exploring websites and do some research on the kind of layout that I think works the best. I really do want to prove, that although I'm not great with technology, I'm trying my best, and I'm eager to learn. I know how important it is to have all these skills in the industry and so I'm really trying to to pick them up.
6th December 2008
This week I worked to put together my website and to create some animations. I've found it quite difficult, as some of my links wouldn't work, and some of the pictures just wouldn't go in properly, but I tried hard, and I think I've put together a decent attempt!
12th December 2008
This week, I've been putting the final touches to my website and making some animations. I'm quite please with how one of my animations have turned out. Its just a bit of fun, but I think it shows that I've tried to do quite a lot of things and that I want to learn and develop these new skills.
19th December 2008
Overall, this project has been really good. I do feel like I've learnt a lot, and I know that I'll continue to use these skills in future projects. For me, learning how to use Illustrator has been really useful, and I've spent loads of time working on it, even for other modules.
I feel like I've tried everything and that I've put together a good portfolio of work.
19th January 2009
(71%) Getting my mark back was a real relief. I had hoped I would do well , but to get a first is great. Its definitely boosted my confidence, and I know feel that I'm a lot more likely to keep using these new programs, as I know that I can do it!
The lecture was interesting and told me a good deal about how companies work etc. However, a presentation was mentioned, and I'm nervous. I've read and reread the brief, but an unsure about what I should be doing at the moment. This is something that I need to be careful of- getting stressed about work to do, before any work is set. I need to realize that more instructions will be given at a later point, and also, that as the whole of second year have this module- if I don't know what to do, then it is unlikely that anyone will.
She really does know what she's talking about and the information could be useful, but we're yet to be told what we're supposed to be getting on with. Its ok to say 'do a presentation' but there should be a lecture schedule helping us to know what research we should be doing, what we need to know, and when the presentation should be put together. I know people would argue that we're second years now and we shouldn't be told when to do things. But this is a new subject and more guidance is needed. Otherwise everyone will be putting their presentations together the night before- hoping for the best.
23rd October 2008
The last couple of weeks, I'm afraid to say I've found this module rather tedious! No-one has told us yet what is going on, and I find the lectures a bit dull. Still, I've taken it into my own hands and I've contacted a footwear company that I think have an innovative product that I can develop further to attract more customers etc. They've agreed to send me a press pack, and some information about the set-up and development of the products. I've written a presentation plan, including my marketing plan so that I can do some research and start writing up my presentation next week. I want to develop a new product and so I also need to produce some samples over reading week
6th November 2008
This week I've got the press pack, and I've got a book out of the library on writing marketing plans and creating a company- its full of jargon, but has the basics too and it has helped me to write a good plan of what I need to do, and how I shall organise my presentation. I've also scanned in some images from the press pack to use on the presentation and make it look professional. All I need to do now is continue and come up with some prototype products.
The lecture's are still seeming like a total waste of time- convinced I may have actually fallen asleep this week. Sorry Bridget!
12th November 2008
Since getting all the information about the company, I've started to put together the presentation. Its been going well, and I keep refering back to the brief, as I want to make sure I get all the information in. My only worry is that it may be too long as I have to do a case study and discuss Redfoot and their competitors before discussing the new product.
23rd November 2008
This week I've been finalizing my presentation. I need to add a couple of extra pictures here and there and I have to do plenty of practice, but I'm fairly pleased with how it is. I have been practicing it, and have written a few concise note cards to help me. I don't want to have to read them but its always nice to have them there just in case!
Its hard to know whether I'll do well or not as this module was rather unexpected and I don't know Bridget well so its difficult to know what she expects or how she marks.
The most important thing I think is that I get all the information across in a confident and coherant manner!
10th December 2008
I've just done my presentation, and I'm pleased. It went really well, and although Bridget said it was too long, she said that she understand it had to be to get the information across. I just have to hope that I get a good mark now!
19th January 2009
Getting my mark back has been a real suprise, I got 87%!.. I had never expected that in a million years. Its really boosted my confidence in this module and its really encouraging. It's also nice to know, as if I don't manage a first in another module, this grade should boost it all up. I'm really pleased!
21st January 2009
This term we're to put together a business plan for the new product that we created in term one. Having put together a really thorough presentation, I already have most of the information I need to put together the plan. However, I'm going to get some research online about legal status's, other business plans, business insurance etc, as these are things that I'm unsure about.
11th February 2009
I've started work on my business plan and its going fairly well, but I need to ask Bridget for some help on a few questions, as I can't see how they are relevant to my case study.
I'm also stuggling to get some of the information about my case study company. They just don't want to tell me how many products they sell or how many people they employ. It's really very frustrating!
25th February 2009
I've just spoken to Bridget, and apprently there are different questions to fill in for the case study business plan!! I wish I'd known earlier as I spent hours filling the other plan in. How very frustrating!
3rd March 2009
This week I have been trying to gather together the information for my business plan. However, I've been having trouble. I've emailed the company to ask for their 5 year plans, aims etc etc, and they have emailed me back saying that they won't tell me in case their competitors get hold of the information. I've managed to get the financial information and employees information from the Companies House website, but it has cost me £8.00 which is ridiculous! Overall, I'm finding it all very frustrating. I'm going to have to 'make up' some of the information if I can't get it, which is something that I really really don't want to have to do.
16th March 2009 This week I have been finalising the notes to put together my business plan. I have been writing what I will write in each section. I want to start writing it properly this week and I know that I will need to add images, graphs and tables etc into my appendix as well as keeping together my final bibliography.
30th March 2009 Over the last two weeks I have been typing up my final business plan and I'm pleased to say that as a general rule it is a success. I'm pleased at my ability to answer the questions and I know that the appendix tables and graphs back up the information I have given as well as the quotes I have added in from popular business books. My only worry is that it is a little too long. I have cut out what I could but feel I cannot cut out any more information for fear it will not make sense. Over the next week I shall check through this plan for mistakes. I am glad though that it is nearly finished!
The morning lecture was interesting in several ways. The lecturer was good, and did hold our attention, but he made some odd points and I'm not really sure if I gained that much from it. He seems to think that an artist exploits the proletariat and has a desire to be bourgeoisie. In my eyes, it is quite the opposite. The arts exploits the bourgeoisie by making them pay an incredible amount for an item which is essentially useless. Its the perfect example of the proletariat exploiting the bourgeoisie- getting their own back so to speak. Still, I should keep an open mind, especially for the discussion at critical studies next week.
On Tuesday we discussed the lecture on Marxism, which I'm glad to admit helped me to understand the subject a good deal better. Tom discussed the connection between art and socialism, which I find very interesting. I can now see how these lectures are relevant and I'm glad we're doing them. They're giving us that extra knowledge which helps us to understand the place of fashion within society. This knowledge also helps us to prove to others that we're not a bunch of fashion airheads which tends to be a popular opinion!
9th October 2008
On Thursday we had our second lecture, which thanks to the success of the seminar, was a good deal more helpful. The lecturer seemed a lot more relaxed and he gave us some useful names of important 20th century socialists that I should research further. I find this topic really interesting, and on Tuesday, Tom talked us through the lecture and provided me with a lot of new information. I'm wondering whether it is a topic I would like to do for my essay, and I need to go to the Library and gets some books out to get some info and help me decide if it right for me.
23rd October 2008
The last two lectures have been really interesting. One was on Freud, and this weeks one was on The gaze. We haven't had Tom, so we haven't had a chance to talk about them, but I find these subjects really interesting, and I'm wondering whether a combination of the two topics could work for my essay. I'm going to do some research into this, see what I can find!
6th November 2008
Today's lecture was on Panopticisim. Now I'm faced with a real conundrum! This topic has really interested me too, and so I'm really struggling to decide which topic would be better for the essay. I had a look in the library and there are loads of books and journal articles on Freud and panopticism, but not very many on 'The Gaze' Also, 'The Gaze' has turned out to be rather complicated, and I'm not sure it would be appropriate.
I'm going to see what I can find this week, and I'll talk to Tom, see if he can suggest anything.
20th November 2008
I've decided to write my essay on panopticism and psychoanalysis. My title will be something like 'how does panopticism influence our fashion choices'. I've found this topic really fascinating, and I've got plenty of research to help me write the essay!
13th January 2009 I've managed to finished my essay over Christmas, with a little help from my sister to do the harvard referencing. I'm fairly pleased with it, I know I've got some good theories/ideas into in, but Tom mentioned how picky he is when he's marking and its really worried all of us. He's probably joking, but he says he takes marks off for column that are too big, and images in black and white. I just don't find his comments very helpful really, and they seem to have caused a little stress amongst the others who are rather unimpressed!
We had the briefing this week for the second half of the module. We have to do a presentation and a summary, based on a chosen text. I don't really mind doing presentation, but if Tom is as picky marking these, as he is the essays, then I can't expect a high mark!
24th February 2009 This term I've been researching a text for my presentation and doing some research around he subject. I've found an interview with Picasso, that's really interesting and honest, and I think this would be appropriate. I haven't really found the sessions very useful though. Tom is really just not bothered, and people talk during the class so I just can't concentrate which is very frustrating!
15th March 2009 Over the last few weeks I have been working on putting together my presentation, text summary and hand-out. I had a tutorial with Tom, and he liked my chosen text which is encouraging. I think the presentation should go well, I've put a lot of work into it, particularly the presentation as I know its something that Tom is fussy about. I'm just a bit worried as I'm totally exhausted and I'm struggling to remember what to say etc. Normally, I am pretty good at blagging my way through a presentation, and nerves don't really bother me. But this week I'm worried that I'll loose my way and forget what to say. I need to make some quick note cards to help me. I just need to remember to be confident and concise!
My first session was a full day- helping out on a HE open day. I had to give a tour, talk to students and parents, and also discuss the fashion course with prospective students. It was tireing but really interesting and I think I was helpful- answering people's questions as best as I could. It's also really good, because I know that if I can't work because of College work, they're going to understand which is a calming consideration.
This week I have been continuing with my research on work placements.
So far I've sent CV's off to...
-Vogue Magazine; Vogue House, Hanover Square, London, W1S 1JU
-The Gucci Group; Human Resources, 4Grafton Street, London, W1S 4EF
-Vivienne Westwood; Westwood Studios, 9-15 Elche Street, London, SW11 4AU
-Alexander McQueen; 10 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UQ
-Johnathon Saunders; email@example.com
But I'm interested in sending off more CV's to more companies as security. Getting a good placement is really important to me so I need to make sure I get some good contacts.
Today I've been researching a few more companies to send CV's to....
-French Connection; firstname.lastname@example.org
-Philip Treacy; Philip Treacy London, 1Havelock Terrace, London, SW8 4AS
email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
-Zara; 48 Warwick Street, London, W1B 5NL, 020 7851 4300.
This week I have been calling up a few of the above companies to ask if they have received my CV and just general to pester them in as un-annoying a way as possible. However, whilst all companies were only too kind to inform me that they had received my CV, they all also said that it takes them 2 months to catch up going through them all and so I shouldn't expect to hear from them until at least after Christmas. Whilst this is mildly frustrating, I can see their problem, and it does give me the advantage of an extra month or two to get my portfolio together and up to scratch ready for (hopefully) and interview or two in January.
Over the last few weeks I've been trying to organise the placement, and although I've had almost no success with the large fashion companies, I have heard back from a Milliner who works in Harrogate and has her own company. She also went to the college, and my school, so she's been really keen to offer me a placement as she knows I'll be dedicated and motivated!
I'm going to go over to Harrogate to meet her, and take my portfolio to show her the kind of work I do. I hadn't really thought about doing Millinery, but I really enjoyed the elective, and I'm doing it again this year so its definitely become an option I'd consider.
I've been over to meet the Milliner and she was fantastic! I really enjoyed the experience, and it would great to see how she works, and the kind of products she makes. All her hats are really beautiful, and she told me that if I want to do a placement there, I would be her assistant and could be involved in all aspects of her company, which would be a really great experience and something I could really learn from. She told me to have a think about it, but unless I hear anything else, I'm really eager to accept her placement.
This week I have been luckily enough to receive a phone call from House of Fraser to whom I sent an email last week. The have offered me a placement in the Linea womenswear department of their London head office, which is a private label for the company. Although I do really like idea of completing a millinery placement, I just can't give up on this chance! I have rung Jennifer at Adorn and explained the situations and she says she totally understands and is prepared for me to do the placement later in the summer. I just need to find accommodation in London now!
Working in London; a taste of Industry
Day 1- Monday 27th April 2009 Today was my first day at H of F and it was exhausting! I arrived early at head office which is situated on Baker Street. I'm living near Brick lane, and it takes me about 45 mins to get to work which isn't too bad!
As I arrived I signed in with reception and Caroline, the assistant buyer of Linea came down to meet me and gave me a tour of the building. The office is enormous and open plan with a kitchen, toilets and a photocopying/printer area for each department.
After the tour, Caroline started me on some postal orders and photocopying. I know that they can only give me the simple jobs, as they can't give me the important jobs unless I make a mistake. Hopefully as I prove myself, the jobs will become more interesting.
In the afternoon I was invited to sit in on a fitting session where a buyer, designer and atelier from each department take the garments sent to them by the manufacturer and fit them on a perfect size 12 model. Alterations are made accordingly and sent back to the manufacturer for the changes to be made. All in all, four versions of each garment are sent before approval; first garment, blue seal, silver seal, gold seal, and finally approved garments are sent into store. During fitting sessions, garments from across the board, aka, gold seals, and blue seals are fitted in the same session. Although the Linea garments aren't really my style (they're aimed at women aged 40-55) I can now appreciate all the work that goes into to producing a garment for industry.
Day 2- Tuesday 28th April 2009 This morning I was sent to John Lewis to buy coloured embroidery threads. I then had to separate them into the specific colours for each seasonal colour boards, cut them up and staple a sample of the colours onto sheets. The idea is, a sheet such as this with the colours for the season on, are sent to the manufacturers who send back 'lab dips' which are pieces of fabric dyed to the specific shades. A manufacturer for a particular garment is chosen based on their ability to match the colours as well as their history- such as if they are better at producing tailored garments, but do not produce knitwear.
Although this task was arduous and did in fact take all day (I had to do 80 sheets with 10 colours on each!!), I did learn a great deal about the process of finding a manufacturer and I did the job well, hence am proving to Caroline and the rest of the department that I am capable.
Day 3-Wednesday 29th April 2009 This morning I have been working on some collection and mood boards for the Linea spring/summer 2010 collection. Caroline says that they don't usually let interns do jobs like this but that I am a neat worker and so they'll let me give it a try. I really enjoyed doing this, it filled a fair bit of time and I worked hard to make them super neat! Caroline loves them and says they're going to have to get me back just to make up boards for them!
In the afternoon, I went to Oxford Street with the buying assistant Louise to check out the competition. Linea consider their competitors to me Marks and Spencer's, Hobbs, LK Bennett and Banana Republic. Personally, I think they're being a bit unrealistic, and based on the garments I've seen and the prices, I would imagine that the Linea lady is also likely to shop in Marks and Spencer, Great Plains, Planet, Zara and perhaps even H & M!
Day 4- Thursday 30th April 2009 This morning I worked on mood boards again, and also sent some garments back to manufacturers.
In the afternoon Louise and I went to Westfield shopping centre in Shepherds bush where there is a House of Fraser that is suffering greatly in the recession. The Linea line in particular is struggling, and so we headed off to see if there was anything we could do to improve merchandising, add offers and check out the quantity of stock.
The Linea department looked good, but the staff informed us that the problem they're having is that they have far too much stock and that garments of the same line or collection are being sent so far apart that people can't buy a whole matching outfit, as they might otherwise do. With this thought in mind, Louise and I returned to head office to let the distribution team aware of the problem. Hopefully this will help!
Day 5- Friday 1st May 2009 This morning I was sent to organise some wooden hangers in the press office at the oxford street store. Anne in the press office is pregnant and can't lift the heavy boxes or bend a great deal so I went over the pick up 40 top hangers and 15 bottom hangers for a press event. Caroline told me to leave them there and a courier would pick them up but the head office is only 10 minutes walk down the road and I was heading back there anyway so I took them with me, which made me very popular in the Linea office!
This afternoon, I have been sitting in on an Untold fitting session. Untold are another H of F private label and their garments are very similar to those at Coast. I found it really interesting sitting in on a fitting with a different label as the quality, styles and approaches to fitting are very different!
Day 6- Monday 4th May 2009 Today was a bank holiday and Caroline told me to take the day off and so I enjoyed a trip to the V and A to check out the Stephen Jones millinery exhibition. I loved the collection, and thought it was so nice to be able to pop over to the museum with so little difficulty. Being in London definitely has its perks when it comes to doing things at the weekend that I would never normally be able to do.
Day 7- Tuesday 5th May 2009 This morning I had the exciting job of steaming several rails of clothes a presentation Linea had with their head of floor in the afternoon. I have to say, I do feel that this job was tedious, but I did it with a smile on my face to try and show Caroline that I was prepared to work hard and get involved in all areas of industry.
In the afternoon I have been putting together some more mood boards as a reward for steaming well! I also sat in on another fitting session for Linea.
Day 8- Wednesday 6th May 2009 Today I have had the opportunity to help Anne out in the press office in the Oxford St store. I have had such a great day!! Anne has been lovely and really needed me which was great. Together we organised stories (a magazine/tv programme sends us an email with a list of garments they want, for example, they may want strapless summer dresses, print only, in a size 10). Anne and I then go down to the shop floor and pick out a maximum of 8 items to send to the company. We try and pick out private H of F labels first as its important to promote these first. Afterwards, we take down the details of the garments, taking them off stock and adding them to a spreadsheet to show which magazine has what. We then pack up the items and and add a sheet of the garment details to the bag requesting that the magazine send us the items back within a week (although this rarely happens!) Finally, the bags get taken down to reception to be picked up either by PR in motion or a courier. Another important job is unpacking returned bags of items from press and putting them back on the stock sheets and back on the shop floor.
All in all, its a never ending job, and very admin based, but I did enjoy picking out garments and I had good fun with Anne!
Day 9-Thursday 7th May 2009 Today Louise and I organised the fitting rail, adding garments sent in my manufacturers ready to be fitted, we then sent off some post and got everything ready for a fittin in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, Louise and I went to the Oxford St store to check the Linea display and organise the new display for the new collection of Linea hats that have arrived from millinery Nigel Rayment.
Day 10- Friday 8th May 2009 Today, Anne asked if I would return to the press office and give her a hand again. It was another great day, hard work but good fun and Anne has asked me to return again on Monday as she says there is someone coming on that she thinks I would like to meet! I am very curious and more than happy to take her up on her offer if Louise agrees!
Day 11- Monday 11th May 2009 I've had a really exciting day today and had the chance to meet Gok Wan and Ben Shepherd who were filming Gok's Fashion Fix in the mensewear floor of the Oxford Street H of F. Both of them were very friendly and amusing and I was greatful to Anne to have to chance to meet a celeb! In the afternoon, Anne and I organised to office as it had gotten rather chaotic during Gok's visit. Hopefully I'll have to chance to help Anne again as she's been really kind and helpful.
Day 12- Tuesday 12th May 2009 Today I organised the spring/summer 2010 Linea Hats collection into 'trans' boxes and categories. I had to check the labels on each hat, mark them off on the stock sheets, take a photo and then add them to the appropriate box. Although it wasn't the most facinating job, I did enjoy doing it as I feel it was a constructive job and I could see the result at the end of the day!
Day 13- Wednesday 13th May 2009 Today, I was sent upstairs to the flat where the press items for the autumn/winter 2009/2010 press show is to take place next week. I spend most of the day hand sewing in Linea labels which was very boring! However, my hand sewing has improved greatly, and it was great to see the press show coming together and watching the displays take shape.
Day 14- Thursday 14th May 2009 This morning, the office was filled with panic as there had been a small flood in the night and the computer server had been damaged which meant that all the computers and phones were down! This caused a small amount of chaos as it is essential to keep in contact with suppliers and manufacturers. To fill some time, I went to Westfield again with the distribution team to check out competitors, special offers and stock.
In the afternoon, I was sent to get a dress altered for the press show which cost them £40! It amazes me that in an office full of people dedicating their life to fashion, not one of them can actually sew or use a sewing machine. They don't even have a machine on hand. If they hand, I could have easily made the alteration at no cost!
Day 15- Friday 15th May 2009 Today was my final day in the office, and although I'm exhausted and ready to go back to Leeds which seems calm in comparisson with London, I do feel sad that I'm having to leave as I do now have a taste for Industry and independance.
Today I typed up and added the swing tags to all the Linea and Linea Weekend garments for the press event. I also had the chance to sit in on my final fitting session which was great.
In the afternoon, Louise got an email from Anne asking if I would stay and take on the role of a press officer! I was very flatered, and also very tempted, but knew that in fact it would be a waste not to finish my degree after all my hard work. Hopefully, the job will still be on offer next year after I have graduated!
All in all, I've had a good experience here. The jobs havn't always been very exciting, but I expected that and I do feel that I have learn't a great deal about Industry and how it works. As to choosing a job, if anything, this placement has put me off wanting to be a buyer as it is all so admin based and I feel that I would feel very deprived of creative work! However, I am now interested in working in a press office, and I also like the idea of being a designer within a company such as H of F.