During our BA14 season we are speaking to graduating students from across all of our BA courses as part of our Class of 2014 feature. Here BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print student Emily Schofield talks to us about her inspirations, LCF experiences and future plans.
LCF: What have you enjoyed most about studying at LCF?
Emily Schofield: I have most enjoyed the freedom and autonomy to push my creative ideas to the absolute maximum; this has made me a more confident print designer. LCF has encouraged me to be very hands-on with my approach to print, to push boundaries, to be innovative with colour, materials and fabrics and to open my eyes to the inspiration around me. Having access to our unrivalled screen-printing studio has been invaluable; I will definitely miss it when I leave LCF. Although my style has gravitated more towards digital printing as the course has progressed, I will always start a design by hand, through paintings, drawings or even collages, as I feel it results in a much more textural and personal print.
LCF: Have you undertaken work experience?
ES: For my final project at LCF I undertook a live brief with Heidi Klein, the luxury swimwear brand. This live brief encapsulated a balance between creativity and refinement. I was able to implement what I have learnt throughout my degree in the context of a clearly defined brief. I am confident that having this brief in my portfolio will stand me in greater stead going into the fashion industry, where designs need to be tailored to a client. It has been exciting for me to venture out of my customer norm, which in the past three years at LCF has usually been a ‘twenty-something’ female with a quirky aesthetic. My live brief with Heidi Klein has allowed me to immerse myself in a project with a more mature, luxury appeal, and consequently broaden my antennae for different market levels. This project has been of the utmost significance in exposing my creative abilities to different customers and refining my work to the real word. Colour is always so important to me when I design. I just adore all colours and love to play with the proportion and combination of colours on a garment. The live brief with Heidi Klein has made me focus my use of colour. I have been encouraged to study the effect certain colours can have on slimming the body and bringing out a tan.
LCF: What inspires you?
ES: I am more inspired by artists and photographers than designers. My favourite photographer is Saul Leiter, who has been influential in a number of my projects at LCF. His work is exciting, subtle and truly graced with emotion. His use of colour is so sensate and simply ingenious. I referenced him, in particular, in my final graduate collection and his sensitive use of colour made me think deeper when I was considering colour placements in my final prints.
I would however, say I am open minded to where I take my inspiration from and I do not always obtain it from the same places. Although I enjoyed designing my final graduate collection, which was inspired by urban London, I regularly visit the more rural areas of London such as Kew Gardens and Richmond Park.
LCF: What is most important to you about fashion?
ES: I am a huge enthusiast of colour. Colour is so important to me when I am designing. Different colours can create different moods and can make people feel certain ways. There have even been medical studies that have found the positive influence colour can have on the wearer and can even have a secondary influence on the hormones, blood pressure and body temperature of those who are merely looking at it.
LCF: How would you sum up your graduate collection?
ES: For my graduate collection, I created a range of textile samples for womenswear, and the final product was a collection of twelve digitally printed silk scarves. My concept was heavily inspired by my London surroundings. I spent the summer leading up to the final collection taking photographs of London at night, capturing light flairs and reflections from architecture and even some of London’s typography on show all around the city.
LCF: What are your plans for the future? And how do you feel your course will help you?
ES: I would like to get an assistant print designer position in a luxury brand so that I can gain more experience in the luxury market. My ultimate goal is to start my own brand, and in the meantime I will try to keep developing my ideas and abilities in the industry to lay the foundations for this long-term goal.
LCF: What advice would you give someone wanting to study for a BA at LCF?
ES: There is no denying that Fashion Textiles is full on, but as a result, it is extremely rewarding. It is important to get your head down and work hard right from the start. However, it makes it easier when you love what you do; the work no longer becomes a chore, and evolves into more of an addiction. Therefore, my advice to any Fashion Textiles student who is about to start their final graduate collection would be to choose a concept that you really love and that utterly inspires you, as this will make the designing part a whole lot easier!