Updated: Sep 16, 2021
In the summer of 2019, I spent 7 weeks abroad in England at Central Saint Martins – University of the Arts London. Throughout my time there, I took two courses in Fashion Communication and Fashion Design, got to explore the city of London, and gained confidence in my abilities and in myself.
The first week I arrived in London, I met up with my grandmother Becca who had been traveling in Europe. We set out for the Cotswolds to spend some time in the countryside. We spent a few nights at a boutique hotel that was surrounded by gardens and beautiful green lawns. We got to explore many gardens and even got to visit St. Peter’s church in Leckhampton, where my ancestors are buried. After our time in the Cotswolds, we made our way to London to explore my home for the next 6 weeks. Our first day there, we went to the V&A Museum to see the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibit. I was mesmerized by the intricacy of the designs and loved being able to see the progression of the Dior brand over the years through the creations of the different designers. After a week of excitement with Becca, it was time to say goodbye. We moved into my little dorm in Russell Square, and I was ready to start my next adventure.
The following Monday, I started my first course at Central Saint Martins – Fashion Communication. This course included photography sessions, creating promotional videos, and planning and directing a fashion show. We each got time to play around in the photography studio with different lighting, films, and props. The goal was to capture the essence of our subject through the photograph. My favorite lesson we completed was creating the promotional video. My group decided to promote hair clips for people of all genders and ages. After completing the hair, makeup and styling, we filmed our video throughout campus. We then edited our clips and put them all together for the final product! Our final assignment was to plan and execute a fashion show for the knitwear course that was going on at the same time. This included choosing models, creating styling boards, picking a theme and location, and all of the show day preparations. I assisted the styling team in communicating with the designers about their vision, and modeled in the show as well. Overall, it was a success. I learned so many skills that will help me brand my own designs and help me market them to the world.
As my first month in London was coming to an end, I was very excited for the arrival of my friends Gin and Emily. The three of us were taking an Apparel Design course together and were anxious to get started. The first week of the course consisted of field trips around the city to photograph colors, shapes and textures to use as inspiration. We got to visit different museums, markets, historical sites and much more. After gathering our inspiration, we sketched out our designs and began draping them on mannequins. At the end of the course, we had a showcase of all of our designs, sketches and inspiration images. This class placed a huge emphasis on the design process, which was really exciting for me. It pushed me out of my comfort zone to design things I wouldn’t have thought of before, and helped me grow as a designer.
Outside of time spent in class, we explored the different neighborhoods of London, ate lots of good food, and shopped of course! My favorite restaurant we ate at was Duck and Waffle, located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower. I loved every minute I got to spend abroad and was not ready to come home! I will continue to apply the skills and lessons I learned to my designs, and to my everyday life.