Sanna Naapuri

After completing the Access to HE Diploma: Fashion course, Sanna graduated from BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Surface Textiles in 2011 and is now studying on the Postgraduate Diploma in Pattern Design and Garment Technology. Her BA graduate work was worn by X-factor finalist Misha B during the live finals in 2011.

Congratulations on having your work featured on the XFactor! How were you approached?

Jessica Derby, an LCF Womenswear graduate working with Laury Smith in the X Factor’s wardrobe department, saw my graduate collection on Showtime and contacted me to use some of the garments for the X Factor.

It was amazing seeing Misha B wearing my collection on stage at the live final.

Did you have to make anything specific or were you able to use items from your existing collections?

Misha wore existing garments from my Autumn/Winter 2011 graduate collection; an oil print velvet cape and matching oil print leggings.

What does it mean to have your work worn in front of millions of people?

It was absolutely incredible (and fairly surreal) as I had been watching the X Factor for the last few series and now my clothes were being worn on stage! It was particularly exciting as it was the live final at Wembley Stadium so I was elated that Misha B had chosen my garments to wear for this final high profile show.

How do you think this will play a part in the future of your career?

It has definitely been one of the highlights of my career so far and has emphasised the importance of having show pieces as well as wearable clothes!

Why did you choose to study Fashion Textiles at LCF?

I had studied Fine Art & Illustration before university, and during the Fashion Portfolio course at LCF I got the opportunity to experiment with printed textiles, which was the perfect combination of fashion and art. The Surface Textiles course gave me the opportunity to really develop my skills in both print and fashion.

What are your lasting impressions of LCF?

The specialist courses at LCF really provide students with a strong knowledge base in their subject areas. The tutors and technicians are so experienced and knowledgeable, so a lot of help is available so long as you are interested in learning.

How did LCF help prepare you for your career?

The best thing at LCF was the work placement term, which gave us the opportunity to work in a studio environment. Through the Fashion Business Resource Studio I was able to apply for a placement at Alexander McQueen, where I got to do an internship as Intern Print Designer for five months. It was an amazing and incredibly inspiring experience and it was great to get the time during the course to get to “work” for a designer and help prepare for jobs in the future.

Did being in London inspire you?

Absolutely - I think London is the most inspiring city for fashion. I have grown up mostly in Dubai, which was a beautiful, but a much smaller and younger city where the industry is still developing. In London fashion is everywhere; people really have the confidence to follow their own ideas and create their own trends so it’s a great place to study fashion.

What did you do when you first left LCF?

During the production of my graduate collection, I realised I wanted to develop my technical skills in pattern cutting and sewing much further, as they really are the most crucial skills every designer needs to have. I started on the Postgraduate Diploma in Pattern Design and Garment Technology at LCF, and so far this course has been really exciting as it has really given me the confidence and skills, both technically as well as creatively, for jobs in the future and eventually my own brand!

I am also currently working on a second collection which will be ready in March 2012.

What advice would you have given to yourself all those years ago at LCF, knowing what you know now?

Try to learn as much pattern cutting and sewing as possible as they really are the basis of all fashion design. And to ask lots of questions!