Eva Lai is a technician and alumni of London College of Fashion specialising in lingerie. We talked to her about her experiences of studying and teaching at LCF.
Can you tell us about your background - qualifications and education?
I graduated from London College of Fashion (BA) Fashion Contour with a first class honour.
What did you do before you worked here?
I worked as a design assistant at Agent Provocateur, assistant to senior designer at Kanye West, designer at Sambalina Couture Bridal Lingerie, freelanced as a CAD designer and seamtress, also started my own label eLai, which I’m still running.
What do you do as a technician, what do you specialise in?
I am a specialist contour technician. I specialise in lingerie, nightwear and swimwear.
What is your approach to working with students?
I have been in the students’ position, so I know what they must be feeling being on the course. I try to be patient and friendly so students are happy to approach me with any problem. I can be hard on them sometimes when it comes to technical practices, but they know it’s just tough love!
What do you feel is unique about the learning experience here at LCF?
There is always someone here to guide and help you in class and also open access, 7 days a week! So it’s completely down to the students on how much they will learn and gain during their time here. LCF also has great connections with the fashion industry, which provides students with a lot of opportunities to showcase and network. The support from staff continues even after you have graduated.
What do you hope the students learn from you?
I want them to understand the reason behind each skill / technique that I teach, and how to apply it in their career. I hope they learn to develop their creativity alongside with strong technical skills, and make the future of the intimate apparel industry a lot more exciting.
What have you learnt from them?
They are constant inspirations to me. When they come up with exciting designs, I always learn innovative techniques, and new ways of construction during the process of us problem solving together.
What sets LCF students apart from students from other colleges?
LCF students have the freedom to let their creativity run wild here, without any limitation. While tutors and technicians will teach technical skills that make them employable in the industry at the same time, so they are able to create new and exciting products and retain commercially viability.
What is an average day at work like for you?
Everyday I come across different students, working on different projects, asking different questions. So there is never a dull moment. Sometimes quite hectic before deadlines. But it is fun, exciting and certainly a privilege to work with these great new talents on so many wonderful creations!
What would be your advice to people considering the course or subject area?
Fashion is not an easy career path, and not as glamorous as people think. You must be prepared to put in the hours of hard work. Make sure you really love the subject, are eager to learn, and don’t give up!