Anna won the Shiseido competition to design a make-up bag to be sold across the UK in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, an industry project run as part of the course.
It made more sense for me to do the part-time course, so that I could get work experience at the same time – doing both works well; they benefit each other. I did six internships in total, which really helped, especially working with young designers who are under a lot more pressure to produce collections with a smaller budget.
I worked with each designer for between one and three months, and with Henry Holland for two weeks. The internships were very hands on; I learnt a lot about pattern cutting, for example.
At the moment, my style is quite anti-feminine; androgynous, large oval shapes with an empowering silhouette and vivid clashing prints and colours. The best thing about the course was that we were able to learn how to organise a catwalk show quite early on in the second year, and the tailoring lessons were the best of the opportunities given.
Shiseido ran a competition to design a new make up bag for Autumn/Winter 2014, which I won. I received a prize fund and got to work to a designated brief and budget. My bags will be displayed with my name inside, nationwide across stores such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser. The tutors are great; they push us forward and are available to ask for help, which has been really useful.
I was also able to do some part-time paid work as a stylist and get a stronger eye for detail. People might be put off doing a part-time course because it’s a year longer, but it gives you more time to develop your own process and style. And you can enjoy the opportunities to do internships instead of leaving the course without stepping stones or contacts. It just gives you more time to explore.
I’m now in my fourth year and it all depends on my final collection. I don’t know about starting my own label because it takes a lot of money and time but I could work in a design house. Or in trend forecasting, which examines lifestyle trends and predicts future lifestyle choices. The course has prepared me for different elements of work in fashion design.