Christina Mikelis

Why did you choose LCF and BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories: Product Design and Innovation?

On my foundation year at Central St. Martins I was in 3DD fashion, which was designing hats, shoes, bags and other body accessories. Naturally the next step after my foundation was to go to the Cordwainers Accessories course at LCF and learn from the best in the industry.

Can you tell us a bit about your course? What is the balance of practical work and theoretical study?

Our time is taken up mostly by researching, designing, developing, experimenting with materials and techniques. However, there is a lot to be learnt when first starting the course. The course has a theoretical side, with cultural studies and academic writing, however the practical side is predominant.

What has been the best part of your course so far?

Fellow class mates, the tutors, the extremely helpful technicians, the endless amounts of leather and, most importantly, the design work. Being given a topic and having the freedom to go wherever you like with it allows you to do something that you are interested in. This method of working allows each student to really get excited and creative.

Do you have much contact with industry on your course, either through placements or projects?

In Year One we don’t have contact with the industry.  I am currently working on a project that asks me to design a range for a well-known brand, but this is to help the students learn about meeting a brand’s requirements and understanding the process that a designer and their work must go through. In Year Two there is a project with industry and then once Year Two is complete, there is an option to take a year within industry and to then come back and complete Year Three.

What’s a typical week like for you?

No weeks are the same, which is what I love about this course. However, we would usually have a pattern cutting lesson early in the week with our pattern cutting tutor, then at some point we might have a tutorial with other students to look at work and talk about our ideas and thoughts. 

There might be an IT lesson to help us with Photoshop and Illustrator for a few hours and then the rest of the time it is up to the students to work on either design projects or go into the open access workshops at college and experiment with materials.

How has your LCF experience been so far?

My experience is very different to a student studying Womenswear, for example. The Cordwainers Accessories course is located at Golden Lane, where the building is split into two areas, footwear and handbags. The students studying there are all part of a community and walking into the building and seeing lots of people you know everyday is a really nice feeling.

What’s London life like?

Moving to London was one of the best moments in my life. London is such a diverse and multi cultural city. Whatever you want to do, you can find somewhere in London to do it.

What or who inspires you most?

Everyone and everything around me.

What are you hopes for when you have finished the course?

My hopes would be to find a designing job in a fashion house when I leave. But until then, what I hope to get from this course is an extensive knowledge of the industry, the craftsmanship, the materials and the designing process.