Emilie Lashmar

Why did you want to study fashion illustration?

I come from a Textiles background, from my A Levels. I was always creating graphics on the computer for websites and I started making when I was 11. I have always been interested in fashion, and liked to combine the two, staying up late drawing designs, and using the computer for graphics. 

For my Art Foundation pathway I chose Fashion, as recommended by my tutor. However, instead of the Fashion Design route, I was more interested in the Promotion from a creative perspective. I modified clothing, then took fashion photographs, created labelling and a website to sell my clothes. Fashion Illustration seemed like a good mix of the two, as I was drawing models and clothing and was interested in illustration.

Can you tell us a bit about your final project?

My final major project included two of my main loves: digital design and Brighton. I believe it's important to choose something that you love and expand on that for your final major project. Your final major project spans over two whole terms, so the last thing you want to do is get bogged down in a vague topic that you're not really interested in. I needed to be able to get a good body of research so I could keep developing my drawings and ideas.

I live by the sea in Brighton. I love everything about the coast, the people, the fashion and, most importantly, the music-filled nightlife. That's what led me to the idea of making and designing a Brighton listings website, focusing mainly on a niche clubbing market. 

I illustrated the main design of the website which will be based around the people and the fashion that make up Brighton's nightlife. It also has a promotional aspect, putting up-and-coming illustrators in touch with club promoters to design flyers and posters. 

How did you find the first two years of your course?

In the first year of BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration, we were able to explore and refine techniques and styles that perhaps we hadn't before. We were set a brief to illustrate and create a student guide to London, this was helpful for those students who perhaps hadn't lived in or spent time in London before. We also completed a term in photography and were able to use the dark rooms and studios to show our ideas. 

Animation was by far my favourite aspect of our first year on the course. We were given a lot of freedom with what we could do with skills we learnt in theory-based classes. The differences in our films, using different methods and styles just shows how you can follow your own path at LCF.

The beauty of studying at LCF is the links to industry and having real briefs set for you, which  sets you up for the working world and is particularly exciting when you have outside companies coming in to set you artwork briefs. 

We worked with Marvel comics, which was very exciting and I really enjoyed reading hundreds of comics as part of my research! Also a competition to create t-shirt designs and other apparel, to raise money for charity, resulted in one of my fellow students having her work modelled by Jaime Winstone, supermodel Jodie Kidd and radio presenter Zoe Ball. The photos of her design were featured in fashion magazines Glamour, Company, Harpers Bazaar, Tatler, vogue.com, and Heat.

In the summer term, we worked closely with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise designers and had meetings with fashion designers such as Meadham Kirchoff, Richard Nicholl and Mary Katrantzou; we were asked to illustrate and design look books for their collections. It was pretty scary as we were actually going to meetings and showing our work to these amazing designers at their studios! LCF has great links with the industry, which is a definite plus about studying here. Overall, the course has been very exciting, fast paced but also lot of hard work!

Does the course have a good balance between digital work and free hand drawing?

In our first year we were taught theory and hands-on classes with programmes such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. These programmes are very important and you should be competent in their use, as the whole of the industry uses them. 

The use of digital work is more down to the choice of the student. When we were set briefs, we can use whichever tools we want. Luckily I was familiar with these programmes before the course so I choose to continue working with them throughout the course.

We also had weekly life drawing classes with dancers and models. For fashion illustration you need to see how the body moves with clothing and often we could style and dress the models and use whichever medium to draw with. It gives a good solid base for fashion drawings. There are options in the second year to pick a unit, where if you want to do more of free hand drawing or digital work you can choose to. I chose the Fashion Graphics course to expand my skills and knowledge.