Laura Jane Salisbury

Laura Jane Salisbury is an MA Pattern and Garment Technology student, converting her credits from Postgraduate Certificate to an MA and working independently with The Able Label, which provides quality, stylish clothes with adapted designs that make self-dressing easier.

Could you introduce yourself and what you’re studying now; did you study your undergraduate course here too?

Hi my name is Laura and I am currently studying MA Pattern and Garment Technology at London College of Fashion. I have also studied for my BA here at LCF on the Fashion Design and Marketing Course.

How did you go about choosing the course?

I was made aware of the course when Susanne contacted me after seeing my portfolio from a colleague at LCF.

The course teaches a fantastic blend of technical and analytical skills that allow you to invent and reinvent your own creative concepts, driving them to a useful external output. It was for these very reasons that I was drawn to the course as I had a specific way of thinking that wasn’t understood by others.

How have you found the course so far?

I have found a wonderful group of friends on the course and the peer analysis that we developed, having worked together significantly, has proved invaluable.

Working together as well as having that competitive drive, adds to the value of the course. It is the flexibility on the course that has allowed us to develop together.

The course has given me a broader technical understanding, which has enhanced my way of thinking and has provided me with the opportunity to project my concepts for better change into an external context which is consistently developing. It is important to understand that, whilst the course appears highly technical, it’s these skills that can encourage greater mindful developments to push your work to the next level. This is the reason why I believe the course has so much to give to a wide spectrum of students from across disciplines.

It is really important to team up with people. It’s a course that believes in you and can help you to reach wider audiences with your concept. Sometimes you have to think about the fact that you are working within a course that has different specialisms of people; but workshops that may seem out of your area can be of more benefit and push you in directions that you hadn't thought of before.

Tell us about converting credits from Pg Dip for MA final project.

Converting the credits has meant that I have only had two extra units to complete to achieve the MA (Research Methods and the MA Project). Although there is time in-between the enrolment of these two units, inclusion with the class and the course hasn’t been lost as full use of the resources has allowed me to undertake extra projects with external company such as The Able Label and proceed with my MA Project. I have also been contributing towards some fit session classes by offering my thoughts on other student's work for development, having had experience from this unit from last year. It is important to me to keep in contact with the rest of the cohort – working together to seek improvement is something I enjoy.

What skills are you learning?

Thorough analysis of garments, and being able to understand more about testing to improve product sustainability has proved helpful in working on projects with external companies. I believe that the structure of this MA has the ability to push developments in the industry and provide essential research information to be built on for a better future.

I have gained independence by converting my credits to complete my MA - the time and space has given me the opportunity to explore and refine connections as well as products which usually doesn’t happen until after completing an MA for most students. Being a flexible student has more advantages than I first thought!

Tell us about your work on independent project with The Able Label.

I have been working with The Able Label for the past few months. It has been important for me to convert my work into a viable external output for use in the industry and so working closely with Katie and Claudette on The Able Label has been invaluable.

I began talks with Katie, the Director of the label back in December. The label provides clothes for people who have suffered a stroke or have severe arthritis and so struggle to dress. It has been important to deliver confidence and independence in the garments as well as cleaver but 'invisible' techniques that can help them to dress themselves. We have been working on three key pieces: a cardigan, trouser and bra vest. The label wanted us to help them generate a core line of garments that can carry across from season to season and gave us three issues that they currently faced that we are currently working on.

The project has been informed by industry deadlines and timings. We have been working closely with Katie, developing case studies and focus discussions with OTs to inform our decisions and become adaptive to the lifestyles of the target customers.
We all seem to gel together well due to the similarities in ethics and cross-disciplinary skillsets; this also constantly drives experimentation and innovation, which is rare in most small companies.

What would be your advice to someone considering postgraduate study?

If you feel that you have something to offer that has the potential to impact on life, then postgraduate study could enhance and drive this to work. Some may say industry experience is important before progressing your studies, but I say this can happen whilst studying. It all depends upon time management and drive to seek the opportunity and the type of person you are.

However if you do investigate the world of postgraduate study:

  • Do not underestimate how much you have to give and seek.
  • Work with a number of quality people to develop your work and team.
  • Have boundless energy for your work but a critical point of analysis.
  • Explore other avenues, the first one may not be the best!
  • Be curious. This is the time for pushing boundaries.
  • Most of all, take time to stand back and observe what you have done.