Priyanka Gangwal

Priyanka is studying MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and hopes to one day apply this to accessories design. Here she tells us how she has found the course so far, what the challenges have been and the highlights.

What were you doing before you applied for this course?

I've always been fascinated by fashion accessories, handbags and footwear especially. I did my undergraduate degree in Fashion and Lifestyle Accessories Design at NIFT (Bangalore) in India. On graduating in 2015, I realised that I knew how to design on paper and prototype, but was keen to gain hands-on experience in real world product development and logistics. Hence I worked as a sourcing manager at one of India's leading fashion accessories brand - Chumbak for a year, before making it to LCF.  

Why did you choose to study this course?

I wanted to do a course which dealt with people and had the potential of really making a positive difference in the fashion industry. I was looking for something 'new', something that not everybody thinks of, not business or accessories related, but fashion oriented, and a course which adds to my existing fashion knowledge. So, when I came across LCF's MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals, I instantly felt I was made for this course.

Has it been what you expected, so far?

Considering the course is the first of its kind worldwide, I was nervous about my choice because every time I told someone, they had that 'sounds interesting, but are you sure?' expression. But it's been much more than what I was expecting. The course is thoroughly challenging, interesting and promising. It feels like I'm learning something new at every lecture. 

What has been the highlight so far?

The fact that there are people from such varied fields in my class: business, design, psychology and arts, (also, from different countries) shows how much potential the course has. Listening to views and opinions from everybody makes the learning process so much more comprehensive.

And what have been the challenges?

I find the course slightly challenging as I'm not from a psychology background, and it requires lots of subject reading. So I'm still in the process of getting used to it, but I've also learnt about time management and planning can help make the learning process a lot less stressful.

What are the LCF staff like?

One of the staff said "you're not my students, you're my colleagues" the very first day of the course. They're very approachable and warm. They are there for all kinds concerns and they put in lots of genuine effort to go out of their way to be there for you for all issues not just about the course.

What is the balance of theoretical and practical work on the course?

Psychology is about people and their minds. I definitely connect the course theory I learn with concepts I've learnt in my undergraduate study. As a designer, there needs to be a fine balance between theory and practicalities, as that is what will lead to being more creative at the end of the day.

Have you been to any events put on by the College (the Inside the Industry series, for example)?

Yes there are events happening every week, my planner is always filled with events that I need to attend. I've attended a few seminars - Mental Health Issues, Beyond Fashion, LCF Careers. I've been to 6 of UAL's fresher's events, 2 fairs - the extracurricular activities fair at LCC and part time job fair at CSM. In future I'll be attending a lot more seminars, like the postgraduate psychology lectures and visits to museums arranged by my course and the language center (as I'm learning Mandarin through Languages, Arts and Culture society).

What do you hope to get out of the course?

I wish to be able to learn to forecast and alter consumer behavior, in order to fix issues relating to fashion today.

I want to be able to understand design users better to make a positive difference and in a broader sense, I hope to become a more aware and a conscious designer.

Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?

I like to experiment and I always wait for that 'this is really interesting' moment and just go for it. But of course I see myself working in the fashion accessories field, making everyday life better and happier, for someone (hopefully lots of people), some place, through design.