Daniela is a Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration at LCF and has an MA RCA in Textiles and an MA in Fashion Curation from UAL.
Can you introduce yourself and your role at LCF?
I have worked across undergraduate and postgraduate courses at LCF, CSM, Manchester Metropolitan University, Winchester School of Art and the University of Brighton. I have a broad professional experience, which commenced with freelance textile design and has articulated into academic practice. Centred on research methods, visual decoding and visualisation, I am interested in experiential sessions that provide students with a space to explore both notions of the ‘self ‘ and the creative process, in relation to the expansive genre of fashion illustration and imaging. Textile/product design, trend and colour consultancy, curation, photography and styling for music/production coupled with an extensive teaching profile, means that I am contributing to differing areas.
What do you do, day to day, on the course?
Aside from core teaching, duties include personal tutorials, preparation and organising content for our sessions, liaising with the Course Leader, Sue Dray and managing several units. I am also Year Three Personal Tutor so cultivate a close relationship with my students.
What will students learn on this course?
They will learn how to decode and explore their own visual aesthetics, develop theoretical understating and learn to appraise and document the figure. New technologies are explored and there is a strong foundation in observational, life and fashion drawing. Students will explore a range of concepts and outcomes – this will allow for greater contextual understanding of how and where fashion illustration is being disseminated – it is an evolving genre of fashion imaging and we embrace the challenges and opportunities that come with this discourse. Not all the students will leave the course and go into fashion illustration. We have designed the course to expose the students to other related specialisms and fashion contexts.
And what do you learn from your students?
Studying as a part-time MA student whilst teaching at LCF was an incredible experience – I was both student and educator, and this allowed me to share insights from my own learning. Students inspire me – they define the course and how it will move and shift with the zeitgeist. My students challenge my thinking and understanding of visual imagery and I am continually learning. I was awarded for Outstanding Teaching by my students and was nominated again – this was humbling and much appreciated; nurturing and exploring is the core to why I teach. I had some wonderful tutors as a student and they have stayed with me. For me, studying is an exploration of the self, as well as your practice.
Students inspire me – they define the course and how it will move and shift with the zeitgeist. My students challenge my thinking and understanding of visual imagery and I am continually learning.
What can they go on to do for a career?
They can become freelance creatives, work within editing, visual merchandising or set design. We have alumni creating poetry and visuals within live performance, managing and developing digital content at the Design Museum, art directing at Dazed and Confused and creating their own brands within fashion illustration, graphics and design.
What industry contact will students have, during their time at LCF?
We have a broad range of practitioners who teach the students directly – Richard Kilroy, Amelie Hegardt, Velwyn Yossy and James Davison regularly contribute. We also have visits from Showstudio, WGSN, the Association of Illustrators and agents Bernstein & Andruilli. This doesn’t include the many presentations and lectures that are within UAL– students have access to such a wealth of industry knowledge, both directly and indirectly.
What inspires and excites you in terms of your area of practice?
The opportunity to explore and respond to visuals. I work with archival material and document visual research to create new narratives. Photography is a medium I employ and working directly with objects, their placement and context, is what I find most interesting.
How is fashion illustration changing?
It is becoming an immersive and multi-layered discipline – marks are being made digitally, on the body/garments and it is being considered as a distinct art form. Fashion illustration is less of a documentation and more of an expressive interpretation of mood, attitude, structure and texture.
And briefly, how would you sum up the LCF experience to prospective students?
The experience will be challenging and dynamic – you will embrace spontaneity and intellectual stimulation and be exposed to a spectrum of cultural influences and ideas. There are moments of acute challenge, when you are managing projects, expectations and the day-to-day demands of University life. However, you will be inspired and motivated and will have the cultural diversity, heritage and energy of London to nourish you.