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Students Casper Oliver, Vipanci Bajaj, Syeti Agarwal, Brodie Taberner, Jasmine De Silva, Aloma Barnes, and Anisha Chopra collaborated with Pretty Loud - the first all-girls Roma band, who are based in Serbia, in order to create their stage costumes, photos, videos and a documentary of the collaboration, along with the launch of the band on social media to create an empowering online presence, helping Pretty Loud's important message reach a global audience.
How did you find each other?
Jasmine, one of the MA Photography students, had set up the collaboration with Pretty Loud as she had met them at the end of last year. She sent out a call for a team of designers and marketing students, and the rest of us were interested in the project so got in touch to begin the collaboration.
What have been the key benefits of collaborating during your MA?
"The entire collaboration was an amazingly unique experience to be welcomed into a minority community, and to be able to combine creative forces through LCF and Pretty Loud."
On a professional level we all had to make sure to collaborate as a team, executing our individual tasks and then collaborate with Pretty Loud. All of these aspects combined has absolutely helped us all to grow and to understand various aspects of the Fashion and creative industry.
What were the challenges?
The initial challenge was fundraising for the project in order to fly our team to Serbia, and to fund the materials for making the costumes. We successfully managed to, with an excess that Pretty Loud were able to put towards future recording costs. The main challenge was communicating between London and Serbia via Skype, plus language barriers. There was a moment about a week before we went to Serbia when the girls saw the costumes via Skype and images sent through Instagram, and they weren't happy at all and we were all so worried! Once we got there, however, everything came together as we hoped and they fell in love with the costume design.
What were the successes or highlights?
This project was full of highlights for everyone! Obviously once we saw the girls smiling and dancing around in their costumes, we all had this huge wave of happiness and relief, knowing that we'd created a project that we can all be proud of forever. Make a lasting connection with these girls has been amazing because we all remain in touch with them, and will aim to work with them on further projects for the band in the future.
"Having a successful fundraising campaign was definitely a massive highlight, and the videos allow everyone involved to have a lasting memory to look back on."
How will you use your experience?
For all of us this was an intensive learning curve, enabling us to understand working within the industry and be left to our own devices to work as a team, and essentially for someone else at the same time.
"We can all take elements of the successful and challenging moments within this project and learn from them for our future collaborations, as it's always helpful to create a new experience to be be able to step out of your comfort zone, and challenge yourself to exceed your own expectations."
What advice would you give to new students about the Collaborative Unit?
It's most important to choose a project that excites you from the outset. This means no matter how challenging some elements of it are, you will remain passionate and push through until the end to execute a successful and exciting outcome.