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An insight into the Fashion District Festival Student Takeover

Model wearing an upcycled denim jacket with zebra print arm panels and patchwork accents.
  • Written byM.Fields
  • Published date27 September 2021
Model wearing an upcycled denim jacket with zebra print arm panels and patchwork accents.

A cohort of London College of Fashion students and graduates have banded together to curate a day-long takeover of the Fashion District Festival taking place in Stratford.  Anastasia Baker, Martina Atanasova and Maya Avram have facilitated six events, featuring lectures and workshops on digital fashion, upcycling and a Design for Rental hackathon. The event aims to help young creatives to expand their network, learn new skills, and engage with topical conversations on sustainability and innovation.

When drawing up the schedule for the Takeover, a heavy emphasis was placed on catering to current and prospective students in a post-pandemic world. Anastasia laments the past year of “e-Learning and isolation” while acknowledging the need to invite “local innovators” to the heart of Stratford – soon to be the permanent home of LCF.

Skyline of Olympic Park skyscrapers under construction, with red cranes to the left of the image

There was also a focus on accurately reflecting the state of the current Fashion Industry. “Technology is constantly adapting and, arguably, has been the primary way of showcasing fashion over the past 18 months,” says Anastasia. She added, “We also wanted to demonstrate how the industry can be an upbeat and creative space and arm with the tools necessary for navigating such a fast-paced environment”.

Sustainability and innovation are central to the festival, a sentiment not lost on the Student Takeover team:

"Being conscious - in whatever you do - would be evaluating your brand as it exists right now and understanding its impact - for better or for worse. For example, if aspects of your brand (such as sourcing, delivery, materials) harm the environment, animals or human life, then being conscious would mean taking steps to recognise and evaluate how to better these areas of your practice."

"Currently, brands have to continuously work on being 100% ethical or sustainable as there always be things to improve - whether that includes advertising, representation of models, funding, packaging, social media impact, a diverse consumer base - there are so many aspects designers need to consider."

"Key things designers should start with to be more conscious include prioritising and acting on goals to be better, continuously take time to reflect on your brand and be willing to take criticism and improvement from others."

Ahead of the festival, Anastasia, Martina and Maya had three tips for young creatives to prime themselves for the industries that await them:

  • Be prepared to graft and don’t necessarily expect to get your dream job straight away. You may still be working in retail or hospitality for a bit but continue working on your passion in your own time and you will achieve great things.
  • Use every opportunity to learn new things and keep re-evaluating your practice so you remain passionate but also relevant.
  • Students should always stay up to date on what is happening in the world, not only the area/industry they are in, as this will deepen their knowledge. The fashion industry especially is built on many different areas that it depends on - technology, finance, politics - being aware of what is happening now will make you stronger in the future.