First-year students of BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion were recently asked to translate a fashion brand/designer’s aesthetic into a series of still images for their first curated piece of work on the course. For the past three years, students have been assigned designers from the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN scheme and starting last year representatives from the BFC have come in to present to students and provide feedback during crits.
The images that students created were made using any technique they desired and they are encouraged to work using a range of media and materials, both digital and physical. We spoke to unit tutors Antony Price and Daniel Caulfield-Sriklad about the project. They told us:
Assigning emerging talent from the NEWGEN scheme is a unique challenge for the students as these designers often don’t have many collections or existing branded content. As a result, students need to work extra hard to find out about the designer and what motivates their aesthetic. On the other hand, they are often the designers doing more interesting things in the fashion industry due to the emerging nature of the brands, which is a great creative opportunity for students. Students research into the brand to understand their influences and references. We encourage the students to create imagery that moves beyond a photoshoot or traditional lookbook, ultimately questioning how we can experience a portfolio of images in more experimental and creative ways.
Pollyanna Goncalves of the British Fashion Council also spoke to us following the project. She said she was very “impressed by the quality of the work presented by the students. The thorough and comprehensive research done on each designer as well as the innovative and creative methods adopted to present these NEWGEN aesthetics went above my expectations.
We’ve pulled together student work from Esme Plumb, Freddie Lipman, Kaisa Kettunen, Ki Griffin-Anker and Lottie Laversuch, who all presented their work to the NEWGEN board. Following the project and feedback, we spoke to Esme, who shared her thoughts on the project.
The most exciting aspect of this project was definitely having the freedom to present our final images in whichever way we wanted. This was the first time so far on the course where we could really be creative and take risks. I felt that it was a great opportunity to display all of the hard work which had gone into the research and experimentation process. Although personally, this was the most challenging aspects, it simultaneously turned out to be the most rewarding as the final product successfully tied everything we had developed in our InDesign file together.
I thought that having the British Fashion Council involved in this unit was really beneficial, especially during their first visit when the representative came and presented each of the brands to us. Having the ability to gain an insight into the designers from someone who knew them in a more depth level gave me a much wider initial understanding of my particular brand than any interview or runway show could. The fact that she had met with most of the designers personally and had the opportunity to interact with them reflected in her depth of knowledge of each brand. It also then gave me an important foundation of understanding, which then directed my research.
The project has pushed the students in a new direction artistically with an abundance of freedom, along with other projects with some of the leading voices in the industry like Victoria & Albert Museum, Dazed Digital, Fashion and Textiles Museum and the KNOMI app.
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