Next up on LCF BA17 is BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production graduate Jil Carrara from Italy. We talk sustainability, interning and fashion magazines with Jil in our latest Class of 2017 interview.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the moment you knew you wanted to study fashion?
Funnily enough, I couldn’t decide between studying fashion or criminology and when I look at what I am doing now I think of it as fighting crime in fashion – it’s funny how all the dots connect in life.
Talk us through your final project…
I worked on a publication that defines a sort of guide to a more sustainable world. There are different sections including fashion, food, scent and sound. The name of the publication is Nothing New. It’s ironic but also honest because all of the fashion is sourced from second-hand shops. Objects and materials have been picked out of the trash or from the scrap store and given a new life, the food is as locally sourced and seasonal and the scents are mixtures of artificial plastic scents with natural essential oil. All of the elements, we are already familiar with but they are somehow reinvented creating the world of ‘nothing new’.
What is the story behind your final piece of work?
As creatives we are always looking to create stories and beauty, however, you might define those for yourself. But essentially I found myself asking why am I going to dedicate my life to creating beautiful imagery for something so disruptive to other humans and the planet. It felt like covering open wounds with makeup – it was never going to fully heal unless I enabled it to instead of covering it up for appearances. It’s not going to leave any kind of impact on the world at all. Conveying a message is what fashion is all about and I want my message to be honest, beautiful, and sensible, but also strong and thought-through.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
This project was quite experimental for me both creatively and academically. I did a lot of testing on myself and shooting with the self-timer because I wanted to know how it felt to wear the clothes and how the material might influence my movement. I based a lot of my work on sensory theory and socio-cultural theory regarding sustainability and consumerism.
Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this work experience or placement?
I worked at Luxure Magazine for 18 months. I met the Editor-in-Chief at Fashion Week in Milan and called him up when I moved to London!
Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
We’ve had a few interesting speakers over the years and quite interestingly you pick something up from each of them in one way or another. I also want to give a shout out to the Student Enterprise Team, which was only just founded and I went to some of their workshops and talks which were great. The beauty of university is that you can have the time and space to create without other worries, but once you graduate you will have to deal with finance, intellectual property laws etc. and I think it’s extremely important to prepare students beforehand and inform them.
Describe your work and aesthetic in five words…
Sensible, tactile, contradictory, instinctive, and transparent
What influences your style and work?
Anger. Is that a bad thing? I see so many people who don’t care about anything, basing their lifestyles on excess and that has a huge impact on the environment. Some people aren’t well informed, some just don’t care and a lot think that being sustainable means being a tofu-eating granola-fashion wearing hippie. I think that influences my work because I want to prove them wrong and show that sustainable fashion can be contemporary and beautiful.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to keep working towards a more sustainable fashion industry both creatively and not. There are a lot of things that need to be done from spreading awareness, to making sustainability appealing to the masses (which I think can be done through social media) to actually changing laws like trade laws and agreements that allow a plain white t-shirt to have travelled more than you before it’s even sold emitting huge amounts of CO2 for starters.
How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve this?
From a creative point of view, I think the course will help inform my styling language and make me really aware of the message that is being conveyed through it. It took me three years of restless experimentation to find myself, my purpose and my aesthetics – I can only thank LCF for giving me the time space and feedback to allow this to happen.
Have you heard that LCF is moving to east London? What do you think about the move?
I think that’s great! East London is the more creative and vibrant side of the capital, which will inspire future students but what I think is really important to note is that all of the courses will be under one roof and it’s important for all of those creative minds to be in one space. This should help craft new and interesting collaborations.
What music do you listen to whilst you’re working? Is there one particular track or artist that you like?
It really depends on what I’m doing! When I’m shooting I listen to anything upbeat from Alternative Rock to 2000’s hits and when I’m writing I like to listen to jazz, not sure why but it gets me into a certain flow and mindset (not the Starbucks kind of jazz, we’re talking Duke Ellington and Miles Davis). Don’t judge!
What do you think Brexit means for the fashion industry and studying in London?
Brexit is still a grey area as it’s not completely defined yet. This leaves us to wonder what is going to happen especially to small businesses. London has for a very long time been the European hub for students wanting to study fashion and I am afraid this is going to change once the prices go up. Even with loans, art students need to be willing do be knee-deep in debt when they graduate in an economy that is very unclear and will have to work hand-in-hand with the US government.
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