Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Lifestyle and Fashion Journalism graduate Meg Doyle created a web journal that tells the stories of women who are innovating, creating and contributing to the textiles industry for LCF MA17. We spoke to the Australian-writer about studying in London, fashion media and tips for prospective students.
Tell us about your Final Major Project?
I created a website called Thread Journal, which is all about women in the textile industry. Rather than focusing on the complicated technical aspects of the industry, Thread Journal is about telling the stories of women who are innovating, creating and contributing incredible ideas in the world of fashion and textiles. I got to meet and write about some really amazing women and the project naturally evolved with a real emphasis on empowerment and positivity – something the world (and the internet) could do with more of in our current climate.
Where did you study prior to London College of Fashion?
I completed a journalism degree at Curtin University in Perth. I also did a semester of my degree at Kingston University, which exposed me to the possibilities of life in London. It was a really big part of the reason I returned to London to study at LCF.
What would be your top three tips for prospective students?
Be prepared to work really hard – both on and off the course. The postgraduate certificate is fast paced, largely self-driven and really challenging. I worked a few jobs while completing the post graduate certificate, and I had to learn not to take on people’s scepticism/horror when I told them that. If you plan carefully, try to look after yourself and accept that your social life may have to be on the backburner for a few months, it’s definitely achievable.
Ask questions! A bit of a no brainer for budding journalists, but you never know what you’ll learn by asking questions of your tutors, other students, or people in the industry. I often preface questions with ‘This might be a stupid question, but…’ to cover my back. Be curious: ask for advice, constructive feedback on your work, about someone else’s career or even just a random conversation starter (My current favourite: “When was the last time you fell over?”).
Be chatty! It pays to be outgoing and friendly (even if you end up looking like a bit of a idiot – a risk I’ve learnt to embrace). Some of the best contacts I’ve made have been through just striking up a conversation with someone, or turning the vague suggestion of a coffee meeting into a concrete plan. You never know what making a new friend will lead to. Also, I learnt once that people would rather work with the second best person in the room if they’re great to work with, rather than the best person who’s a bit of a pain. Obviously also try to be the best you can, but never underestimate being nice – it’s what people remember the most.
Why did you choose LCF and PG Cert Fashion Journalism?
It was a combination of factors. I had been freelancing as a fashion writer while finishing my journalism degree, but I wanted to back up my communications degree by focusing my studies into something I was really passionate about. I’ve always been interested in championing young designers, and writing about elements of the industry like the business and ethics – there’s so much to discuss! I knew of LCF and the course through a friend who had done it and he recommended that I apply. Starting out in a new city, I saw it as a good entry point into the industry – a chance to understand London’s fashion media landscape, meet people and become a better writer along the way.
What did you enjoy most about the course, and what did you find most challenging?
The best thing about the course was the being able to meet and learn from like minded people that come from diverse backgrounds, have interesting opinions and care about the future of fashion as much as I do. Being exposed to new ideas and different ways of thinking was an opportunity to challenge my preconceptions and look at fashion from a new perspective.
What is your favourite thing about studying in London?
The best thing about studying in London is the inability to ever be bored! Coming from a comparatively small, isolated city in Australia, I never take for granted the scale and global mindedness of this city. I try to visit as many exhibitions and events as I can, even if I have to justify it by pretending it’s research for a piece. Once you get really busy it can be easy to forget you’re in this huge, exciting city but it’s important to find time to enjoy it. At some point I’ll have time to make the most of the proximity to the rest of Europe and get a bit more travel done, but I’ll aim for a weekend off first!
Have you undertaken any work experience or placements whilst at LCF?
I didn’t really have time! The postgraduate course is only 15 weeks long, and it completely flies by! I am currently interning with MATCHESFASHION.COM in the editorial department, which has been an exciting first step into the industry!
Describe your work in five words…
Tried to be funny. Failed.
Who is your biggest inspiration or muse?
Career-wise, Laura Brown (formerly at Harpers US, now editing InStyle magazine) is someone I admire greatly. Not only is she incredibly creative, eloquent and an Aussie at the top of the fashion industry, but she does it all with a wicked sense of humour and down-to-earth approachability that makes me unsure if I want to be like her or ask her to her adopt me. Career and life-wise, my mum is the hardest working person I know. She’s a fountain of knowledge, a leader and an incredible role model, and I can only dream of being as bad-ass as her one day.
What are your future plans and how do you think the course has helped you realise this?
I’m staying in London for the foreseeable future. The industry in the UK is so much bigger than Australia, so there are a lot more opportunities. I want to keep learning, developing my writing and getting as much out of the city as I can. The course gave me an understanding of how to enter the industry as an intern and freelance writer – it’s a lot less intimidating when you’ve got great practical advice to go off.
LCF moving to Stratford: What do you think about the university moving east?
I like the idea of the university coming together and being one big mega-campus. I feel like there would be much more room for collaboration and it would be convenient to have all the resources under one roof. That said, as it stands each campus has it’s own personality which stems from being located in different parts of the city. At our campus on John Prince Street, noise (you’d be amazed at how far the sound of steel drum-playing buskers can travel), inspiration and everything you need is literally on your doorstep. I think the Stratford base might miss that atmosphere.
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