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Student Spotlight: Noor Dhanju from BA Creative Direction for Fashion

Girl laying on grass with flowers in her hair
Girl laying on grass with flowers in her hair

Written by
Alexandra R. Cifre
Published date
25 October 2019

Final-year student Noor Dhanju recently caught our eye on Instagram, where she's been sharing make-up filters created by herself, inspired by her creative approach to make-up and styling. In this interview she tells us more about her experience at LCF and what she enjoys the most about studying BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion.

Hi Noor! Tell us a bit about your creative journey. What brought you to LCF?

When I was studying in Amman (Jordan), I had an arts teacher who knew about UAL and he kept pushing me to go there. I decided to apply to do my foundation at CSM, and that’s when my tutor told me about the BA Creative Direction for Fashion at LCF.

Did you always know you wanted to have a career in fashion?

Yeah, for a long time! I wanted to do fashion design but when I did my foundation I realised it wasn’t really for me, but I still wanted to do something creative.

Shot inspired by menswear designer Charles Jeffrey. Art direction, styling and make-up by Noon Dhanju. Photography by Leigh Keily.

What was your first impression when you started at LCF?

I really liked it! We did a few introductory sessions on the first weeks, where I got to learn more and more about fashion, so it felt very connected to the industry from the beginning.

What did you find most challenging in the beginning?

Understanding how to manage your personal life alongside uni, and not letting one or the other taking over each other. Also, focusing too much on grades as opposite to doing projects that you’re actually passionate about.

And what have you enjoyed the most so far?

Collaborating with other students. It makes you feel like you’re already in the industry, collaborating with a designer, a photographer, a stylist, a make-up artist… working together in that type of environment is really fun!

Studying in such a multicultural college is also really beneficial. When you go beyond your own little bubble of references and talk to people from different cultures, that feeds into your create work as well, and it makes it more enjoyable.

Collaborative project with LCF students from the School of Media and Communication. Art direction and photography by Noon Dhanju; Styling by Diana Place; Make-up by Amy Welch; Hair by Charlotte Jade; Garments designed by Patricija Grabauskaite; Model Rhiannon Laslett.

For those interested in joining the BA Creative Direction for Fashion, how would you describe the course?

It’s a really great course in a sense that you can make it whatever you want it to be, and your experience here can be completely unique. It doesn’t matter if you’re more interested in photography or film, for example, this course will give you the skills to go into any area within fashion.

What aspect of fashion inspires you and your work?

The way we can all explore different sides to ourselves through our clothes. When I did my foundation at CSM I realised people have a completely sense of style in London compared to Amman. I quickly learned that it’s okay to skip the rules, and I started feeling more and more confident wearing weird stuff.

Fashion is about having fun and breaking the rules. Being in London is very liberating — you can wear whatever you want.

Your creativity is also reflected on your Instagram feed, where you’ve been designing some really cool make-up filters. How did this project come up?

I started doing it for a company where I was interning. Once I learned how to use the software to create the filters, I decided to do it for myself as well, practising with different lights, effects and colours. Even though I haven’t trained to become a make-up artist, I love playing around different looks and using my creativity to create these filters on Instagram — it’s so much fun!

Instagram filters designed by Noor Dhanju.

What piece of advice would you give to new LCF students?

Spend more time at the library! Go to a lot of events, panel discussion and stuff like that organised by the uni. Even if you think they’re not related to your course, you always get new ideas from hearing other people discussing different topics.

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