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Student insights on a Fashion History short course

Close up, costume with feathers
Close up, costume with feathers
Close up costume with feathers. Oxo Tower Exhibition. @Stephanie Shaw
Written by
Yusuf Tamanna
Published date
16 December 2020

It’s not uncommon for the students who take our short courses to come from unique and exciting professional backgrounds and Lydia Bannister is no exception. Lydia came to do the Fashion History – The Evolution of Style Online Short Course at London College of Fashion after 15 years of working as a musical theatre performer in London’s West End.

She tells me she absolutely lives and breathes her work and one of the big reasons she decided to do the online short course was in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“A distinct lack of theatre during lockdown meant I was searching for new things to keep me occupied and I discovered the Evolution of Style online short course, with the amazing Amber Butchart,” Lydia explains.

Interestingly, Lydia tells me that her interest in fashion and style was realised well before she did the short course. She tells me she was fortunate enough to study Art History at A-Level and a module on Haute Couture and the History of Fashion sparked a love affair with vintage fashion and style that has continued ever since.

“I found another love alongside theatre and since then have enjoyed collecting vintage pieces, following fashion historians and visiting amazing exhibitions,” Lydia adds.

Therefore, it made sense that while she was unable to practice one of her passions due to an international pandemic, she used the time she now had to nurture another.

When asked what part of the short course stood out to her most, she says she was impressed at how knowledgeable the tutor Amber Butchart was.

"There is no doubt this course comes highly recommended from me, not least for the sheer amount you learn but also for how knowledgeable and inspiring the tutors are."

— Lydia Bannister

“Amber had created the most in-depth, diverse and detailed course that covered over 400 years, and she had time for all of us to add ideas, comments and thoughts on each topic.”

Lydia continues, “I have learned so much and gained so many new skills in relation to the study of fashion and dress history. The course included making a presentation on a fashion item and tracing its roots through history, and the skill of being able to identify a piece of clothing and follow its journey back to Ancient Rome (as it was in my case) was something to be proud of.”

In the same way studying Art History at A-Level sparked a lasting interest with all things vintage, Lydia reveals doing this short course has sparked a new interest in returning to academic study and would like to eventually study a Masters in Fashion Cultures at London College of Fashion in the near future.

Circling back to her short course, Lydia says she would absolutely recommend doing a short course to those considering it for themselves.

“There is no doubt this course comes highly recommended from me, not least for the sheer amount you learn but also for how knowledgeable and inspiring the tutors are, the detail of their courses and how interactive the experience - I never felt like I was being lectured.”


If like Lydia you have an interest in fashion, our online short courses in Fashion MarketingFashion Illustration as well as Fashion Design are here to support you.

Or maybe you’re interested in an online short course but you’re not sure where to start. Our Online Short Courses page has information on all the courses we offer, how remote learning works and what topics will be covered.

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