Fashion ideas from our first years

We’re nearly half way through our first semester and the students have been very busy. Over the past 6 weeks, our first year and Masters students have been tasked with a number of visual communication projects.

As part of our Fashion Design Concepts module, the first year Fashion Management students are introduced to Photoshop and Kaledo and tasked with producing a t-shirt design. Although the Fashion Management course is a business rather than design degree, taught within our School of Creative and Cultural Business, it’s essential that our students understand key principles of the fashion design process and that they are able to use industry standard design software.

In the Fashion Business module, our first years are taught the history of fashion, with a focus on the industry’s development over the 20th Century and how this has impacted the present day. A recent article by Megan Doyle, published in the Business of Fashion, highlights the importance of knowing your fashion history and that this is essential for fashion graduates today! In lectures, we explore a new decade each week, highlighting key external factors and how they influenced fashion at this time, with a particular focus on areas such as fashion tourism, fashion icons, fashion markets, etc. These classes also involve discussions and debates, for example around the use of fur in fashion and what it means to be a fashion icon.  In tutorials, the students undertake more practical tasks relating to these ideas.

In order to combine the skills they gain on each of these modules, the students have undertaken two mood board tasks. The first was to communicate ‘Noughties’ fashion influences – something the students found interesting, amusing and – of course – nostalgic, in that most of them were born in the years 1999 or 2000!

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The students referenced some interesting styles, including the iconic Juicy Couture tracksuit, (extremely) low waisted jeans, fake tan and (again extremely) straight hair. We saw a number of cultural references, particularly in reference to films like Mean Girls and celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears who were strongly associated with the decade. Mobile phones, social media and reality TV were other prevalent themes! The colour palette our students presented was strongly that of pastels, pink, white and silver.

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Building on this task, students were asked to reflect on what it means to be a fashion icon and to pitch, in teams, an example of someone they regard as a 21st Century fashion icon. Many of them chose to do so using mood boards and examples included Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham, Iris Apfel, Holly Willoughby and Olivia Palermo.

 

Our Masters students have been working on some similar tasks in the run up to their successful Luxury Fashion Brands in Digital Age conference last week but a little more on that later…

 

Colour exhibition

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Over the past week our first year and masters students have been working on their colour inspired mood boards. These are currently on display as an exhibition in the atrium of the School of Creative and Cultural Business.

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The students produce these each year as part of their Fashion Design Concepts module. It’s really interesting to see how the students interpret the task differently each year, reflecting on changing trends and influences.

 

Bon Accord 2017 Student Lock Down

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As Fashion Management students we all want to start the new semester in style and this September you have to look no further for that style inspiration than the Bon Accord Centre.

On the 26th of September the centre is hosting its seventh annual Student Lock Down where you can get all the new season’s looks for less. The evening kicks off at 6:30pm but as a ‘Lock Down Veteran’ I advise you get queuing early because it’s always a busy night. Last year the centre was flooded with over 7,000 students and people were seen queuing up from 3pm ready to snap up all the exclusive offers running for one night only.

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There’s always a great atmosphere at this event and everyone is there to have a good time with live entertainment and retailers offering exclusive discounts of up to 50% off in some stores! However, you must make sure you don’t forget your valid student ID to get access into the event!

Revolution has also partnered up with the Lock Down this year providing some amazing live music, drinks and freebies, to get you ready for your night out afterwards! This night was the one of the highlights of the semester, where my friends and I spend the night together revamping our wardrobes and catching up on everyone’s summer breaks. It’s certainly not a night to be missed!

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Welcome!

10th Cohort

With the new semester starting next week, we’d like to welcome all our new and continuing Fashion Management students! It was lovely to meet our new first years (and what will be our 10th Fashion Management cohort – but more on that later!) at their induction session yesterday…

 

An Afternoon With Milsey Bay

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Owning your own business whilst studying at university is difficult but also fast becoming a more popular form of employment by students. Former student Amy ran her handmade bracelet business alongside balancing her fourth year studies. We caught up with her recently to find out her thoughts on; entrepreneurship, university life and using social media to promote your brand.

What inspired you to start your own business whilst studying at uni?

I started making friendship bracelets and selling them at my local surf/clothing shop when I was in high school. The modules in second and third year of university ranged from logistics, branding and fashion communication, which really inspired me to create a ‘business’ for myself. Ultimately, these modules made me want to explore the question of how do I make something as simple as a friendship bracelet, into a unique brand that not everyone can do.

What were your favourite parts of studying the Fashion Management course?

Every semester opened a new door. I studied abroad in Texas where I met a very inspiring professor, which then led me to work in London as an intern in my third year. Starting fourth year with motivation (and holding onto this is important – trust me!) after a fun filled three years I thought was going to be tough, but with the lecturers, my friends and a bunch of stress with me every step of the way, I’d say fourth year was actually my favourite part of the course as it pushed me to work my hardest.

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Did you have any experience in jewellery design before you launched the brand?

If making friendship bracelets in Brownies counts then yes, lots.

What kind of message do you want to send to Milsey Bay to customers?

The bracelets are all waterproof so I want customers to associate travel, sea, adventure and a whole load of fun when they think of Milsey Bay.

You love to promote your products on Instagram. Any tips for how to up our Instagram game?

For a brand, Instagram is all about keeping it consistent and making your page look simple but enticing, while always trying to interact with your audience. Posting every day is important to keep your consumer engagement high, and give them a constant reminder of your brand/products. Try mixing it up and posting at different times of the day as your followers can be from all over the world.

Handmade means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?

For me it means that someone has put in a personal amount of effort, and that handmade products take time and a lot of care.

What is the best bit about having your own business?

You can be as creative as you want and explore different methods; from sourcing materials, product design, marketing, to post and packaging. It’s a game full of trial and error – just make sure you keep trying again.

Do you have any advice for those who may wish to start their own brand?

I think consistency is the key word. If you don’t design your brand around a theme, or something specific then your consumer or potential customer will find it difficult to connect with your brand/product. If you have a passion for something, that’s a good starting point. Don’t just sit on a good idea, because your idea could be great.

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Where do you sell your products?

I sell my products on Etsy, attend the odd market or two in Edinburgh, and through word of mouth to family and friends.

What’s next for Milsey Bay and yourself now you’ve finished your fourth year?

I’m currently working from home for the company I interned for in London, while also creating jewellery. I’m going travelling to South East Asia and will hopefully be making the Milsey Bay Instagram account a lot more adventurous… When I return from my travels, I am seeking a job in London to work in Digital Marketing and to gain as much experience in the industry as I can. Milsey Bay will remain on the side until one day I’m sure it will be the main priority, as who wouldn’t want to be their own boss?

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Thanks to Amy for taking some time to speak to us and we hope this is beneficial for anyone else who is maybe starting their own side business while at university. All the best on your travels Amy- we’ve already seen a few beautiful pictures filtering through our Instagram feed and giving us holiday envy!

Life at Michael Kors

Michael Kors. The designer clothing and accessories brand that became popular across the British high street a few years ago with many sporting the iconic MK handbags on their shoulders and watches on their wrists.

Last year as part of her placement experience, now recent graduate, Fiona had the opportunity to work alongside the Michael Kors Public Relations team in Germany, over the course of six months, to learn more about the inner workings of fashion PR. The team in Germany appreciated the hard work Fiona put in over her placement and she had the fantastic opportunity to work alongside the marketing department in the London head office this summer.

Her day to day tasks in the office included conducting competitive analysis research, social media analysis and marketing analytics and report all her findings and suggestions back to her team. However, not everyday was purely numbers and stats, Fiona got to attend Michael Kors events alongside her colleagues such as The English Roses Event in cooperation with Tatler and the Saatchi Gallery.

It was a night to remember, male models circulated the floor with trays of champagne and  guests danced in balloon filled disco booths where their videos were projected onto the dance floor. After the event Tatler wrote that the star video of the night was by famous duo Michael Kors and Jourdan Dunn- but we’re pretty sure Fiona’s steals the show.

Thanks to Fiona for sharing her placement and work experiences! If any of our students have any work experience stories we would love to share them on the blog so do get in touch!

An interview with The Weekend Blog

We love to keep up with our graduates when they leave RGU and follow them on their post university journeys. This week we had the opportunity to interview Scottish fashion blogger and Fashion Management graduate, Caroline, from The Weekend Blog, to delve a little deeper into the Glaswegian style scene.

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The Fashion Place: Firstly, what was the best piece of fashion advice you were given and how has it impacted your style choices over the years?

Caroline: While I was working as a sales assistant in Topman, when I was 17, a co-worker told me to stop playing it so safe with what I wore. He said I should be more adventurous (I should add – he is very fashionable for a guy). I always think of that conversation now when I’m stuck for an outfit – don’t play it safe.

The Fashion Place: Great advice, especially for some of our younger students who are learning more about their own personal style choices throughout the course. Investing in particular pieces is important when forming your own style; what items do you invest more in and why?

Caroline: Shoes and coats.

Shoes because I’ve had to learn the hard way that the less you spend the more blisters you gain.

Coats because they are one part of your wardrobe that can actually last you years whilst still looking like you bought it that season. Also because I have a coat addiction – it’s a problem.

The Fashion Place: At least having a coat addiction in Scotland is practical given we don’t have the warmest of weather. Now, in today’s modern society we’re all rushing about from one place to another and have to be prepared for any occasion. How would you glam up an every day look to take you from work to meeting up with friends in the evening?

Caroline: I love a mule. They are probably my favourite shoe out there. If you’re wearing a really casual outfit for example a basic Breton stripe tee with a boyfriend jean simply add a mule and instantly your outfit looks fit for dinner, cocktails, a girls shopping day out, you name it! There’s something about a mule that instantly adds glam.

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The Fashion Place: Ok, now I want you to imagine that you’ve had everything taken out of your wardrobe. What will you miss the most and why?

Caroline: My All Saints leather jacket. It was part of my 21st birthday present and 4 years on it is still great with every single outfit. I would be lost without it and definitely couldn’t afford another one!

The Fashion Place: We can tell you have a real love of coats! As a fashion blogger where do you look for your fashion inspiration?

Caroline: I’m a huge fan of Instagram. There are a few Instagram accounts of fashion bloggers that I always go to when I’m stuck for inspiration. They all have very different styles so I can then take inspiration from them all to create my own style.

Right now my favourites are:

@meganellaby

@prettysickly

@weworewhat

The Fashion Place: Alongside blogging you are a visual merchandiser for Topshop. What is it like working as a VM in Glasgow?

Caroline: I love it, for the most part of my job I’m styling outfits for the different trends and then merchandising them together in the store. It’s a very physical job though, we are constantly lifting heavy items and working up ladders to create high level displays, I really don’t know how I get away with some of the outfits I wear at work…

The Fashion Place: As a VM you’ll have an idea of all the upcoming trends before we do. What summer trends are you most looking forward to trying out this season?

Caroline: The city basket bag is a must try! Basket bags are obviously ideal for when on holiday but the new must have that I will definitely be trying this season!

Deconstructed shirts are still going to be huge through summer and I am yet to try this, none on the high street have caught my eye yet so I’m planning a little DIY with a charity shop purchase.

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The Fashion Place: For those thinking of visiting Glasgow this summer what are your recommendations of top places to socialise in the city?

Caroline: I definitely tend to stay in the West End, my favourite bar to go to is The Stravaigin, and it’s so close to my flat, which is an added bonus. Recently, I’ve been introduced to a few places in Glasgow’s up and coming end of town, Finneston, such as The Kelvingrove Café, which I think is going to become a new favourite.

However, I would pick a cosy cup of tea over an alcoholic drink in a heart beat so my favourite café of the moment is the Kelvin Pocket, it’s next to the Kelvinbridge Subway entrance. Best cake I’ve had so far in Glasgow!

The Fashion Place: We’ll have to check those out on our next visit! Now, it wouldn’t be a blogger interview if we didn’t ask you what your favourite thing about being a blogger was?

Caroline: Having an excuse to buy more clothes!

The Fashion Place: Great answer! Finally, what should we look out for on the blog over the next few months?

Caroline: I’ve been working on a new logo design for a while now so hopefully by the end of the summer I will have that finished and I’ll be able to give my blog a whole new look.

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Thank you to Caroline for spending a little time with us and letting us learn a bit more about her style and The Weekend Blog. Keep up with all her updates here:

Instagram: @carolineclairejohnston

The Weekend Blog Address: https://carolineclairejohnston.com