It’s the time of year again where the Digital Fashion Event is in full swing!

This marks the third year of our digital fashion event. In 2016, we moved away from our traditional fashion show event module and gave this a more digital focus. This is in response to a changing industry, where employers are seeking graduates with an increasingly digital skill set. Indeed, the purpose of fashion shows today are widely debated and the definition of a fashion show is being challenged and extended in new ways.

Here at RGU, we’re lucky to have access to creative resources and expertise to help us deliver these modules. Our purpose built film and photography studio and range of film equipment and software allows students to gain experience using industry standard facilities. Our media team are made up of individuals with skills in audio, video, Macs, design, specialist software and photography. The team deliver hands on experience across a range of courses, including journalism, media, marketing and fashion management.

Jen BirtlesKelman was asked to write a blog post about the digital fashion event to date and how this has evolved in its three years. Jen works as part of the media and eLearning team at RGU. A Gray’s School of Art graduate in Textile Design, she exhibited her designs as part of ROAR Exhibition in London’s OXO Tower Warf as part of Scotland’s emerging talent. Since then she worked as a Creative for Apple, training staff and customers to use professional software like Final Cut Pro, Logic and Aperture and gaining professional qualifications in the software. She also gained industry experience working on film and photography projects for clients before joining us at RGU and creating many more marketing videos for the university. Here’s what she has to say about the Digital Fashion Event…

I have been privileged to teach the students who choose to participate on this module since the introduction of the digital element, and I’m amazed by the commitment the students show, the speed at which they pick up the necessary skills and put them into practice with their film shoots, always producing something new and exciting each year.

For those of you who have yet to enter third year, the Digital Fashion Event is an elective double credit module that runs alongside placement. Students can choose to go out on placement for 12 weeks or opt to do a 6 week placement in conjunction with the 6 week Digital Fashion Event module. Students who participate in our Digital Fashion Event learn new skills in filming, storyboarding and editing over an intensive two week training course, followed by four weeks where they’ll put these skills into practice – creating their fashion film.

Students who have participated in the module over the last two years have enjoyed the experience and many have gone on to use these skills again, in their studies and their careers:

Ellen Laird was an Editor for the first ever digital fashion show in 2016. She went on to use her filming and editing skills in fourth year, opting to deliver a practical professional project and producing a film looking at CrossFit. She also created a Kickstarter campaign video for SEINCLLN, unisex knitwear brand launch. She now works for Revolution as a Sales and Events Co-ordinator and has created marketing films in her role there.

“The Digital Fashion Show was probably my favourite module that we did thought my four years at RGU. I was head of filming and editing. From those editing skills I got a placement over summer and made a Kickstarter video. It’s given me a little bit more extra than everyone else, the skills definitely open more doors.”

You can watch the first fashion film here, where the brief was ‘Northern culture’ and the students chose to focus on different forms of Energy, taking inspiration from Aberdeen’s status as European “oil capital”.

 

Since co-producing and directing the second fashion film in 2017, Gabrielle Etchells (currently in fourth year) has set up her own film company Joy Studio Productions. She has also worked to create two films for the fashion brand Latte. She reflects on her experience:

“The digital fashion show module equipped me with skills and a new found passion of filming producing and editing, which I’ve turned into a business. I learnt management skills working with a large creative team, and created a film which I am so proud to have my name associated with. Before the module I was considering a career in buying but now I am seeking future jobs which have more of a creative marketing angle”

The 2017 fashion film was recently submitted to RGU’s student film festival. Their brief was “fashion is creative, fashion is culture, fashion is business” as this film marked the launch of RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business. You can watch this here.

 

This year’s fashion film is slightly different in that the students are working with a live client, Lindsay and Yoshi, who has asked for a fashion video to promote her scarf and homewares brand. Lindsay graduated from Gray’s School of Art in 2008 and established her brand in 2010. She says:

“Join Yoshi (my dog) on his kaleidoscopic adventure through the natural world as he meets the beautiful creatures who inhabit it.

I’m a big fan of Beatrix Potter, William Morris and Liberty of London. I graduated from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen in 2008 and established Lindsay & Yoshi textiles in 2010 as a way to share my artwork on products that had some sort of functionality. 

I create colourful silk scarves, soft furnishings and stationery. Each design begins as an illustration that is then transformed digitally. Every item is printed and handmade in the UK. I hand finish each piece at my home studio in rural Aberdeenshire. The natural world fascinates me, everything from the creatures at the bottom of the sea to the colours up in the sky. My favourite moment so far has to be when I watched the Aurora Borealis with Yoshi.”

The Lindsay & Yoshi website is currently under construction and the video produced by this year’s students as part of the Digital Fashion Event will be used to mark the launch of this!

Lindsay has asked for movement to be considered in the film, with a focus on her scarves and the story behind the designs. Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes of this year’s shoots so far…

The students are just over halfway though the project now, with under three weeks left to finish filming and editing the final film for their client. This week they will be shooting on location in Tollohill woods in Aberdeen, with models from Premiere Productions. They have also begun to start editing their first three film shoots.

Watch this space for the final film…

Guest speaker – Ami Gibson

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We’d like to say a huge thanks to Ami Gibson who gave a fantastic guest lecture to our fourth year BA (Hons) Fashion Management students and our MSc Fashion Management students as part of their Fashion Buying and Forecasting modules.

Ami is a designer at Wilson Design Source Supply and is based in their Glasgow HQ. Her duties include designing collections, giving presentations to both her colleagues and clients, sourcing fabrics, working closely with manufacturers and visiting factories overseas. Last year she went on a development trip to Bangladesh where she sourced fabrics and worked with both knitwear and general production factories.

Ami’s role involves working closely with a range of clients and manufacturers and during her talk she emphasised the importance of building and maintaing good relationships.

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Ami presented a range of trend forecasting resources to the students, including real examples of client trend and range planning boards.
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Throughout her talk, Ami emphasised the centrality of the customer and their characteristics when making design and buying decisions and she also stressed the importance of considering cost when making design and buying decisions as return on investment is extremely important.
Thanks again Ami!

Fashion and Textile students’ tote bag designs

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If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend why not visit Drum Castle and vote for your favourite BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile tote bag design?

As part of a live project, 36 first year students from Gray’s School of Art have each produced their own unique tote bag design, with cotton shopping bags on display in and around the castle.

The most popular design will be produced and sold in the Castle shop!

Interim degree show

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What better way to spent a Wednesday lunchtime than exploring the fantastic designs on display at the interim degree show at Gray’s School of Art? We can’t wait to see the final designs and collections in May and June this year!

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We also picked up some cute Valentine’s Day cards in the Aberdeen Business School atrium today! These were created by Product Design students at Gray’s School of Art.

The 2015 degree show at Gray’s School of Art

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We had a fantastic time at the Gray’s School of Art degree show this afternoon. As always there were some interesting and thought provoking exhibits. Some fabulous use of colour really brightened up our rainy Sunday afternoon. Well done to everyone for all their hard work!

Here is where they keep the fashion…

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It was great to see the students’ inspiration, mood boards and the story behind their designs displayed using electronic visuals throughout the fashion room. This really helped bring the fashion to life for those who missed the fashion show itself.

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