Sunday, December 11, 2016

What it's really like being a Fashion Student!

This post has been a long time in the running but I had to really think about the way I wanted to pitch it. This post isn't a post to say Fashion students are any better than any other kind of student however I personally and know others in my field who have been subject to some misconceptions of what a fashion degree really entails. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to set the card straight and tell you what it is REALLY like to be a Fashion Student.

So if you didn't already know I am a final year Fashion Marketing student at the University of Manchester. And the first thing that astonishes a lot of people is that my course is actually a BSc which brings me onto my first point. 

"But don't you have to do science for it to be a BSc?" 

Yes you do because that's what makes a BSc a BSc but guess what we actually do REAL science! We have to learn about chemical bonds of dyes and the microscopic features of fibres! (yeah that shut you all up, didn't it) If that doesn't count as science I don't know what does. If you want proof I have written a Lab Report and get to wear the whole goggles and lab coat look (which I admit I find greatly entertaining). But all the same just because we are fashion students does not mean we aren't worthy of a BSc. 

Another thing I get a lot of is "Oh you do fashion can you design me a dress?" 

Well no I can't. For that you'd need a Fashion Design Student not a Fashion Marketer. A lot of people presume that Fashion students all do the same thing but in reality some of the courses couldn't be further apart. I could never do what a design student does and likewise I imagine they would say the same about Fashion Marketing but a whole fashion enterprise relies on all different types of fashion roles for it to work successfully. 

Another problem is with a lot of people think Fashion is "easy". Oh boy are you wrong! Not only do we have lectures and seminars like every other student but we have to get our minds around the likes of CAD software, Weaving machines, Knitting Machines, Laser Cutting Machines and much much more. Which I can tell you now is anything but easy.

The number of times I get asked to sew things up! This again is where I point out I don't actually make garments but do more business oriented things like strategic planning etc. This also goes for people asking me to help pick their outfits? Yes I do fashion and have a general idea of what I think looks good and not good but if I wanted to choose your outfit for you I'd be a personal shopper in which case I'd be being paid to choose it for you not giving it away for free.

Next up is what I'm going to call "the judgement". A lot of people of fashion courses are very accepting (or so I've found) of different fashions because after all it is part of what we study but as soon as you leave you're non-fashion house in yoga pants and a hoodie there is bound to be a "Aren't you meant to be a fashion student?" comment (surprisingly my mum has been guilty of this a couple of times but I think its because she wants me to look nice all the time). But like every other kind of student sometimes we can't be bothered to wear heeled boots to a 1 hour seminar and sometimes we just want to be cosy like everyone else. Which I think is very much acceptable. 

The final misconception is that some people think Fashion students are not as stereotypically "clever" as other students. But this is where you're wrong. 1)To actually get onto my course you had to get AAB at A level which is no mean feat 2) We actually have to do calculations like financial ratios and profit margins, fabric utilisation calculations, the science I mentioned above and much more which a lot of people ignore and 3) from personal experience some of the fashion students I have met I would consider highly intelligent and just because our expertise is in a different field should not mean we are any less clever. In fact it is our combination of Business expertise with a flair for creativity that makes us who we are and I personally couldn't be any more proud to be a Fashion student!

So that was a couple of things I wanted to put straight for myself and my fellow fashion students. Preach!

Until next time

Meg x