Fashion Design: expectation vs. reality

Samantha Vasilliou, fashion columnist, has some advice for new Fashion students on what to expect from the course

Photography: Samantha Vasilliou


So as many of you know, starting uni can be a daunting thing, especially if you don’t know what to expect, so for those of you starting the Fashion Design course in September this one’s for you!

  1. Expectation: Everyone dresses “Fashiony” all the time.
    Reality: Almost everyone I know wears flats. Partly because we’re not allowed to use the machines wearing heels but mostly because our feet would be destroyed if we all wore heels all day.
  2. Expectation: Everyone is stuck up and bitchy.
    Reality: Some people are yes, but the majority of fashion students are mega quirky and just genuinely lovely people.
  1. Expectation: When going on trips, you’ll get into loads of shows and meet loads of designers and important people.
    Reality: You’ll be told you’re going on a “LFW Trip”, but what that really means is that you’re going to London during fashion week but don’t actually get given any access to shows and such unless you take it upon yourself to go and do it.
  1. Expectation: You’ll need everything on the reading list and tools list given to you over summer.
    Reality: You’ll need a pattern master, a notcher, a tracing wheel, fabric sheers, pins, chalk, and most of the books we either haven’t used, or can be found in the library.
  1. Expectation: You have to already know everything there is to know about sewing and garment construction.
    Reality: You’ll get taught the basics, although some methods are a tad outdated, this is where YouTube and WikiHow will become your best friends.
  1. Expectation: You need to read Vogue like the Bible.
    Reality: Our lecturers actually hate Vogue, and the Kardashians, don’t tell them you like either.
  1. Expectation: You’ll have plenty of room and time to finish your project.
    Reality: There is never enough room and time, especially since you share your studio space with at least 60 other people.
  1. Expectation: You won’t need your own sewing machine.
    Reality: Wrong! You definitely need your own machine, and if you can afford one, get yourself an overlock machine whilst you’re at it.
  1. Expectation: You’ll have enough money to cover fabric, rent, food, bills, and going out.
    Reality: You will spend all your money on rent, bills, and fabric, unless you are fortunate enough to have you parents’ assistance. And don’t think about getting a job, even though it might be necessary, because your lecturers won’t like it.
  1. Expectation: You’ll always love fashion.
    Reality: You’ll end up HATING fashion, but still kinda loving it at the same time.