Over the course of the final FCP project, everyone has been keeping their work incredibly secret. When you tried to engage most of the students in conversation and asked what they were doing, the answers were often pretty ambiguous: “A photo series”, “The colour pink”, “Portraits”. It’s been a year that’s consisted out of many different (and difficult) experiences; getting through the diagnostic phrase where we reluctantly cut out paper letterforms for a typography project; we wailed and stressed when the time came for our tutors to split us up in pathways. “I belong in Fashion Communication! I can’t survive in Illustration!” were some of the laments. We spoke with three fresh out of foundation students about their hardships, strategies for survival, and future plans.

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Lauren Harris

Plan for next year: BA Photography at University of Westminster

How did you come about the concept of your project?

‘Moment’ features four young women who have captivated me this year. Through the series, I learnt as much about myself as a female as I did about each of the women I photographed, seeing elements of myself in each of them. Capturing them at a crucial part of their lives as they transition into a new stage, I was aiming to document and freeze this unique moment in time for them and myself.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice on your first day of foundation, what would it be?

It’s going to work out… Don’t stress so much!

What is fashion communication to you?

Fashion is only half of the narrative. It is about much more than documenting clothes; to me it’s about the people wearing them and their lives.

Do you think your work has a specific aesthetic?

I suppose it does in this project, but I think it’s too early for me to limit myself to one visual style at this stage. I’m enjoying exploring and pursuing different styles and media.

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What is your dream job?

It changes regularly, but right now it would be a photographer travelling the world.

What do you think is the biggest struggle young creatives are faced with in today’s society?

I think that being a creative is very attractive and appealing to more and more young people, and they want the career and lifestyle they have seen can come with it. So with that, there is a lot of repetition, competition and saturation that comes with it. It can be hard sometimes for the original and exciting work to get the deserved amount of exposure and appreciation.

What issues have you had to overcome over the course of your final project?

For me, the main thing was loosening up and just being more explorative. Previously I was too constricted and refined, but I’ve learnt to be freer visually and in thinking.  

What would you like to see happen in the fashion industry in the next 5 years?

Surprise me…

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Rachel Wong

Plan for next year: BA Fashion Communication and Promotion at Central Saint Martins

How did you come about the concept of your project?

My concept was inspired by the forces between planets. I compared the gravitational forces to the attraction law between people, and looked into the form of a relationship, which I illustrated in an abstract way through photography, styling and making accessories.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice on your first day of foundation, what would it be?

Work as hard as you can, or else you will be let down by yourself.

Do you think your work has a specific aesthetic?

I like to create a sense of narrative, but still keep a mystery lying behind it.

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What issues have you had to overcome over the course of your final project?

Pressure from the crowds, and how to create something that I haven’t before.

What strategies worked best to be most productive?

Forget about resting and drink lots of water.

What would you like to see happen in the fashion industry in the next 5 years?

To be more aware of environmental issues.

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Honor Cooper-Hedges

Plan for next year: BA Fashion Journalism at Central Saint Martins

How did you come about the concept of your project?

I have a friend who is really sceptical about everything. I was talking about my star sign once and he started saying how stupid and archaic the Zodiac is, and I found myself thinking: “God, is everyone this disinclined to the magic of the universe?” So in my project I wanted to modernise the Zodiac and make Astrology, which I admit is an ancient practise, more appealing to the disbelieving millennial.

If you could give yourself one piece of advice on your first day of foundation, what would it be?

Don’t lose sleep about what people think is cool. Being true to yourself is cooler than following trends! Also people who are mean aren’t worth your time.

Do you think your work has a specific aesthetic?

I’m still in a stage of exploring and developing my own visual style, so I never set out on giving anything a specific look.

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What is your dream job?

I had a dream once that I got a job at American Vogue and accidently poisoned Anna Wintour, then I forged a letter from her saying I should progress to her job, and I became editor in chief. So I think it was my psyche telling me that’s what I was destined for — not necessarily American Vogue, but some sort of editor in chief position. Either that or an art dealer for Russian Oligarchs.

What issues have you had to overcome over the course of your final project?

At first I just saw it as something I had to do. I think I was getting distracted a lot and not taking it seriously enough. But after I realized how important it was, I poured my heart and soul into this project, and let it dictate my life for 3 months and be ok with that.

What strategies worked best to be most productive?

I think just powering through it, I became a little disconnected socially. I felt like I needed to put all my focus on my work, which wasn’t necessarily a good thing, but t least I was getting stuff done. Also making lists is really important, it helps you see how much you have to do and to order your thoughts.

Words by Honor Cooper-Hedges

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