With the Foundation Show opening today and Degree Show One being barely two weeks away, it somehow feels apt to already feel a bit nostalgic for the past moments of creation, and how intensely they were experienced. The loyal studio bench won’t be yours anymore as of next month, the print room will close its doors to you, and the familiar grinding of knitting machines won’t be the same in your future work place. It’s a time to celebrate that what we have lived here, and bring it with us to the next phase.
In this moment of renewal and progress, imminent Fashion Communication and Promotion graduate Millie Grace Horton looked at the spaces in which the creative process takes place. From photographers to curators and fashion designers, she interviewed 19 women for her final project: SEINE. “I found swimming to be somewhere I could think creatively, and I wanted to explore other creative spaces that women inhabit,” she tells of the publication she made singlehandedly, with a little help from her friend Sarah, who wrote the Jane Birkin interview. Milie’s craziest memory of making the magazine is intimately related to the latter, she admits. “Interviewing Jane Birkin in her home in Paris was pretty surreal. I spent about half an hour outside her front door preparing how I would greet her and how many times I should knock. I must have looked slightly crazy.” Today, we give you an exclusive preview of the portraits and interviews featured in her publication, which you can discover at CSM from 22-26 June.
“Your first response to the space and time you are occupying is what you put on your skin. I think it’s really interesting what people wear and why. Even if they think they are hiding, or if they think they’re disappearing, or if they think they are being a soldier or if they’re wearing a uniform. I think it’s really interesting that everybody is telling their story through the signs and signifiers of what they’re wearing. Whether the collar is turned up on their shirt, or something isn’t ironed, how their shoelaces are tied up… Everything. Everybody carries their story with them.”
“I’m a reluctant director. I really like to get information about my subjects. Those early years at Rolling Stone were amazing because I got to observe what was going on. I think being a woman and being young, no one paid me any attention which was wonderful – you just got away with murder. You shot whatever you wanted. No one thought anything was going to come out of the camera, it was great.”
What’s been essential to you in your FCP creative space?
My camera, a roll of black and white film, the darkroom.
With an unlimited budget – what’s the first thing you’d buy for your space?
A high-res negative scanner.
What would this envisioned space smell like?
What’s been the most surprising fact you’ve come across during your interviews?
How many of the women had a connection with water as a creative space, myself included.
Who do you look up to most?
My mother and Patti Smith.
“I have all my research pinned to the walls but I also have my head space on the computer, saved into Dropbox folders of inspirations. If I’ve got an idea, I’ll immediately sketch it out and that could be in a notebook that I’m carrying around with me, for example. I’ve got my space, but it doesn’t really stop; it’s on each computer and in a mental space, or around the house, wherever, doing different things.”
3 things you’re looking forward to after graduating?
Real life. Sleep. Earning $$$
3 things you’ll definitely miss after leaving college?
Student loan in September. Student loan in January. Student loan in April.
3 things you’ll feel blessed never to have to face again?
Drama students. The canteen. Naked children in the fountains.
Biggest challenge and victory of making this magazine?
The biggest challenge is probably coming up with the finances – it’s fucking expensive. Seeing people buy it and enjoy looking at what you’ve produced makes it worth the overdraft.
One crucial advice to anyone starting the FCP course in September?
Make friends with Jet from the photography department.
“I’m a highly sensitive person which I’ve grown to appreciate. The introverted side of me means that I work better alone without distractions. I have come to realize that I easily absorb other people’s energy, so being around others can often leave me feeling drained. It took me many years to actually tune into myself, and to really understand how I function best. To do this, I now know that I need space and time to myself – so solitude isn’t an option, it’s necessary.”
All photography courtesy of Millie Grace Horton
Featured image: Amanda Harlech’s studio
Get a copy of SEINE Magazine here!