To me, the year out is a period in the middle of our degree, where we have freedom that we won’t ever experience again once we graduate. I was excited to have an opportunity to spend some time outside of a university environment, which can often seem out of touch with reality, and gain more technical and professional skills. With Zoom interviews, remote working, and a move towards digital platforms, I’m worried my year out will be less authentic as learning through physically engaging with garments, samples and people has been somewhat removed.
“If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I would probably be running around London, being part of this machine that fuels the momentous pace of the industry.”
I don’t think the pandemic has changed my view of the fashion industry massively, I’ve always been aware that a large part of the industry is built on capitalising off low self-esteem. I have only recently seen myself occupying space from seeing more diversity amongst up and coming designers and their work over recent years. With the pace of fashion drastically slowing down, I’ve reflected a lot on my own core needs and values; what I want to communicate, and promote as part of the industry.
I’ve taken an alternative route to an internship, working on my own self-directed project with the support of the Mentoring Matters which helps minority creatives. In doing so, I get to build on my own portfolio of work and receive a more personalised insight into the industry that understands minority perspectives. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I would probably be running around London, being part of this machine that fuels the momentous pace of the industry. It is not progressive and I think other people are waking up to this now, which ultimately will enable me to move my work in a more authentic direction of what the industry needs. If lockdown restrictions ease, I would love to reconnect with family in South India and work on natural fibre and yarn development in the farms over there. It would obviously be great industry insight to go to a large fashion house but I feel like for me, at least for now, I’d like to invest this time on myself.