How did your university respond to the pandemic? What were and what are the rules? Do you attend the lessons online?
During the first confinement, we had some online classes, trying to pretend that all was going to be fine and would see each other soon. When the lockdown was announced our knitwear teacher allowed us to take home as many yarns and movable machines in order to try working on our own. I took a domestic machine with me, even though I was in need of an industrial or a dubied one for my project. I attempted to use it a few times but I couldn’t do what I wanted with it, which made me sad and I just gave up.
“I decided to completely let go of my project for some time and to do only things I liked. I started drawing and painting a lot. It felt really nice because I didn’t have as much time as I would like during my studies to practice my passions.” – Albane de Saint-Laurent
Our two teachers stayed in Paris. We scheduled online meetings via Zoom every week. They would give us feedback on our work or even make us some samples on the industrial machine. I was feeling terrible at the time; each meeting felt like a reminder of my inability to work. So, at some point, I stopped answering them. After a month of negative feelings, I decided to completely let go of my project for some time and to do only things that I liked. I started drawing and painting a lot. It felt really nice because I didn’t have as much time as I would like during my studies to practice my passions. I used some of the drawings I made during this first confinement as prints.
The hard part came when we had to start our final collections. We all felt exhausted at the time, and the school kept on talking about presenting our work during Paris fashion week and having a fashion show. I had a big downfall of morale. I felt like what we were doing and fashion was pointless, meaningless… We were also afraid of another lockdown because a lot of people in my class and students in France, in general, felt very depressed. The situation proved to be much better for us than for most students because it was decided by the [French] government that manual studies – including fashion – would be exempted from confinement: We were allowed to work at school with stricter rules and shorten opening hours, so I feel lucky that my school didn’t close again (for now).