Representing the creative future

A long list of advice for 1st year fashion students!

We asked former 1st year students for their best tips for this year’s fashion newcomers!

Research, eat well, rest, make art, repeat. This should be the holy grail of any 1st year student according to our audience. The first weeks of fashion school can be an intimidating experience for anyone, regardless of age or background. Questions as big as “how will I make the most out of my degree?” and as small as “should I have worn blue eyeshadow?” will run ceaselessly through your head while you are trying to navigate your way through the unlabelled corridors to find the enrolment room.

We asked the ones who have been through it all for advice and the message was very clear: Just experiment, don’t stress about making mistakes, don’t waste your energy on the quest towards coolness and God forbid: DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. The first year is all about observing and absorbing, nobody will ever remember your life drawings from the second week’s class. Make friends, don’t cry over criticism, invest in your nutrition, and enjoy the great privilege that is art school!

Here is some of the advice your fairy-godmothers sent through DM, don’t forget to thank them if they helped.

“Use the amazing workshop and talk to the technicians, they really are the best! Save your scraps for making toiles and use charity shop clothes to study construction! Trust your gut, explore as much as you can but most of all, have fun.” – @emildernbach


“Create connections, navigate out of your class, make friends with students from other departments.” – @maiss_aristhane


“Remember to take time off, try having AT LEAST one day off every week, burnout is not cute.” – @extraultramarine


“Stop stressing and start having fun experimenting!” – @Alice.morell.evans


“When you stop taking care of yourself to have more time to work, your work gets worse.” – @petrafagerstrom


“When you are going into your graduate collection, treat it like you would a small project. Keep it focused. Prioritise and don’t think you have to ace every project.” – @dinnersready 


“Try to have fun with it, remember that you are following your passion.” – @marcmartha_


“Start your project as soon as you are given a brief so you can sleep!” – @leehurst_


“Have fun, don’t take it too seriously, you will look back and ask why you were so stressed.” – @Mojito.max


“Listen to your tutors but also do what you want, it’s your project.” – @gabi_fabiyi


“Please don’t let yourself get distracted by trends. Unfurl your real you, don’t try to be cool.” – @julballardt


“Calm that ego down.” – @_isabella_blue_


“Imposter syndrome is real. Try not to compare yourself to others.” – @antoinemontagner


“Don’t instantly force yourself into one brand/style, give yourself freedom to be and try anything!” – @crustis


“Have fun! Don’t pressure yourself to be a brand, don’t forget to explore!” – @jarmide


“Learn to adapt, using what is available around you. Work smarter not harder.” – @mypersonalhe11


“Don’t take criticism too personal!” – @Camille__seydoux


“Follow your gut, support your friends and don’t be too hard on yourself <3” – @heavenfelicia


“Build a healthy competitive environment with your peers.” – @florencehcrper


“Take care of your mental and physical health.” – @celinekyh


“Try as many things as possible, get out of your comfort zone, take it as an extended foundation year!” – @cecile.bousselat


“Intern as soon as possible, build your CV and get better internships on placement year!” – @mollyjturner


“Experiment in your first year! Make mistakes!” – @isobelcoughlan


“Keep up with your work. You will know the difference between overnight work and timely work.” – @raishing_gill


“Try everything, then find what you are good at and specialise.” – @muriel.vo


“Build connections with your peers and professors.” – @lilylilypanpan


“Don’t compare yourself to others.” – @margotniezgoda


“Learn from others. It saved me.” – @axelsandager


“Try not to get too caught up in the ‘what ifs’ of the future. Learn your foundation, stay in the now.” – @_at_whits_end_


“Go to life drawing classes if you feel like your drawing skills are not at the level you wish they were!” – @sophiameek


“Head to the technicians for everything! They are so knowledgeable!” – @claaugomez_


“Experiment as much as possible, don’t be afraid to take risks, make friends with people!” – @chitungip


“Be flexible! You never know what could go wrong so adapt to the circumstances!” – @carolpuiggros


“Self-reflection! Really figure out what you’re gonna do after graduation!” – @tian_master_bunny


“Learn to love and collaborate with other creatives!” – @wainamcheung


“Don’t be afraid of imperfection, just get on with it.” – @ruchiaochen


“Don’t feel pressured or rushed that you need to have your own style figured out right away!!” – @y1nglin


“Sleep well.” – @2hhh_llen


“Go at your own pace! You will find your footing.” – @__deanna_naomi


“Produce. Produce. Produce. Put it out there. Read everything, watch every up-and-coming brand, absorb everything!” – @manutsav


“Do not burnout: prioritise sleep and food. Don’t be cheap on food.” – @bhris001


“Critiques and feedback are not personal, they help us grow in our art.” – @felivitydesign


“Start a good filing management system! Portfolio2finafinalfinal.psd gets confusing after 3 years!” – @Connie_oa


“Have a different bag for each class, in that way you can just grab the bag and go.” – @felicitybydesign


“Do not go crazy buying the most expensive things. Stop for a moment and think. Just archiving images on Pinterest is lazy, learn to research outside of Pinterest, make your own archive of things you like, new brands you hear, old collections people mention, icons, etc.” – @harshitasrivastava98


“Don’t create something just because other people in the studio are!” – @firstogjun


“Make sure to learn as much technical info as you can.” – @anoushkae


“Be open and welcoming to group crits, even host your own. Peer observation is so worth it!” – @theonlyseaheanry


“Make sure you photograph your work. Putting off doesn’t work, lol” – @freddysvaholm


“Don’t wait for teachers to give you all the resources.” – @_francisca_siabel_


“Do someone hot.” – @the_revolter 


“Watch basic tutorials like ‘How to sew’.” – @deevilicious


“Do projects together with other students, in fashion you never really work alone!” – @crystal_rabbit_official