Started on the 11th April 2011 - Blogging from a 20 year old Fashion Student

Sunday, 15 July 2012


Felicity Charlotte, a fashion designer based in Birmingham (until she starts her degree in September), is already savvy with the ways of developing collections and selling her pieces. I interviewed her to find out more about the way she works, and her plans for the future...

EF: Obviously just looking at some of your work, I can tell you're going to do well in the world of fashion design! Do you have any ideas on what your label would be called?
FC: Aww thank you, aren't you sweet! I'm currently trying to think of a name for my brand, I've been selling a few bits and pieces with the name "Alienus" which is latin for "being alienated". Despite this, I've wanted to come up with a different name to match the collections I'll be creating in the future!

EF: What sort of style do you gravitate towards designing? Do you design for yourself/friends/celebrities?
FC: I don't necessarily want to design for a certain thing or cause, I want to create collections for myself that catches everyone's eye for being unique and pushing boundaries!

EF: An obvious question, but it's always interesting to ask, who are your favourite fashion designers?
FC: I am forever being asked this question, and I never, ever have a straight answer! The truth is, I don't believe I have a favourite (I know it sounds ridiculous) but right at this very moment, a designer catching my eye and who I would kill to work with is Alis Pelleschi. She is not only the designer for MEAT clothing but an outstanding photographer and stylist; constantly pushing boundaries with up and coming trends. And to be frank I just adore her work and believe we could do wonders together!

A piece from Felicity's collection "Royally Tacky"

EF: Do you have a least favourite designer?
FC: To be 100% honest I really don't have a designer that is my least favourite, but collections by Prada really do tend to bore me to death. Don't get me wrong, Prada is classic, but it's just not my style. I'd rather be outraging than classic.

EF: When did you first realise that fashion could be a possible career for you?
FC: I've always really enjoyed fashion, throughout my life. At school I was always wearing something slightly different to everyone; or at work, I always managed to rock my work uniform into something wearable! But I was so afraid (for quite a long time) to admit that I wanted a career in design, I was brought up in such an academic surrounding and so that felt like the most normal option. I was afraid to be different, but it never felt right suppressing my creative desires. So I finally broke the mould! And here I am, the odd one out, but loving every second! 

EF: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
FC: My inspiration comes from EVERYTHING, from the queen, to science, to the 90s. In everyday life there is always something that will catch my eye and I often think to myself "how could I translate that into a future collection?".

Felicity's handmade harness, displayed sketches

EF: What was your last collection based on? What did you name it?
FC: My last collection had to be designed for up and coming trends for S/S '12, so I used pink pastel colours and a royal theme throughout my collection. Mixing various materials such as PVC and chiffon allowed me to add my own touch. It was named "Royally Tacky" (I think the name explains everything!).

EF: What brand/designer would you love to see yourself designing for in a few years time?
FC: I would love to just collaborate with a few smaller designers and try to work our ways up to having our own brand, but, I would love to collaborate with Jeremy Scott as I adore how ridiculous some of his work is!

EF: Five celebrities/designers you'd invite to a dinner party (dead or alive)?
FC: I love this question! John Travolta, Isabella Blow, Amy Winehouse, Tyler Okonma and last but not least Vivienne Westwood - It would be a great, yet strange dinner party!

Finished harness, displayed on a mannequin

EF: Are there any fashion magazines that inspire your creativity?
FC: VICE magazine has probably influenced me the most as I've collected it for years. I love how versatile and really in your face it is! VICE speaks the truth, I would love to work with them some day!

EF: Personally, I think that fashion, music, art, films etc can all be integrated, do films/music inspire you? What's your favourite film?
FC: Hands down favourite film is Pulp Fiction, I could watch it forever for the style, the music and actors are just everything! Quentin Tarantino is a god!

EF: Would you ever consider designing for a film as many designers have done in the past (e.g. Gaultier for "Fifth Element")?
FC: I would love to design for a film! It would probably have to be a crazy 80s alien porn film, but I'd love it!

EF: Is there one fashion item you wish you'd bought? Something you're really gutted you didn't splash the cash at?
FC: I have always wanted a beige Burberry trench coat, just so that it'd make me feel like a goddess if I paired it with some heels and red lippy! But I've never quite had the money to buy one, yet!

another of Felicity's creations!

EF: Do you often work to music/films/tv programs playing in the background? If so, name a few!
LF: If I want to work really hard and fast I have my iPod in my ears with some kind of playlist or a new album I'm in love with! For a long time it was Frank Ocean's Nostalgia Mixtape, but as he released his album yesterday, I'm pretty sure that will be on repeat!

EF: Last thing you bought (fashion/beauty/other)?
FC: The last thing I bought was an off the shoulder long sleeved black dress (Ebay, £4!!). I'm all for bargains and I know it will be perfect for any occasion!

EF: Have you ever had any work experience/interned anywhere? Who would you love to intern for in the future?
FC: I haven't had any work within the industry as of yet, but I would love to work alongside a few designers, including MEAT clothing (I love working with latex). Or even working for a magazine would be amazing! Helping out with styling for magazines such as iD or Vice would be ideal!

EF: Lastly, what era would you love to have lived in fashion wise?
FC: THE 80s!! Hands down - the big hair, the tight trousers and the hopeless love!

Thank you for interviewing me! You're a darlin! F x

Nooo, thank you sweetie! It's been fabulous to interview you! E x

Email Felicity on for any queries/commissions!

Monday, 9 July 2012


Joseph Larkowsky, a fashion illustrator based in London, is currently studying at London College of Fashion. Ever developing his already distinctive style of drawing, he is subsequently establishing a prominent place within the fashion industry very early on in his career.

In a quick interview, I attempted to learn a bit more about the way he works; touching on his life as a fashion student and how his love of fashion influences the work he does...

EF: A slightly obvious question but one that must be asked! Who are your favourite fashion designers?
JL: I love a lot of different people. I'm more of a collections freak... I love Givenchy (most of it!), but I'm also a huge fan of designers like Michael Kors and Giorgio Armani. I would love to create a "lifestyle" like they have. It's more than just fashion, it's a way of choosing how you live your life!

EF: Who's your least favourite designer? Don't be afraid to get bitchy!
JL: I don't really understand brands like Blumarine, I think it's just tacky and over-styled. I'm a big fan of embroidery and detail, but sometimes you can just have too much "stuff" and not enough purpose... I have the same attitude towards many other designers.

EF: Who first inspired you to work as a fashion illustrator? Do you admire others such as Hayden Williams or David Downton? Or simply see them as healthy competition?
JL: I never really wanted to be an illustrator, I still don't particularly want to wake up everyday and just draw. I love fashion, I would dive headfirst into the industry and never come up for air if I could... But I see drawing as an alternative way to get my foot in the door, and people do seem to like what I'm doing!

Dior S/S Couture 2007

EF: When did you first realise you could earn a living through use of your talent/love of fashion?
JL: At the risk of sounding cliché, it's all I can remember. I am pretty obsessed! But you have to be, you have to constantly gain and expand your knowledge to succeed in such an influential industry, one that can take your life away. If it isn't your life in the first place (your career path or interest). I am always researching, scanning, reading, ogling at Elie Saab dresses online or just drooling over Givenchy bags in Liberty. It has to be something you enjoy, otherwise you will burn out extremely quickly in such a fast paced industry.

EF: Is there a particular fashion item you regret not buying? Something that you're really gutted you didn't splash the cash at?
JL: Although many of my friends hate it, I LOVED the Givenchy S/S 2012 Sharktooth necklace. I wish I had snapped up that one. I recently purchased a Haider Ackermann jacket which I love; there was also a Givenchy bright red tail-coat from F/W 2010 which I must have tried on a million times in Selfridges (but it was about £6,000!!).

Alexander McQueen F/W 2011

EF: Name a fashion item you feel you've overworn? 
JL: I live in black skintight leggings and chelsea boots, it's like my uniform. I have 16 pairs of the same black jeggings haha, it's an item I just love, and I know they suit me!

EF: Last thing you bought (fashion/beauty/miscellaneous)?
JL: I bought two matching silver cuffs yesterday, because I admittedly have a little bit of a Superhero-esque idea about wearing them over shirt cuffs, also a YSL Touché Eclat.

EF: Is there a past fashion collection that you just couldn't wait to start drawing?
JL: When I interned at McQueen (under new Creative Director, Sarah Burton), I worked on the brand's Pre-Spring 2012 collection. There was a beautiful gold bullion skirt suit and dress in the show which I just knew I had to draw. I usually simply remember great collections at random times, and make a little note on my hand. Fashion is so fast and immediate, it's nice to get flashbacks.

Erdem S/S 2011

EF: Being a fashion student myself, I find it extremely hard to work in silence, it's pure torture! Are you the same? Is there a particular album/artist you're working to at the moment?/TV program you need on in the background in order to focus?
JL: I don't have a TV, so I usually just listen to music. I love Austra, Kimbra and Claire Maguire, but recently fell in love with Emili Sande. My music taste is quite varied though, from Beyonce to Steps, to CocoRosie, The Waterboys and classical music. I just love music!

EF: I see on your website (clearly have done my research) that you've worked with quite a few impressive companies, are there any you can't wait to work with again, or any you'd love to work with in the future?
JL: I would love to just work with millions of people, getting my work out and about is the main thing. I would like to maybe work with a really big brand like Chanel, have my sketches seen around the world... But I also like doing little commissions for friends!

Marchesa S/S 2012

EF: 5 celebrities/designers you'd invite to a dinner party (dead/alive)? Reasons for choosing them?
JL: Victoria Beckham, she would have to come! I really admire her for just being the worlds best brand ambassador. Emma Stone, Kristen Wigg and Tina Fey - these three women would be hilarious, I love each of them for their amazing comedy acting and they just seem so friendly. I should probably have a man come too! Hamish Bowle - I think he is witty and comes out with the bitchiest one liners, plus he would give us all a run for our money! And all carried out in a fabulously outlandish suit.

EF: As you've previously studied at LCF (London College of Fashion), do you have any advice for fashion students of any sort on how to cope with student life? How has your experience been?
JL: Explore, see, walk, do, go. Don't sit at home. It's raining, so what.. get wet! Run around! I don't like student life, it's pretty mundane; however, if you live in such a large city as London, you have to go out and make it your own. I find there is nothing worse than someone saying "I'm bored" and doing nothing about it. London especially has a million things to do, so just get out there and watch exciting things take place around you, watch the world go by.

Givenchy Couture F/W 2011

EF: And lastly, what's your favourite part of London? & list 3 of your favourite shops/restaurants/cafes?
JL: I love the Thames, on foot, by bus... even on the tube, I just feel like screaming "THIS IS MY HOME" whenever I'm near it! It's scary to think how many people there are around you, when looking at London from the Thames Southbank. You can't see them and they can't see you, but they are there.

1. Busaba (Covent Garden, Old Street, Soho): The one in Covent garden is the best! Beautiful Thai food and amazing atmosphere. Get the Calamari - it's INSANE.
2. New Row Coffee (New Row, Covent Garden): I love these guys, it's great coffee, from great people and just a lovely atmosphere. I always get a real "living the life" moment whenever I go.
3. Momo's (Heddon St, Regents St): In a phrase, Moroccan madness. I love it, it's just so beautiful (plus Tilda Swinton eats there). It's £££, but really worth a trip! The "Gastronomic Journey Through North Africa" is also preeeetty insane!! 

And a huge thank you to Joseph for letting me interview him! The first of a series for this blog I hope!

All images used are copyrighted to Joseph and were used after asking for permission.


As a fashion student living in London, any new exhibition at the V&A is a must see (got to put the membership to good use, for something other than sitting and ordering coffees in the members lounge and buying trinkets in the shop)...

The exhibition contains couture gowns worn by icons through the ages, donated by designers and wearers alike, so, excitedly I went up to South Ken with my sketchbook and pencils...

...Only to be told off for trying to draw!!

I know most people don't really draw at exhibitions, but fashion students (especially at A level and up) are used to overcoming the embarrassment of sitting on the floor and attempting to draw, despite the odd comment from a growing audience (good or bad!) - it's a necessity for first hand research.

While being told off, I was "advised" to buy the book, which I stupidly did, only to be greeted with dark, dingy photos, no closeups of embellishment or a great deal of writing. In fact more than half the collection was missing!

Usually I am a huge supporter of the V&A, however, this visit has slightly put me off it. I thought they were based around education but I was disappointed with the treatment I got and the fact that they saw buying a book a better alternative to drawing from the real thing.

Either let me draw at the exhibition which I had to pay to get into, or provide a good book to draw from!!

I should definitely say though, that regardless of my mini rant, the exhibition itself is stunning - I hope I haven't put anyone off actually going, because it is worth seeing!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Final Piece - Inspired by the Gypsy Culture/ Bohemianism

Apologies for my lack of posting recently, A-Levels have taken over my life these past few months and I needed some time to get over it all!

This is just a quick overview of my final A-Level piece for fashion design - the title I chose was "mobile" and so initially thought that the Gypsy culture would fit in nicely as it was a travelling community, and therefore mobile. 

A piece by Ossie Clark, exhibited in the Museum of Bath

A piece of second hand research - my own sketch of a tunic by Zandra Rhodes (1982)

In order to make my first hand research, I visited the British museum and also found a Gypsy caravan (or a Vardo). Then, as pictured below, I gravitated towards designers from the 60s/70s for my second hand research, looking at pieces by Ossie Clark, Zandra Rhodes and Bill Gibb in particular. 

From this research I began to create samples, initial, developed and a design final idea, and then went on to create my textile design, ready to be transferred onto a silk screen to be screen printed. This process was all to be done before the exam.

One of many experimental samples I did throughout the project

Rough sketches of my developed idea, the design on the right was to be
 finished and adapted to create my final design

My design, on the silk screen

Finally, during the exam I created my ensemble of both a tunic and trousers (not pictured), the main details of which were of course the screen print design, as well as shearing. 

The pattern of the tunic was adapted from a basic female block, as well as this, I added a collar. I drafted the high waisted trouser block myself, from the pattern book and then proceeded to adapt it to my design. 

My final piece! - only the tunic is pictured here, because 
I couldn't find anyone to model my trousers properly!