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Maija Reflects On Her Journey To LFW

FAD 2017 Finals 4Having recently had her own original design modelled down the catwalk at London fashion week Maija Carr reflects on her 9 month journey on the F.A.D Fashion futures course.

In January, I enrolled on the 11 week ‘F.A.D Fashion Futures’ course through Miss Jedlinska to create a toile garment that had the chance to be presented on London Fashion Week’s runway at Fashion Scout, Freemasons Hall for SS18. Ayo Joseph, Issy Daniels, Patience Murapa and I travelled to Shoreditch each weekend to create toiles with 60 other students from London, creating fashion illustrations, experimenting with draping fabrics eclectically, hand and industrial machine embroidering textiles and pattern cutting with a Tom Ford professional, which felt like a dream!

For inspiration we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum to draw intricate illustrations of the Baroque era’s ornaments and art from 17th Century Europe, unearthing the hidden treasures that then seeped their way into our drawing notebooks. I was mesmerised by a grand, golden lion motif surrounded by an array of iridescent angel wings that I drew from a rococo armrest, which inspired my two lion patches, and a majestic ornate lantern, which inspired my fluorescent orange sleeves.

Back in Shoreditch I machine embroidered my toile jumpsuit out of calico with gargantuan flares and tulle lantern sleeves, then presented the garment to a panel of judges with directors and managers from ASOS, All Saints and NatWest, each of us selling our creations, mood-boards, fashion illustrations and comparative shop reports to the judges. After this stage, I was chosen to be a finalist of 20, meaning that my psychedelic garment was to be shown on the runway during London Fashion Week, which felt surreal!!

We then had to attend an intensive week workshop in July consisting of producing the real garment at the University of East London, where my knowledge of pattern cutting, hand and machine embroidering and surface decorating was tested rigorously. This was an extremely demanding week which harboured a lot of stress for us; we had to produce a top quality garment and embellish it under the creative pressure of 5 days to FAD’s and LFW’s standards, which I hadn't done before. It made me realise how challenging yet extraordinary it is to design a garment that has been created by your own mind, and then see it walk past you on the runway for hundreds of others to see. It also brought to light how when we shop for clothes, it takes an immense amount of effort to make one piece of clothing, let alone a constant cycle of clothes being produced unsustainably through ‘fast fashion’, and gave me a higher appreciation and awareness for the intrinsic process.

On Monday 18th September we were invited to Freemason’s Hall in Covent Garden at 7pm to have our garments modelled down the catwalk with an audience of 350 attending with photographers and press. It was an amazing experience, and I feel privileged to be able to work with such wonderful and talented students as well as fashion industry volunteers. Surrounded by thriving creativity, I was awe-inspired by such a breadth of knowledge, as well as the designs that everyone created, each being so beautiful and otherworldly.

The experience it has given me is like no other and will no doubt help me when I’m older and applying for textiles and fashion courses at university. I’d like to endlessly thank Miss Jedlinska and F.A.D who have given this opportunity to all of us, it was phenomenal.


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