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Kingston fashion students get hands-on at London Fashion Week

By River Reporter Feb 21, 2013

Undergraduate rubbed shoulders  with renowned fashion designers and high-flying models during London Fashion Week.

Holly Wilson

Students dressed models backstage at House of Holland’s show on February 16 at the Royal Opera House that showcased the ‘Nana Rave’ collection complete with a shag-pile carpet runway. They also helped at Mathew Williamson’s show which took place the following day with Anna Wintour, Daisy Lowe and Peaches Geldof on the front row.

Fashion student Merle Ingram, 21 explained what it is really like behind the scenes, with heels breaking during the test run, models being changed seconds before the show began and how Model of the Year Cara Delevingne is “a complete diva.”

“She even demanded her own changing room” said Miss Ingram. “I used to really like her but I guess fame changes people. Fashion Week was a real eye-opener but it was interesting to see how it all works.”

Hard-work paid off

After months of pestering dressing agencies, fashion student Lauren Lake, 21 managed to organise the experiences of working backstage for the two fashion designers showcasing their Autumn/Winter 13 collections.

Miss Lake described the atmosphere backstage as chaotic and crazy with semi-naked models swearing at photographers, but exciting nevertheless.

Miss Lake said: “Although we didn’t get to see any of the shows themselves, working backstage is probably the best place to be at Fashion Week as you get a real feel for the collection, see last minute touches and you get to meet the designers. The build-up is amazing.”

University contribution

Although the university does not help organise work at Fashion Week, the girls emphasised the importance of doing so and to add experience to their CV’s. However, the course does provide links to established brands such as h&m, Zara and Banana Republic through live projects which offer internships to a select few. Miss Lake is one of three students doing a two month internship in New York this summer.

“Eventually I’d love to have my own fashion label” Miss Lake said. “Although we didn’t get paid for our help at Fashion Week it was an amazing experience and I’d love to do it again in the future.” 

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