How old are you?
Can you tell us about your background?
I have a First class undergraduate degree in Fashion, Communication and Promotion from the University of Huddersfield, UK. During my industrial placement year in 2010/2011 I moved to London and completed both journalism and PR placements for businesses such as Warehouse, Arcadia, WGSN and Alexander McQueen. After graduating I worked as a PR assistant at Gorgeous Couture in Manchester, as well as freelance writing and guest lecturing.
Why did you join this MA?
I discovered the MA History and Culture of Fashion course, four days before the deadline, after reading a Fashion Theory article by Ane Lynge-Jorlén and her bio stated that she was an alumni. I’ve always been interested in the history and theory of fashion and dress but I had no idea that courses like this existed. I wasn’t even considering doing a masters but, on a whim, I decided to apply. It was the best decision ever.
What drew you to fashion?
I really don’t consider myself to be a ‘fashion person’ (whatever that is!). I don’t particularly enjoy shopping and I would prefer to dress comfortably than stylishly. However, I’ve always been interested in clothing as a social and cultural phenomenon. My undergraduate dissertation, for example, “The Methods and Motives of Manipulation: The Fascist Regimes and the Fashioning of Women”, was a comparative study of the German and Italian fashion industries under the rule of Hitler and Mussolini respectively. Beginning with the 1920s, the study observed life and fashion post-World War I and explained how the rise of modernism and futurism shaped a new politically-aware woman. However, under fascism female fashion vividly reflected political tyranny and social control as dictatorships attempted to choreograph a new national consciousness. The essay explored the subtle yet important changes to the seemingly innocuous practises of everyday dress and explained why they were such a concern for the Nazis and Fascists. This interest in real women and the politics of everyday dress ultimately inspired the subject of my MA dissertation, which is a contemporary study focusing on the relationship between working-class women, dress, and representation in British media.
What extra-curricular activities have you been involved with in the past few months?
Alongside this course I have interned at the V&A (working on the up-coming Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition), and for Kerry Taylor Auctions. I have worked as a PR and marketing administrator for London College of Fashion’s School of Management and Science Summit, and as a private tour guide at the Barbican Centre for the exhibition, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. Additionally, I have been accepted for publication in four academic journals, which include the Russian edition of Fashion Theory and Fashion, Style and Popular Culture. Also, I will be talking at the up-coming European Popular Culture Association annual conference on the subject of my dissertation. I’m also a co-editor for this blog and (poorly) maintain my own blog, A Life Lived In Black.
Where do you hope to be in two years from now?
Hopefully I will have successfully graduated from my course and be in full-time employment. I’d love to lecture, however I’m also interested in archiving and museum work. Eventually I’d like to undertake a PhD.