FEATURED STUDENT: LENNA STAMATOPOULOU

Tell us about your background?

My background is in fashion but I also studied animation at Middlesex University. While on my BA I produced a short film, 11, which has been shown at several animation film festivals. Before coming to London I worked as a freelance creative on videos, album artwork and stylist projects. The creative industry in Greece is quite relaxed and allows you to transfer skills – if you can do one job then you can do them all!

Why fashion?

Although I have worked in fashion, I have issues with the way that industry works and I have become increasingly disinterested in producing commercial work. I love that you can use fashion in varied ways to be expressive, to present ideas or as a way to feel a sense of belonging. I’m also interested in the psychology behind fashion.

Being on the MA Fashion and Film course has prompted me to think more critically about industry and has made me realise that I am strongly anti-consumerist. It has also made me realise that you can make your own way as a creative, separate from the fashion system, and continue to use different mediums to make critical points, rather than being reliant on jobs in industry and endlessly making work to sell products and make money.

Why did you join this MA?

I joined the MA simply because I was interested in making fashion films. I would never have anticipated how much the MA would change me as a person. It has opened my eyes to things I would never have considered or discovered before, both about fashion and about myself. The course is theory based so it has forced me to get involved in so much literature. This has been a challenge for me, as English is my second language, but it has been so important for my personal and professional development.

Give us an example of particular project have you enjoyed working on during the course.

I really enjoyed the contextual studies project because it allowed me to produce a short film but it also challenged me to write a rationale to accompany it. I wanted to explore the importance of narrative within fashion film and so I produced an abstract piece of film. Through my critical reflections I came to the conclusion that fashion film, in my opinion, works better with a narrative of some kind to help make a serious point. So I rejected my own film in a way but that was fine because I saw it as an experiment. It was great to have the freedom to produce whatever I wanted away from the constraints you normally have with an employer.

What extracurricular activities have you been involved with?

I have continued to take on freelance projects and internships while on the course. I have designed characters for a 3D feature film, produced an animation on the history of The Ashes (which was narrated by Stephen Fry) and assisted Ruth Hogben on a shoot for Gareth Pugh. My work has been featured on this blog and my online portfolio can also be found here.

Where do you hope to be in two years time?

I would like to be making fashion films with a social conscience, films that project a more ‘real’ image of fashion and not just a beautiful, luxurious idea. Hopefully I will be able to collaborate with designers who feel the same way about fashion as I do.

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