Fashion Photography ‘Doing it for Real’

20 February 2020
Fashion models

Fashion Photography staff are helping their students to 'do it for real' by using live briefs and guest speakers from their diverse, international network of contacts in industry.

Recently, first year students had a visit from British photographer Ewen Spencer. Famous for his work documenting the 1990's Garage scene in London, Ewen spent the day with students sharing his experience on documenting subcultures.

Lecturer Eloise Parry gave us some insight to the day: "Ewen now works for contemporary fashion magazines but has experience of reportage too. It is exciting for students to see how you can move between genres. He also introduced the group to journalist Clive Martin who he worked with on the documentary, Street Sound and Style. It was a huge bonus for the students to be able to speak with both Ewen and Clive on subcultures, which is a significant module of their course."

Second year students were set a live brief from clothing designer Griffin, and their client Element, for skateboarding clothing. The aim was to use left-over items from old Element stocks, deconstruct it, and then to create new clothing - demonstrating the cyclical economy.

Donald Christie, Senior Lecturer, said: "Following the briefing, students have only 18 days to come up with their ideas and develop them enough to create a one-minute video to present back to the clients.

"This is great experience for the students, in the real-world we are often given a commission with short timescales and it is good for them to learn in this scenario. They also get to respond to a joint brief from two clients, who may have different requirements for them to meet, and students get feedback in real-time."

Third year students have been working with prestigious clients, who mentor them over a nine week period to deliver against a brief they've set. Clients include Matthew Holroyd from Baron magazine, Joseph Delaney who is Editor of Nowness magazine, and International Fashion Curator, Shonagh Marshall.

Philip Scurrah, Senior Lecturer, shared his thoughts on the live briefs: "It is an incredible opportunity for students to work with industry and to be mentored by the clients themselves. I think it is revolutionary in the way we're approaching teaching, through the virtual experience with an international mindset.

"We are live streaming, having two-way conversations with students and even linking the clients together - so all three are presenting from offices in London, New York and Paris simultaneously and giving feedback to students. It gives a real view of what is possible, gives access to a diverse mix of publications and builds student confidence in the technology they will use in the future to share ideas and concepts."

More guest speakers are lined up for 2020.