Monday, 25 August 2014

studying at lcf/pattern cutting

I get a lot of questions about what studying at London College of Fashion is like, what my course is based on, how I found moving to the city etc, so given that a lot of you will have just got your results and secured a place there, I thought I'd do a couple of posts for you! There'll be this one about my course and the uni, and another to follow on moving to London which will be more generalised but through the eyes of a student. I hope someone finds it helpful!
So, I'm about to go into my second year at LCF studying pattern cutting (full course: FdA Fashion Technology: Designer Pattern Cutter) my course is primarily only two years long, leaving me without a BA, although you can opt to top up in Womenswear, Menswear and now we have the option to continue onto the new BA in Pattern Cutting which is commencing this year. This means we will have to take a year out so that we can re-join the first set of 3rd year Pattern Cutters. They have scrapped our current course, and re-instated it as a BA, which is apparently improved.
I originally wanted to do Womenswear, and had done for most of my life, however a tutor at my foundation course pointed out that if I wanted to learn how to make clothes, it'd be the wrong course so I opted for Pattern Cutting. I had no previous experience in it, bar using a few shop bought patterns or tracing around current clothes, a lot of people did have experience but it wasn't part of the criteria. 
The course itself is both designing and making, our hand-ins usually consist of a 30-40 page A3 portfolio of designs and research, alongside a technical folder (everything we learn in sample room, fitting zips, calico toiles, darts etc in the first year) and then a final garment/a finished collection or similar. Everything you make needs to have a calico/relevant toile, you have to document everything and they expect to see your journey. It IS a huge amount of work considering most don't have a foundation diploma and have come straight from A-level. It's very demanding from the beginning, and they're not so understanding if you fall behind. The tuition is somewhat slack, the tutors are mostly lovely, but actual tutored time in sample room/design sessions etc is limited to 5-8 hours a week I would say. For £9k, it's not ideal but we have spoken to the course leader and I think it's being re-thought out for the new BA course. All of this practical work is alongside your theory, most terms have a 1000-3000 word essay or similar to hand in too, as well as a few 1-2 hour long relevant lectures a week.
A year in, I'm exhausted and I don't wholly enjoy it. Saying that, I also don't make the most out of being part of LCF. The name alone will help you when you graduate, and I've had opportunities arise due to going there. The libraries etc are great, as are the location of the campuses. I don't live in halls but have friends who enjoy it, and friends who despise it so it really depends on who you are, but I'll go into accommodation more in my next post! It's also worth noting that studying in London really isn't very social, people do go out but it's nothing like a messy night out in Southampton. Going out is expensive and to be honest I can rarely fit it around studying, but then again you won't be going to LCF if all you want to do is party!
So, would I recommend it? I am going to say yes, if you're self motivated and can work for hours on end to achieve great grades. If you are a bit slower, or rely on others to motivate you, it's really hard. I'm quite in the middle due to lack of self belief and having my M.E slow me down, I manage but I will never come out with a first! I start each term feeling good about the new project, and with lots of drive but by the end of it I'm drained and left feeling like I'm not good enough to be there, it varies! I don't mean this to be as negative as it sounds, I'm incredibly proud that I go to one of the best fashion uni's in the world, but the course probably isn't best suited to what I want to do which is entirely my problem! I am raring to go back and start 2nd year afresh and give it 100%, so bring it on!
Sorry this was so wordy, I hope it helps someone! If you have any more Q's, tweet me (@georgiameramo) or email me and I will do my best to answer for you. Stay tuned for my 'living in London' post in a week or so!
P.S sorry for being MIA, I'm working 7 day weeks (between Topshop and Oh My Love) so life is super hectic. I also move house next week and having fashion week and my usual work. HELP!
lots of love xxx
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2 comments

  1. it sounds like you have so much going on!! fashion colleges are famous for the pressure but garment techs are a rare thing now days if thats what you wanted to go into! xx
    www.styleandlondon.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I am so happy you've posted this, I'm looking to study Fashion Photography, or something along those lines, and just thought that London would have the best opportunities, but due to the nature of the University and the fact that self motivation is key, it's definitely left me looking to apply to others! So once again, thank you so so much for this post, and I'm excited to read the others!
    Ellie xx

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Thank you for all your lovely comments, I read and appreciate them all! Feel free to tweet me (@georgiameramo) with any questions! xxx

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