After completing Portfolio Prep Camp at the Make Den Sewing Studio over the summer of 2013, I knew for certain that pursuing a career in fashion design was what I really wanted. I did tons of research and talked to lots of people and finally I came to the conclusion that studying at the prestigious University of the Arts London, England would be the best fit for me. I attended an information meeting that was held by the school here in Toronto in September. Irene came along too, which was a great help. She asked questions that I hadn’t thought to ask and has been with me every step of the way! The meeting was incredibly helpful. I was able to see what the school was looking for in a portfolio, and also get advice on how I could improve my own work.
I dedicated the next month to working only on my portfolio. I didn’t want to write a post about the school until I was sure I was in. I guess I’m pretty superstitious.
I found out that the interviews would take place here in Toronto at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. Knowing that I would be able to present my portfolio directly to them, I wanted to make the perfect garment. After lots of research on ongoing trends in England and all over the world, I eventually decided that a tartan skirt would be the perfect piece. I researched pleated tartan skirts as well as kilts. I didn’t want the skirt to look too much like a Scottish kilt, so I added beautiful lace to the bottom. Making this skirt took a lot of planning and effort but it was definitely worth all the hard work in the end.
I asked one of my best friends, Dila Seber, to model for both the interview and the photo shoot. When deciding on where the photo shoot would take place, we considered places that would carry meaning and evoke an emotional response. Finally we decided on a cemetery. The old and dark aesthetic was a beautiful contrast for the timeless elegance and youth of the skirt along with its pop of colour and Dilas bright hair. Dila did an amazing job modeling and I am so thankful for her help!
Not only did I make a dress and a skirt for my portfolio, I also did lots of sketches and experimented with different types of media. I filled my sketchbook with fabric swatches and objects that would help to show my vision for each garment I sketched. I experimented with both pastel and watercolour. Both of which did not turn out as well as I had hoped, but it was definitely a fun experience!
My interview was the day after the photo shoot. I cannot put in to words how nervous I was. Dila came with me and helped go over everything I wanted to say in the interview. She definitely helped to keep me calm as we waited. I am very grateful for that. I wore the dress I had made earlier in the summer in Portfolio Prep Camp and Dila wore the tartan skirt.
Once I was called in, Dila came and modeled the skirt. When she left the room the interview portion started. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as scary as I had imagined it would be. I felt confident and at ease as I explained to the interviewers the inspiration behind my garments and sketches.
At the end I heard the words “See you in England!” I was thrilled! I did it! I got into Wimbledon College!
I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what had actually happened. Dila and I read the acceptance letter over and over again. I am so excited to have an opportunity like this. I am especially grateful for Irene and everyone else at the Make Den for always believing in me and for their constant support! ! I’m also so thankful for my amazing co-op teacher Ms. Serevetas and my Vice Principle Mr. Arkoh-Forson for all their encouragement. I can’t wait until September so I can go to England and begin my studies!