Tell us about your time at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)
Originally I was keen to go to a London school because I wanted to get into what I thought of as the heart of the fashion world, which seemed so far away from the farm I grew up in Southwest Scotland. But after seeing the graduate catwalk at Edinburgh College of Art, and considering my finances, I decided to apply to ECA. Edinburgh is more compact, with fabric shops and galleries being so close. Also the class size is much smaller and more personal in comparison to most other fashion courses in the UK. This was great: the tutors really had the time to get to know us individually and understand who we were and what drove us.
Tell us about your creative practice
Working with my hands and using colour and texture to create has always been when I’m at my happiest. Textiles are always my starting point, they are the foundation of my collections. Most of them are made or found in the dark corners of market stalls. Now I'm a designer working for Gucci in Rome. I have recently moved to the Embroidery department where I work on the embroideries for both Womenswear and Menswear collections.
What did you like about ECA?
Edinburgh College of Art gave me extremely thorough groundings in design. The teaching was excellent and the timetable was extremely intensive, and it still impresses me that we went from learning how to thread an industrial sewing machine on the first day to designing and sewing our entire collection three years later! Sewing your entire collection alone, something that is unique to Edinburgh College of Art, was a huge task but well worth the elation in achieving it! Everyone in my class was very talented and dedicated, so there was a real pressure to constantly raise your game, by peers and teachers alike, but it was always a really supportive and nurturing environment.
My friends and I all got bikes and we had great fun flying around Edinburgh with bags of fabric and sketchbooks flung across our shoulders or with our heels and dresses on the way to the Bongo Club or Sneaky Petes. I found it extremely liberating to have the freedom of getting more or less anywhere in the city within 15 minutes on my bike. The wind in my hair was essential to keeping me sane in those days and nights…and days…and nights spent in the studio.