Go Higher: Destined for fashion design

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Laura Gilchrist spoke to David Rogerson about her time at the University of East London:

I KNEW from an early age that I wanted to be a fashion designer do so I was lucky enough to be able to gear my A-levels in that direction. I did art textiles and maths, though I had to be quite strong because my school didn't want me to do two non-academic subjects.

I was quite nervous about doing a fashion course with a marketing element because I have no real interest in that side of the business. But I thought that even if I became the world's best designer it would do me no good if I couldn't sell my designs.

I've made a lot of friends at university, many of them on my course because we have similar interests and spend so much time together. I lived in halls in my first year and that helped me to meet people. We socialise together and try to have a least one night out a week. Sometimes we all go into London and enjoy a big club night out.

When I first arrived it was a bit of a culture shock realising that if you didn't cook you starved and that if you didn't clean you lived in filth. Luckily I enjoy cooking and even though money is always tight I try to eat healthily.

The course itself is quite structured and is hard work in terms of the hours spent at college compared to some of the more academic courses. We also have to go and work in the industry in our third year. I went to Marks and Spencer's to the men's designs department and to Tom Gilby, a Saville Row tailor. I decided then that I would like to work for a smaller company having seen the creative restrictions of working for a large chain like M&S. I graduate next year and we do a collection for London fashion week and then it is career time.

Like most fashion students I hope to own my own business but I'll have to wait and see. I do know, however, that the course I chose at college will give me a better chance of being able to start out on my own.