Graduate Fashion Week showcase: an interview with UEL fashion design student Tiffany Baron
Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) is the annual presentation of the work of the fresh design talent coming out of over 40 UK and overseas universities BA fashion design programs. The largest graduate fashion event in the world, GFW provides a showcase for the year’s best new talent. The event is attended by potential employers, national and international media and industry, and is a potential career kick starter for those students lucky enough to be chosen to participate, as these industry titans all flock to London to be the first to spot fashion’s next big thing.
As GFW 2012 approaches and in salute to our home-grown talent, The Upcoming will be supporting British fashion students and running a series of interviews with students selected, to show their graduate collections at this year’s event. Those chosen come from The University of East London, an institution whose graduates have in the past often been over-looked in favour of their counterparts from better-known colleges.
UEL GFW interview: BA fashion design student Tiffany Baron, a sportswear enthusiast who plans on ending her university career at GFW with a bang.
Why did you pick fashion as your chosen career?
Ever since I was very young I have always enjoyed being creative and I remember my mum helping me draw out templates of the female figure, so I could draw clothes on them when I was about nine years old. I also loved to dress up my Barbie dolls; I made paper clothes for them. I think this is where the interest started from. Since then I’ve studied all the creative subjects such as art, graphics and textiles through school, so fashion design felt like a natural progression for me and I love it.
Who are your greatest heroes and inspirations in fashion?
Originally it was John Galliano for Dior. When I was younger I was fascinated by his work and I dreamt of being a top couturier like him. As I’ve gotten older and discovered my own style I now seek inspiration from less flamboyant designers who still fascinate me and are heroes in their own right. Like Yohji Yamamoto, Alexander Wang, Christopher Raeburn and David Koma to name a few.
Tell me about your graduate collection?
My inspiration has been taken from tropical frogs, for their colour and shape. I also looked at extreme sportswear such as rock climbing for their harnesses, scuba diving for their neoprene wetsuits and Nike running sneakers for shape and form. I took these shoe designs and turned them into the prints for my jersey wear. Taking all these elements, I wanted to create a wearable yet confident sports lux collection with a twist and I hope my ideas have come through to the final products.
Who do you envision wearing your collections when you design?
I don’t envisage someone famous per se, but if I had to name a name, possibly Rihanna. She has this amazing confidence and vibrancy of youth and I love her contemporary tastes. I feel my collection needs to be worn by a confident woman who’s not afraid to try something new and who has a love for leisure/sportswear.
What are your hopes and fears for your future career?
I hope to work for a company where my ideas actually count and make a difference. I feel throughout uni we have had to make a lot of big decisions on our own and we are problem solving daily, independently, as well as working in a team. So we have these skills to offer any company and I hope that we are given an opportunity to make a difference. My fears for the future are not finding employment in an area that I had hoped for, plus I’m the type of person that needs to be kept busy, so I am worried about having to slow down if I can’t find a job in the industry and losing my motivation.
How does it feel to be chosen to show your collection at GFW?
It is the best feeling I have ever had; I’m ecstatic! It feels like all the hard work was worth it and that I can showcase my work to my family and industry and it’s an amazing way to finish off my university life, to go out with a bang!
What is the main piece of advice you would give to the fashion students of tomorrow?
Never give up! Be nice to people and expect fashion to be a lifestyle, not just a job.
What is next for you upon graduation?
To catch up on life and spend time with the people who have supported me throughout these tough four years. After that I’m going to get my teeth stuck into a new job and whilst also job hunting, so that I can carry on designing and keep my creativity growing.
Thank you Tiffany and good luck with your future plans.
Ian Michael Turner
This is the final interview in the series. Look out for a report from our UEL designer’s graduate shows at Graduate Fashion Week itself, which takes place on 10th June.