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Victoria Saint – 'As I'm working, my collection refines and a language forms'


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  • Fashion


As a kid, I absolutely loved the purple dress from Barbie and the diamond castle, and I decided I wanted to be a designer. I've always had an affinity for cutting up my clothes and making things – that passion slowly got replaced by wanting to be a vet. When I realised I was good but didn't love science, I was a bit lost. I asked my friend when I was around 15 what my thing was – what do I bring? – and she told me I always pick out really good outfits for her. From that point, it was a bit of a pipeline. I did art textiles and that led me to apply for BA (Hons) Fashion.

I think both my work and my aesthetic needs to have a certain level of elevation. I'm still working out what my specific design style and garment handwriting is, but a good idea of where I want to land would be the lovechild of Vivienne Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto. I'm a very tactile person – I love touchy things and mixing my textiles with pattern cutting. I did textiles before I got here, so my focus is primarily building really solid pattern cutting skills. I feel like I've found the thing that my brain works with.

I’ve learnt a lot since coming to BA (Hons) Fashion at AUB. In first year, we interned with a third year. It’s a really good opportunity to see into third year and strengthen your skills. I've worked twice at Graduate Fashion Week, which the University goes to – once as a model dresser, once as part of the front-of-house team. Both were amazing times to see graduate runway shows – it was brilliant. In second year, we did what's called the ‘black jacket’ unit. We lined up and based our designs on a black jacket made by an iconic designer. I chose Yohji Yamamoto and his 1986 bustle coat. The term was incredibly stressful, but I think it really helped my design process and my patten cutting skills. The long coat I made for that term is definitely the garment I'm most proud of so far. It cemented my love for menswear – I had done menswear before, but this was the term I realised that's what I loved.

This year, I'm a student rep and I'm on the social media team, which has led to some fun things and group collaborations. Recently, I was lucky enough to be randomly selected to go to the British Fashion Awards and some really cool designers will be there, so I'm looking so forward to that. I’m dipping into digital fashion, using industry software like CLO 3D and Lectra. Personally, I have a so-so relationship with digital software. I use it and I can use it well, I find myself using Lectra more than CLO, but I love doing work by hand, so it isn't my go-to. Alongside doing usually three terms a year, I enjoy making pretty much anything – I created a video as a response to summer work. It was very fun to make and allowed me to respond digitally in a different way. I also explored some metalwork for hand-wear on my garments and I've included hand-knitting and other hand crafts within my work.

I start with the brief, my concept that fits within it (this year, I'm working on ‘Cowboy builders’), consumer and designer/market research. Through this primary research, I start to develop ideas for textiles, silhouettes and statement pieces to base my design on and around. Then comes pattern cutting, the process of taking a basic block and making sure it has the right fit, then adding style lines. As I'm working, my collection refines and a language forms through my final lineup.

All stress aside, I'm excited and love doing my third-year final major project. The project, based on ‘Cowboy builders’, uses workwear and western aesthetics to make a menswear collection. I get to use all the fabrics I love, including denim and leather. After graduation, I want to stay in Bournemouth for a bit, save up and then hopefully do a Master's in fashion in the near future.

Something to think about

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