Takara was drawn to the BA in Fashion Design at WSA because, unlike many other fashion design courses, she had the interesting option to study fashion journalism within her curriculum. This, along with the many industry-specific opportunities shared by WSA, gives Takara an edge in a highly competitive industry.
Throughout the course, Takara has been involved with a range of competitions and projects. She was recently a finalist in the Crisis X Love Not Landfill competition run by the Graduate Fashion Foundation. For this, she upcycled second-hand garments to create new and innovative designs. Takara had also previously made a garment for the Salvation Army as part of a project featured on the Source Fashion runway at Olympia, London, during a 3-day event. This led to her featuring in the Salvation Army’s charity magazine, Restyle.
Why did you choose to study at the Winchester School of Art?
When I was researching different universities and fashion design courses, WSA was one of the only universities that offered fashion journalism as part of their fashion design course. As well as already having an interest in fashion journalism, I saw it as another great skill that I’d have under my belt when I graduate and could possibly broaden my horizon when applying for graduate jobs.
What does it feel like to be a part of the University of Southampton community?
The University of Southampton community has so many great things to offer. Every fortnight the SUSU (the student union) sends out an email of all the activities and events happening in the next two weeks. Even for students like me, who don’t attend the Southampton campus and are closer to Winchester, there are still great things to get involved with locally.
What’s your favourite part of being a student at the Winchester School of Art? Are there any projects or competitions you took part in? How did this develop your skills and career opportunities?
My favourite part of studying at WSA is that every day I’m completely immersed in an environment that’s creative in all aspects. The tutors are constantly telling us about new competitions and projects to undertake.
In February 2023, I was a finalist for a Crisis X Love Not Landfill competition, which required all entrants to upcycle garments. I'm a huge believer that you should take any opportunity to promote your name or work. Competitions and projects outside of university really help you to get noticed, and it's another thing you can talk about to potential employers that helps you stand out above the rest.
Furthermore, as part of a sustainable university project, the Salvation Army donated preloved textiles for us to upcycle. Off the back of this, the garment I made for this project featured on the Source Fashion runway at Olympia London during their 3-day event in July, and I also have an interview being featured in the Salvation Army charity magazine, Restyle, and on SATCoL News.
What challenges have you overcome while studying for your degree?
The biggest challenge I've had while studying for my degree is doubting myself. One of the most renowned things about the fashion industry is that it is extremely competitive. During my second year at university, I started to put myself forward for opportunities because if you don’t try, you'll never know. As I’m writing this, I’ve 4 days until I start my internship with Emilia Wickstead as part of my Year in Employment. Let me just say, not everyone gets an internship, because not everyone tries. It sounds cliché but you won't get anywhere coasting and you really just have to believe in yourself.
What do you enjoy most about the course you study?
Simply, just getting to do what I love every day!
What do you plan to do after your studies?
At the moment, I’m considering completing an MA in Fashion Design after I complete my BA. I will hopefully intern with a fashion house in Milan for some time after this. In the long run, I dream of working for a couture brand and working my way up the hierarchy there, and then one day setting up my own haute couture brand.