FAD STORIES: Sarah Kilkenny, 18

FAD Stories

Sarah was an award winner at the 2010 FAD Junior Awards. Since completing this interview she has finished her foundation course and has been accepted onto the Fashion BA at Edinburgh College of Art (Go Sarah!). We talk to her about her FAD experience – and in particular what it meant to be a finalist at London Fashion Week.  

What was it like arriving in London and going to the University of East London (UEL) for the first day of the FAD Summer School?

S: It was very exciting to be inLondon and be part of the summer school; not knowing exactly what was coming but knowing it would be amazing.

Talk us through the stages involved in making your garment for the London Fashion Week final.

S: I was unsure at first about whether to alter the shape of my garment so I began by talking with the UEL tutors looking at my design and fabric choices. The tutor then helped me to adjust any faults within my original pattern. As the week went on I felt this was exactly the way I want my university course to be, so it was a great taster for me, as well as being thoroughly enjoyable.

How was it using industrial machinery – did you learn any new techniques or ways of working by doing the summer school?

S: The industrial machines were hard to use at first and really put us out o our comfort zones but now I’m use to them they are great and I feel it has really prepared me well for university by being introduced to them so early on.  

What were the staff and university student mentors like to work with?

S: The FAD staff and UEL tutors were all so helpful, and really gave me an idea of what it would be like to study fashion at university. It was especially good talking to the fashion students who were working with us. They gave us lots of advice on different courses and universities. Watching the UEL graduate fashion week show was so inspirational and really gave us an idea of where we could be in four or five year time if we work hard.

What was it like working with other Fashion Futures students from London?

S: I was a little cautious about applying to study in London as it seems like such a big and scary city at first so it’s great to know that I will already have some friends there if that’s where I end up. It was really exciting to see all the other students work and ideas properly for the first time and nice to make some new friends that share the same enthusiasm for fashion.

How has being part of the FAD experience helped you?

S:FAD has helped me enormously. Not only does it look great on my CV and in my portfolio but I feel my design and technical skills have improved enormously. Also during the week we discussed our strengths and weaknesses as designers in a group and it was really helpful to hear what others like about your work and also gain some constructive criticism. We also looked at the different opportunities within the fashion industry and looked at how we would approach finding a job once we finish university. I feel I really learnt a lot I didn’t know about the more commercial aspects of the fashion industry thanks to FAD.

How did it make you feel to be a finalist in the FAD Junior Awards?

S: I was really excited to see my garment and also everyone else’s. I was a little nervous too. It was so rewarding to be named an award winner and I was just so happy.

Have FAD supported you since finishing the Junior Awards?

S:FAD is always there if I need any advice and have been especially helpful in helping me decide which universities to apply to. I’m always bugging them with lots of questions and they always reply and help me as much as they can. 

Finally – where are you now and what would you like to do in the future?

S: I am currently doing an art foundation course and I have applied to study fashion design at University of East London, Central Saint Martins,Northumbria University, Edinburgh College of Art and Glasgow School of Art. In the future I definitely want a career in fashion and think I would really like to design.

Read more about Sarah’s latest design work on her blog http://sarah-kilkenny.tumblr.com/


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