17 November 2017

Alim Kalif: Bringing Back Mens Heels!




 
Hi Derby Black, Roker SS18 Collection

For Durham born shoe designer Alim Latif, the most influential piece of advice that he ever received came from his mentors Tim and Fiona Slack - owners of T&F Slack shoemakers in Notting Hill:
 
Look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite.


Latif was unsatisfied with the selection of styles that mainstream fashion had to offer anyone gender nonconforming. For men heels came five sizes too small and androgynous shoes were for the most part limited to brogues. So earlier this year Latif founded Roker, a shoemaker that creates gender-neutral shoes using traditional handmade techniques alongside modern practices.


AS Charlie Blue, Roker SS18 Collection
 
Even though it is a very young company, Roker has drawn attention from across the fashion world and with numerous celebrities. Latif collaborated with Charles Jeffrey for London Fashion Week on the Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY Spring/Summer 18 show, with the club kid fantasyland results being shot by Tim Walker for an editorial in i-D magazine. Latif has also found his shoes splashed across tabloids and television, with Harry Styles commissioning bespoke heeled boots to wear during red carpets events, album launches and music tours. His favourite pair that he’s ever made for Styles were even borrowed by James Corden to wear on his talk show.
 
Latif’s gender-neutral heeled boots clearly reference gender nonconforming style icons like Nick Cave and Bowie . But whilst men wearing heels is nothing new, Roker has revived it in a fantastically queer and inclusive way.


Latif will be speaking to young people about how he started, his time at T&F Slack Shoemakers (formerly Walkers) and his incredible collaboration with Charles Jeffrey as part of a wider programme in the V&A’s ‘Making It: Careers in Fashion’ festival on 25th November.
Clunk Ankle Low Snake, Roker SS18 Collection


 

Quotes taken from ‘The Man Making Shoes for London’s Most Radical Designers’ (Hynam Kendall, Another Man) and a July interview with Footwear News in NYC.


Images courtesy of Alim Kalif and Roker


Words: Patricia Roberts
 








14 November 2017

Internships - For or Against? You decide at Making It 2017!


London College of Fashion work, 2013


If you want a career in fashion then an internship is the inevitable way to get a foot in the door. 

 

In many fashion companies the number of interns that are hired is greater than the number of employees. Unfortunately, in most cases interns work very hard receiving no pay and are not guaranteed a job at the end of their internship. 


As internships are so prevalent within industry it has been decided that a panel discussion on the subject will take place at this years Making It: Careers in Fashion. Panel speakers include Debora Cacia Tonet of We Run This, a platform that helps to inform creatives of what is going on in the fashion industry, representatives of Fashion AwarenessDirect’s INTO Fashion programme, and many more.
This panel discussion will shine a light on a topic which in recent years has become a hot topic in the industry. The issue of sustainability in fashion has become increasingly trendier, and as a result  of this the question of whether internships are invaluable to an individuals career ladder.

 

Internships allow a person to gain hands-on experience of working in their desired field. It can be a good opportunity to see what their strengths are in the work place, as well as seeing if their experience meets their expectations, developing new skills along the way. Networking is also a positive factor, internships can be a great way to meet new people and your good work ethic could pay off later when you need references for future employment. Furthermore, in some cases internships can lead to employment. 



Fashion Festival Workshop 2013

 

On the other hand, job offers to interns can be few and far between. When looking at fashion career websites, it is almost unbelievable to see that the majority of vacancies advertised are unpaid internships rather than actual paid roles. Many of these jobs ask for at least a couple of years experience. Does this mean it is expected for someone to go through a two year cycle of internships before they become employable? Internships can be problematic, because in most case people aren't paid for their work and some are not even reimbursed for their travel. Some interns are overworked, the hours can be very long and in the run up to fashion week interns can be expected to work until midnight. 

 

Do you believe internships can provide a positive experience or an opportunity for exploitation? If you feel strongly about the subject or want to know how an internship can impact your chances of gaining a career, then come to the panel discussion that will take place at 3pm on Saturday 25th November at Making It: Careers in Fashion at the V&A to hear others’ views and form your own opinion. 






Words: Sarah Hampson


10 November 2017

Q&A WITH TWINKS BURNETT!


 Twinks Burnett
 
Working as an established fashion stylist and creative director, Twinks Burnett is definitely making a name for herself in the fashion industry. She is not one to shy away from bold colours and is known to make loud statements with her styling and her personal wardrobe. You just have to scroll through her Instagram to see that for yourself. Previously working as the fashion editor for UPRAW Magazine, she is currently the contributing fashion editor at Noctis Magazine. Twinks has been featured in numerous high profile fashion websites and magazines including Vogue.com, Wonderland Magazine, i-Donline and Volt Cafe. Check out her impressive portfolio on her website.

I got the chance to have a quick Q&A with Twinks and find out about her love of fashion!

What first drew you to want to work in the fashion industry and how did you navigate your way in?
 
I have always expressed myself through the way I dress and the way I have designed the world around me. I have always been a story teller, the best way for me to create is through fashion. Styling and design are my tools of expression. You have to be resilient and original in this industry. I continue to navigate my way through, you never know which way your path will take you but be willing to diversify your talents and work hard. 

You have worked on a variety of projects from film to photography, styled editorials to catwalk shows as well as being the former Fashion editor at UPRAW Magazine and contributing fashion editor at Noctis Magazine. How important is it in the industry to be able to diversify yourself as a stylist and creative director? Do you have a preference of medium to work on? 

You have to learn to be versatile with how you work. I love styling both menswear and womenswear equally. I just adore to be on set doing what I love to do. I like to make people feel good and creating something collaboratively with other talented artists form different practices is my greatest joy. My favourite mediums would be campaign work. I enjoy being hands on with brands and designers and creating big concepts to best advertise their collections. 
 

Have you got any advice to pass on to young stylists and art directors, such as myself, on how to try and break into the industry? 

Love what you do, be kind to all you meet and be true to yourself. Create a vision you can stand by. 

We are looking forward to seeing you at the on November 25th, what are you most excited about taking part in at the Fashion Festival? 

I enjoy talking through my process and personal creative journey. It’s a good way of reflecting on what I have achieved over the past few years since leaving university. I am an associate lecturer and teach at a few universities, I am a real people person so meeting creatives and talking through their inspiration and passions is a real joy! 
 
Catch Twinks Burnett at this month’s Fashion Festival at the V&A museum.
 
 
Twinks Burnett
 
Words by: Maureen Kargbo

 

Making it: Careers in Fashion: Interview with Stephanie Dickinson from Some Ideas

Tell me a bit about Some Ideas:

Some Ideas is a creative solutions agency working mainly in the apparel industry, but we work with clients from other sectors too. Currently we are creatively directing SoccerBible and shooting look books for clients whilst also designing technical sportswear and a menswear and womenswear collection. We love the variety!

What are you going to be doing at the Making It Festival?

At Some Ideas we believe collaboration is a key part of the creative process. We are going to work with participants to make collective fashion pieces. Participants will print a statement onto calico/fabric pieces which will be assembled to create unique, collaborative works that are an expression of the thoughts, beliefs and passions within the community who visit the exhibition. 

Where did you and your team find the inspiration for a collective fashion piece?

When we approach a project we try to draw from lots of sources. We think there is a tendency with the internet to just sit at a desk all day to find information and inspiration. That is obviously a useful tool but it has its limitations. We encourage our team to go to museums, art galleries and events to get inspired. Theatre or dance productions are a great way to find inspiration for colour, form or pattern. We can then collaborate using projectors and sketching sessions to pool our ideas. We have a space we use to collate our research which we dress to take on the character of the project. It really helps us have everything up on the walls - from initial research to final selections. There’s a lot of tape and pins involved! The collective fashion piece is really a concentrated version of our process. 




Lookbook and clothing design by Some Ideas Limited


Have you done it before? What was the result like?

I would say that most of our work is collaborative. We don’t adhere to convention at Some Ideas. We believe creativity is nurtured by diversity so our staff work across lots of projects from technical clothing to tailored pieces and we encourage them to expand their skill base and knowledge wherever possible - whether that be working on pattern cutting skills to logo design or presentation skills.

What one piece of advice, however big or small, would you give to a young person who isn’t sure about taking a creative career path?  

DO - make, create and learn as much and as often as possible. There are so many routes into the creative industries and so many different (and new) roles within them that the more you can add to compliment your basic skills and experience, the better. Also, take all and any opportunities - even if they don’t seem related. You never know who you might bump into or where they may lead you.

Where can we find you on the day of the Fashion Festival?
 
Level 1, Sackler Centre
 
Interview by Patricia Roberts
 

Why the Fashion Industry is the Best Industry!


 Fashion Festival 2013, V&A
 
The glamorous depiction of the Fashion Industry is a key reason why many people across the globe are drawn to work in the area. It is a fast-paced industry which is highly competitive, but also very exciting. On the other hand, the industry does face a lot of criticism and is accused of being frivolous and superficial as it is centred on materiality and consumption. This article is here to highlight what makes the Fashion Industry the best industry to work in.
 
 1. Versatility in Career Choices

From a Stylist to a Journalist or working in PR and Marketing and of course the Designers, the opportunities to work in fashion are endless. According to FashionUnited, over 55, 000 people are employed within the Fashion Industry in the UK alone which means there is literally a job for every different kind of character!

2. Best Jobs for Self-Expression

The Fashion Industry is one of the most creative industries in the world. It constantly pushes its employees to be unique, innovative and more importantly, themselves. This is a rarity in other industries where employees are often expected to keep a clean-cut image and stick to a treadmill of delivery. Whereas the Fashion Industry tends to embrace vulgarity and imagination, and what’s even better you’re getting paid for it!

3. The Industry is International

The Fashion Industry is a global network and the chances of seeing the world while you work are very likely. You could find yourself working in the job of a lifetime in Paris or taking a trip to New York for a high-profile meeting.
 
4. Endless Routes to Enter the Industry

An academic route into the fashion industry can be seen as desirable to employers but it is definitely not the only route one can take to enter the industry. Hands on experience, such as assisting or interning, can be equivalent to a degree in many cases. Also, several have tried and succeeded using the DIY method through either teaching themselves, starting up their own businesses or freelancing. The choice is yours!

5. Full of Excitement

No two days are the same working in the fashion industry and no matter what part of the industry you are working in, you will always be interacting with fun, cool and creative people which will make the job more exciting. It is also a known fact that fashion employees tend to be familiar with the occasional freebie and possible clothing discounts – who wouldn’t love that! You may even find yourself attending high profile events and fashion shows, who knows!

Make your own garment workshop, V&A.

If you are interested in working in the Fashion Industry, it is important to take the time to research into where you feel you would best fit in. Attending the Fashion Festival on November 25th is a great way to explore which job fits you the best. You’ll get the chance to meet and interact with many figures who work and have made their mark in the Fashion Industry so don’t be shy and come along.

Words: Maureen Kargbo
Images courtesy of the V&A

27 October 2017

The Making it: Careers in Fashion programme has gone live!

For those interested in a career in fashion Making it: Careers in Fashion on 25th November will be an amazing event to attend. In the Sackler Centre there will be an abundance of designers, makers and professionals who can advise you on how to kick start your career in fashion. Jane Francis, lecturer at Central St Martins, will be giving really useful tips on how to create a fashion portfolio and different types of courses you can take to enhance your portfolio. A portfolio is essential for any creative course or job, so this is an amazing opportunity to meet an expert and find out how you can make a stand out portfolio.

As a fashion graduate and jewellery student I am particularly looking forward to seeing the designer Jane Bowler. Bowler designs clothing and jewellery usually made of PVC and plastic. Her use of craft to produce interesting textures and patterns really excites me. On the day Bowler will be giving a talk on freelancing in fashion between 15.00 – 15.30, but will also be displaying her work and giving advice throughout the day.



 Jane Bowler
 
 
Also happening between 15:00-15:30, is a panel discussion on fashion internships. During this discussion participants will discuss their own experiences, both positive and negative. Fashion internships are so prevalent within the industry that attending this talk will give young people real insight into the realities of interning. I think it is great that Making it: Careers in Fashion will be addressing this in an unbiased way.

Other attendees of the event will include an illustrator, textile designers, a milliner and a shoe designer. As well as talks, there will be a number of workshops and demonstrations. If you love embroidery you can meet the staff and students of the Royal School of Needlework and see their beautiful intricate work. You will also get the chance to see pieces by Central Saint Martin’s BA Jewellery Design students inspired by the V&A’s Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion exhibition.
Even if you’re not looking for a career in fashion, the events during the course of the day will have cross overs with many areas of the art and design industry, and will be really good fun! Also, if you happen to be visiting the V&A on the 25th November 2017 it could be nice to take a break from the galleries and see some contemporary design.






Jane Bowler


Words: Sarah Hampson

07 October 2017

The Fashion Festival is back!

Yes, you read that right. The Fashion Festival is indeed back! 

After the success of CreateVoice's last festival in 2013, the V&A Museum is hosting Making It: Careers in Fashion on the 25th November 2017

If you are interested in learning more about the fashion industry and would like an insight into how the industry works, then the Fashion Festival is the place to be. We have a wide series of speakers and workshops by individuals within the industry all on board, who can’t wait to share their knowledge and experience with you all.  

It’s been a while since the last festival took place so let me quickly remind you what to expect. We had a magnificent turnout of 7500 attendees, which was the largest event the V&A museum had ever run for young people. 

We had talks from the likes of Henry Holland and tutors from London College of Fashion, as well as demonstrations from MAC cosmetics and fashion photography drop-ins with Anomalous Visuals. Here's a few pictures from the last event.

Pattern Cutting Demos

MAC Cosmetics Workshop

The Fashion Festival is a good way to meet new people with the same industry interests as you. It is also a great networking event and learning experience. CreateVoice aim to make the day as fun and flexible as possible, so you and your friends can pop along - dropping in and out of events as you please. 

London College of Fashion students give advice and display their work

Designer Maria Grachvogel in conversation

There’s no obligation to attend everything we have on offer! But hopefully with the wide variety of events we have planned, they'll be something for everyone.

SAVE THE DATE:
25 November 2017
11.00 - 17.00
Victoria and Albert Museum, London SW7 2RL

Stay plugged in here on the CreateVoice blog as we will be sharing more details and snippets on the Fashion Festival 2017 as the weeks go on!

Fashion Photographer Danny Baldwin offers advice

Designer Henry Holland discusses his career

Words: Maureen Kargbo
Images: V&A Museum