My placement is for 3 weeks and is with a small designer label called Louis De Gama, his studio is situated in white chapel, Ella and I are staying with Dawns sister Claire who has very kindly offered to put us up for 3 weeks. So were staying in south end and to commute into London it takes about 1 hour and then once i get off the train its about a 20 min walk to the studio.
Monday my first day, i was really quite nervous i didn't know what he would be expecting of me. But thankfully to ease me in to the routine Louis teaches fashion design on a Monday and Thursday at a college just outside London. So i was greeted into the studio by another intern named Stelios. He had left me work to get on with, i was cutting leather - making long belts that would be used on garments. and also cutting out shapes on another piece of leather to moulage a dress. The first day went fine, i realised that Louis has a lot of interns working with him, they were all really nice and the atmosphere in the studio was also good, it was friendly but also very work driven even though Louis wasn't there.
Tuesday I met Louis, and he wanted to test how good i was at sewing so he demonstrated the types of seams he likes to use on his garments... he uses french seams on everything, and roll hems. he also demonstrated a curved seam. He also only works with 0.5cm seam allowances he uses these seams as he uses a lot of silks and delicate fabrics and it gives a professional finish. So he tested me on my sewing skills and then set about giving me some tasks. I had to pattern cut a dress and assemble it. Louis also uses a lot of gathering and multiple paneling. I didn't finish the dress but i would continue with it on wednesday.
Wednesday i carried on with making the dress and once i had finished it i then had to dye some vintage lace that i was going to attach to the front of the dress. After dying the lace i then had to tack it to the front of the dress and hand sew it onto the front of the dress. Louis also uses bias binding on his dresses instead of facings as most of them are made from silks. so then i had to bias bind the neck and the armholes. This dress was going to go to the shop.
Thursday when i went to the studio Louis told me that Stelios was going to take me and Zoe another new intern to the shop and give us an inductions on the running of the shop as once a week we would all talk turns and somebody goes to the shop. The shop is in Brick lane and is really quaint and beautiful, Its full of old furniture and nice quirky photography on the walls will old wooden floorboards. and fresh flowers all over the shop a real vintage feel. It really reflects the clothing. (images above are of the shop) I pretty much just had to be shown how to open up the shop, what goes were and how to use the credit card machine etc. After work which my working hours were 10-7 it was Stelios and Hellenas last day so Louis wanted us all to go for a coffee to say goodbye and thank you for their help. We went for a coffee and then to an opening of a photography gallery in Whitechapel. I realised that this is an important part of fashion in london that you must get out and meet people and socialise. It was really interesting seeing all the different people there. I really enjoyed myself it was just a shame i had a 1 hour train ride home afterwards.
Friday i made another dress, i felt a little bit slow as there was an intern there who had taken a year out from uni and had been there since christmas, and had worked for preen previously before that. Also there is Junko who is a paid employee but i think this week i have improved with my speed. and next week Louis said i would be working on some pieces for his shows. which he had coming up in the next month. So im really looking forward to that!...