Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Experience of a First Year Fashion Student

Hi everyone!

As of Monday 8th May, I have officially finished my first year at university studying Fashion Management. It has been an amazing year and I have loved it. I love my course, my friends, my flatmates, my city and everything else. I am sad that first year has ended but very excited to see what will come with my next year here.

I thought I would do a post talking about my course as I know many people who might be interested in or considering doing a similar course. Hopefully by sharing my experience of my first year on the course, I can help to give anyone who wants it a little more insight.  So for some background information: I am currently studying Fashion Management BA (Hons) at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Here's a link to the course content for some further information:

First things first: This is a BUSINESS course. It is not an art course or a design course and is not based on the creative side of the industry.  This course is ideal for people interested in becoming a buyer, merchandiser, fashion journalist, stylist, editor, etc. We are based in the business school and do reports and exams, same as any other business student. It is not an easy course.  My modules for first semester were Marketing, The Fashion Business and Fashion Design Concepts and Communication.  The Fashion Business involved research into fads and styles throughout the 20th century and what events/people inspired these fashions. Our coursework was a 2500 word report about a chosen clothing category (e.g. bridal wear) through the 20th century including a picture timeline of the category throughout the decades and then a discussion of current trends within the category. This was a really interesting module as it provided a good general background on the fashion industry and made me more aware of trends and important people within the industry.  This was, however, by no means an easy module. Our report had to be referenced correctly and filled with academic underpinning. It was a business report, simply about fashion. 
Our second business module was Marketing. For this module we had lectures with Events Management, Journalism, International Business and many other business degrees.  This was a pure business module and we all sat a 2 and a half hour exam involving a case study and business questions relating to the marketing mix, services, pricing strategies and many other features of business. It is important that members of the fashion industry have an in depth understanding of marketing strategies as fashion's main role is to sell clothes. 
The third module was a more creative one. We had to use design software such as Photoshop and Kaledo to design 6 mood boards showcasing a t shirt from a collection of a brand collaboration of your own invention (I did Zara Phillips for Jack Wills). If you are anything like me and not artistically talented, this may seem very intimidating. Don't worry. This is not a test of your photoshop or design skills, it is about your ability to stick to a brief and produce an appropriate end result. I did struggle with this module as I had never used photoshop before and there were people on my course who already had fashion related degrees and were experts in it. I should't have worried as most of the other people on my course were in the same boat as me: straight from school and hardly any experience. Our lecturers are always willing to help us out and mark us fairly, knowing that mostly all of us have no experience whatsoever. 

Another thing I was really worried about before joining my course was the people. It sounds really bad but I was worried that the girls would all fit the Emily from The Devil Wears Prada bitchy, stylish girl vibe. I could not have been more wrong. I can honestly say that everyone on my course is so lovely and friendly and I've made some amazing friends over this year.  There is a girl on my course who has studied design for 5 years, a boy with a degree in Vet Med and someone who studied Law and Management for a year. We are such a wide mix of personalities and experience but we all get on so well. It's great. There is literally nothing I would change about my experience this year.  

I hope that I've given a little more insight to anyone thinking about studying a fashion degree. If any of you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will try to help out!

Much love,
Cat x

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


Hi everyone,

Before coming to study in Aberdeen I had never really been here. When telling people Robert Gordon's was my first choice university, most people responded with 'Why would you want to live in Aberdeen? - its so grey and boring!' I have to say I completely disagree. Aberdeen might be grey, but it is 100% not boring. It's not even really grey, it's a kind of sparkly silver. I know many people might assume that I would find Aberdeen exciting as it's a city and maybe I'm from a small town in Scotland... well no, I'm actually from Glasgow and can truthfully say I feel much more at home in Aberdeen. I'm writing this post as I've had a few friends that have been applying to uni this year completely ignore Aberdeen as a choice even though it has 2 great universities and a really good college. Most of the time their reason is: "it's boring and dull". I really think people should give Aberdeen a chance. I think since moving here 8 months ago, I can count on both hands how many times it has rained. It is a city, with a beach and countryside. It has 2 cinemas, 7 shopping centres and an arcade. It is also such a student friendly city.

Literally, just look at this beach. Would you EVER think that this was Aberdeen? It's amazing being in such close proximity to the sea.

I also think the buildings in Aberdeen are so beautiful. As Aberdeen is known as the 'Granite City', most of the buildings are made out of granite and are very intricately designed. Google 'Nandos, Belmont Street, Aberdeen' if you want an example... If you ever needed a little inspiration in the city all you need to do is look up.

Both of these buildings are just typical examples of what you would find outside your door in Aberdeen.

One of my favourite things about Aberdeen is the street artwork. On just about very street you walk down there is some sort of hidden painting somewhere. This art really adds to the trendy, student-y, modern feel of the city. It's kind of like a secret only the residents know to look for.

All these anonymous pieces of work really add to the friendly and funky atmosphere.

I've always been really patriotic towards Scotland... specifically to Glasgow. I never thought that I would feel so dedicated to another city but I am definitely just as strongly patriotic to Aberdeen and I have absolutely no regrets about my university choice and my city choice.

Much love,
Cat x