Understanding British culture through Fashion classes

Written by: Jessica Boertje, London, England fall 2013

Studying at the London College of Fashion (LCF) not only helped my knowledge of fashion, but gave me a greater insight into British culture. I took two courses: Theoretical and Social Fashion Studies (TSFS) and British Retail and Fashion Futures, both being incredibly helpful in different ways.

TSFS was a collaboration of different speakers talking about their specific passions and interests in fashion. We had speakers who talked about the importance of choosing specific material for clothing, how fashion has affected views on beauty, talks about specific fashion eras and other a variety of other topics. Even though the speakers touched on different topics of fashion, they all tied together to create a central idea, which was to figure out what you love in the fashion industry and to work hard to learn all about it. It was a great beginner’s class that gave a nice feel for a few subtopics in the fashion industry.

British Retail and Fashion Futures focused on fashions from the 1900s-2000s, mostly in Britain, but also talked about other countries if they influenced Britain. Our instructor told us how cultural and economic events, such as pop stars, wars, music and laws, affected fashion.

For anyone interested in retail or designing, I would highly recommend this class, as they talk about cyclic trends and the instructor gives a few pointers on what might be good to look out for in fashion for future years. For both classes, the instructors did a fantastic job of telling the students exhibits that were available (usually for free) in London, which might interest Fashion students.

In general, the instructors connected what we learned in class very well with what was, and is, actually going on in London, in terms of fashion trends, designers, fashion shows, etc. Having an internship in Fashion Public Relations really helped me connect what I learned in class to the working world as well, so I would definitely recommend to anyone considering taking classes at the London College of Fashion, to also apply for an internship in fashion. Although classes at LCF and an internship in fashion can be demanding, it’s incredibly rewarding and a fantastic way to further explore the field of fashion.

Boertje (back row, sixth from the left) joins fellow interns for a photo before one of their events
Boertje (back row, sixth from the left) joins fellow interns for a photo before one of their events