My Fashion Career: Philli Wood, Fashion Designer
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Whether you dream of being a designer, fancy yourself as a photographer, or are made for marketing, we’ve spoken to individuals currently working in various areas of the fashion industry to find out how they made themselves stand out from the crowd in this increasingly competitive industry, and what their job is really like! Philli Wood is a graduate of Westminster University and winner of the 2014 Warehouse Design Competition, a partnership between Warehouse and the British Fashion Council’s Colleges Council to recognise emerging talent in fashion design. Now working as a designer for luxury Italian fashion house MaxMara, Philli spoke to The National Student about how her experience has helped to shape her career in fashion design… You studied Fashion at the University of Westminster, how was your experience there? I really enjoyed it. Westminster has great facilities for fashion students and lots of space, plus it’s really close to central London for exhibitions and such. While at university, did you undertake any work placements or internships to gain extra experience? Yes, we had two timetabled periods for work placements. The first was three months in the middle of second year, and the second was a years’ placement for our third year. In second year I worked for Peter Pilotto, and in third year for Burberry and Proenza Schouler. You won the Warehouse Design Competition Winner 2014 to design a capsule collection for the brand, which was released online and in stores in February - how did it feel to see your designs on sale on the high street? It was amazing! It was really great to see that all of the hard work had paid off. What were the influences behind your graduate collection, which was developed for your Warehouse collection? The collection was initially inspired by American Indian Inuit. I experimented with large oversized silhouettes and chunky knitwear, and I printed images of cable knits onto exaggerated shapes to give the illusion of knitwear. The bright, clashing colour palette was inspired by installation artist Dan Flavin. When re-designing the collection for Warehouse I had to make it a lot more commercial, so everything was reduced in size, but the main ideas stayed the same. Do you have any go-to areas for inspiration, or do you find yourself constantly inspired by new things? I think new things inspire me all the time, whether it’s street style or an exhibition, everything and anything really! Are there any designers that you admire or that influence your work? I really like Proenza Schouler and their use of fabrics, and also Burberry as I love their heritage and their use of textiles. I love sportswear-inspired clothes also, so designers such as Kenzo and Alexander Wang.
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