Last year in May I had completed the second year of my course. The sun was shining, the pressure was off and the satisfaction of being a step closer to holding a fashion degree was massively felt. The glorious feeling of the summer approaching was met with a wave off disheartenment, the most amazing class I could have asked for was being separated. Some of the class powered on into final year and like me, some opted for taking on a working placement. Either way each of us went, it was inevitable that we all had an exciting and wonderfully unpredictable year ahead. For the sake of the final year students we received a brief basically explaining if we started our research for dissertation in September, the first month back, then we were three months behind. I know it sounds like a buzz kill but it makes sense, final year is practically what the whole four years of work mounts up to, this is where it all counts so it is no surprise that we have to make full use of the summer to prepare.
Dissertation aside, one of our projects is to visit a European city and do a trend report of the culture, street style and the general relationship with fashion that the city has. Europe being such a cultural place with amazing sights and heritage, it will be undoubtedly difficult to think about where to go, but what a lovely decision it is to make.With my sisters and two separate groups of friends jetting off to Australia to live and travel, I definitely have an itching feeling to flee my hometown and discover the hidden quirks and breath-taking scenes the world has to offer. This project is definitely the kick I need to stop talking about it and do it. So before I jump into my decision I thought I would do a little exploration of what I feel is the most desirable destinations.
Of course a completely obvious choice, Paris is knowingly among the fashion capitals of the world. The city is far past a fashion influence, you could go as far as saying it is the epitome of fashion. Parisian heritage is massively intertwined in all aspects of fashion, from the language we use to describe clothing to contemporary styles and designs . The project is not just about the actual fashion, it concentrates on the street style, lifestyle and culture, which all has a strong existence in Paris. French culture in general is stunning never mind capturing it in the capital, the arts and theatre that has been created here is just mind-blowing. Walking the streets of Paris is a heart wrenching dream of mine, not just to see the main well-known scenery and touristy places, but to visit the hidden places they don’t tell you about in brochures.
I never would have considered Berlin until a few friends visited over the recent months and they said it was a really edgy funky place. This style really appeals to me, I love places that aren’t the obvious mainstream choice and the undeniable personality and edge is a massive bonus. Berlin is an international hotspot for fashion, like Paris it has a fashion week which welcomes a string of exhibitions and trade shows. As well as fashion events Berlin hosts colourful carnivals, prestigious art exhibitions and A-list film festivals. If my decision was led by my own personal style Berlin would be my top choice.
I have always had a longing in my heart to see Venice. I have a real passion for visiting traditional places, that’s why I loved Donegal so much. I love how the way of life isn’t spoiled by modern fast paced culture and everywhere you look is truly picturesque. The unique lakes, old buildings and rustic cafés that make up Italy’s old city, is something I want to experience. Besides being evidently stunning, Venice has a prestigious side holding a star-studded film festival and a favourite place for world renowned designers to host intimate gatherings and exhibitions. Being honest, this isn’t the side to Venice that I’m interested in, but it would be fascinating exploring a place so admired and considered high fashion that’s able to maintain it’s ever adored preserved way of life.
Since this is an exploration of Europe I thought I should include a little part of Scandinavia. Again, I wouldn’t have considered this city before, but my placement sells brands sourced from all over the world and it has really opened my eyes. Copenhagen is a place that has popped up time and time again and it seems to be associated with all things contemporary. The city comes across as edgy, cool and modern in all aspects. It is classed as Scandinavia’s fashion capital as well as having an annual culture month demonstrating the cities interest in art, music and architecture. Throughout Copenhagen there are quirky cafés, clean open lakes ready for people to take a swim in. The surroundings seem to represent fashion trends themselves so it is no wonder Danish designers are gaining international interest. On top of this Copenhagen was voted the worlds most livable city in 2013.
Obviously I could go into massive detail and extensively mention all the cities I would love to travel around, London being one of them (however I plan to go here at some point anyway). These are the places I feel personally I would be most enthusiastic about and in my project I would not just be exploring the fashion I would be finding out a lot about the city and I want my personal journey of discovery to come across in my work. I plan to go wherever I choose in February so I have to choose fast and wisely, I will let you know my city of choice in my next post, any thoughts on your favourite city are massively welcomed!