An interview with BA Fashion student Emily Saunders

An interview with BA Fashion student Emily Saunders

We recently caught up with second year BA (Hons) Fashion student, Emily Saunders, to find out more about her path to studying at NUA, and what it’s like to be a fashion student in Norwich.

A black and white photograph of BA Fashion student Emily Saunders

What is your background? 

Before studying at NUA, I did a UAL Art Foundation at UCA Rochester. Previously, I had completed my A-levels in Textiles, Maths and Geography at a very academically focussed school.

Have you always wanted to study fashion? 

When I was a kid I always said I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, which then did actually merge into fashion designer – so essentially yes!

At A Level, I started digging into the environmental and ethical impacts of the fashion industry and, being shocked by the stats, felt even more inspired to go into Fashion to help drive change.

How did you find out about our course?

I knew that I wanted to move away from home to go to uni, so I did a lot of research and went to a lot of university open days. 

I had never been to Norwich before coming to an open day, I loved the vibes of the university and the city!

Black and white womenswear fashion illustrations by BA Fashion student Emily Saunders. The image shows a row of illustrated women wearing different fits of black dress and accessories
Illustrated womenswear collection titled 'Memoire' by BA Fashion student Emily Saunders

What made you decide NUA was the right university for you to pursue Fashion?

I loved the small class size, the friendly working environment and the level of support available from technicians, tutors and NUA as a university. 

I also liked that it was a small specialist arts uni, so you get to know everyone on your course as well as people from other courses.

At NUA you become part of a supportive close-knit creative network which gives you so much potential for exciting collaboration opportunities!

Norwich is also within reach of going to London if necessary if you want to go to wider exhibitions or fabric shops.

What sort of projects have you worked on so far?

In year one, you start with the basics to get everyone to the same level – everyone comes from different backgrounds and that is absolutely fine!

You will have inductions and always have friendly technicians available to help if you’re stuck. We have worked on a creative cut project, a textile-based project where we learnt different print techniques and were inducted into knit, and in year two we’ve completed a tailoring unit.

There is no pressure to conform to certain design styles – just get excited and try new things!

What skills have you learned since joining us? 

There are always technical workshops underpinning any creative work, so I have a learnt a lot of technical pattern cutting and manufacturing techniques. I have also massively improved my digital skills as there is always support available to help with digital practise.

"At NUA you become part of a supportive close-knit creative network which gives you so much potential for exciting collaboration opportunities!"

What does a typical week at uni look like for you?

I live a 10-minute cycle away from the city and keep most of my work at my desk so I am always ready to go each morning.

I am in the studio nearly every day and love being there. We have lots of timetabled studio time and technical sessions, as well as group or individual tutorials, and lectures from industry professionals.

I also help run netball society which is always really fun and a great opportunity to get to know people from all courses and years.

Norwich is a really cute city full of independent cafés and bars to socialise and grab a coffee, or to go out for a couple of cocktails on a 2for1 night!

What do you enjoy most about studying Fashion at NUA?

The studio space. Lots of the NUA buildings have beautiful medieval architecture but the studio space is fresh, modern and airy. From my desk, I can see the river and a couple of months ago we even saw a seal in it!

Fashion is an intense course wherever you study it and it’s little things like this, along with the group of friends and tutors and being in this bustling artsy city, that gives you the unique NUA experience!

If you could give a piece of advice to anyone considering studying Fashion at NUA, what would that be?

Go for it! Be excited, stay open, always be curious!

Explore more of Emily’s student work on Instagram @emily_rose_studio