Creative Direction Assistant for a day: my experience at Graduate Fashion Week
I think all third year Fashion and Fashion Communication and Promotion students look forward to Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) as it is the one place where we are able to showcase our work and network with industry professionals.
Being able to work closely with the GFW team was something only a few people had a chance to do, so getting the opportunity to join this campaign as the Creative Director’s assistant was very exciting.
I was able to participate and help out on something specifically for GFW. I’ve now got this experience under my belt and also had a chance to put my skills to use in a professional environment.
The shoot was on a Tuesday and I found out the previous Thursday that I was chosen to assist, so I didn’t have much time to prepare as I was also in the midst of my final major project.
My experience from my internship last summer was something that came in very useful as I worked on two fashion editorials for Tank Magazine’s Autumn 2018 issue, where I assisted the stylists on set for the shoots.
On top of this, throughout my university experience at NUA, I have had many opportunities collaborating with students from courses such as BA Film & Moving Image Production and BA Photography, so I am confident in working with different creatives on different projects. Other than that, my experience shooting, directing and styling my own photoshoots for my personal projects was something that made me confident in being able to do well in this role.
"I thought I would just be a pair helping hands on set from my past experience assisting, but Nicola the PR and Communications Manager for GFW, told me I would be directing the street style shoot with the social media influencers"
On the day
My day started at 4am as I had to be in London early for the shoot. I was very glad I had Marta, who was chosen to be the Stylist’s assistant, with me during the day so I had a familiar face on set. When we got to Truman Brewery, we helped the team set up all of the clothing of the graduating designers and prepare the set.
As I was the Creative Director’s assistant, I helped the photographer’s assistant set up the lighting ready for the shoot.
I thought I would just be a pair helping hands on set from my past experience assisting. But Nicola, the PR and Communications Manager for GFW told me I would be directing the street style shoot with the social media influencers alongside Claire, a student photographer from Southampton Solent.
It was very exciting being able to direct a shoot myself whilst I was there, Claire and I collaborated very closely where I chose the location, angles and poses and she photographed. I also had the chance to style one of the looks as the GFW team wanted to incorporate more accessories designed by graduates in the photos, so I put together an outfit based around a matching backpack and bucket hat.
The whole day was amazing but my favourite part was directing the street style photos as I was able to be creative and use the skills I have gained at NUA.
My advice for anyone thinking about going for the role or something similar next year: just do it. Applying won’t hurt and if you do get chosen, it’s great experience and you get to meet fellow students who are in the same boat as you, as well as getting your name recognised by the GFW team, so it is a great way to network!