Nottingham is great for me! It isn’t too big and it isn’t too small. There is always something going on, and there are so many things to see and do. It also has good transport links to London; something that is important for art and design students.
More about Sophie
What made you choose to study at NTU?
“I was unsure if I wanted to be a costume maker or designer, and this course offered me the chance to try my hand at both and learn two very different, but equally important, complementary skill sets. I felt that learning about two different areas of the industry would make me both a stronger designer and maker.”
What do you enjoy most about your course?
“The people I work with. The course staff are lovely, supportive and give excellent constructive feedback, which helps guide us in the right direction and encourages us to work harder. My fellow classmates are all very interesting and energetic individuals, and we all help and support each other and work well together.”
Has the course included any industry competitions?
“Yes, we collaborated with AW Hainsworth and Sons, a company that produces woollen textiles. We were set a brief to create an 18th century riding jacket by our tutor, and were given the freedom to design our own jacket using the company’s fabrics, and later to embellish and decorate it. The Hainsworth judges then decided which student they thought had used their fabric in the most interesting and effective way. The winner was given £100 worth of the company’s fabrics.”
Has the course included any speakers / lecturers from industry?
“All our tutors have either worked or are still working in the industry. This means that they have contacts within the industry who come to talk to us. Designer Christopher Oram was probably one of our most recent guests, and one of the most helpful in my opinion. He came and had a very down to earth conversation with us about what the industry is like, and talked about his most recent work, Casanova (Northern Ballet). He brought some of his designs in for us to look at, and was very happy to answer all of our questions, and stayed in the studio with us almost all day.”
What do you think about the course staff ?
“Everyone on this course is very supportive and helpful, both during and outside our taught sessions. Our lecturers and tutors are easy to get in contact with via email, and are happy to set up meetings or tutorials with us. There is always at least one technician in our studio work rooms who we can pop in to see when we have questions, even outside of our timetabled sessions. Finally, our course administrators know everything about the course and are very friendly. Their office door is always open!”
How do you find the facilities?
“We are very lucky as we have two studios fully equipped with sewing machines, over lockers, irons, big sewing tables as well as a dye room. I love that our campus is quite compact in the sense that everything is in one place, and you can get from one building to another in a matter of minutes. I practically live in the library. It’s an excellent working environment and has some very useful and interesting books that I would not be able to access otherwise.
“The lecture theatres are well equipped with a monitors and projectors. The SU is a lively space for society meetings and events, and has a café that turns into a bar in the evening. It also houses a gym and a climbing wall which is pretty cool if you want to keep fit.”
As an international student, what do you like about studying and living in Nottingham?
“Nottingham is great for me! It isn’t too big and it isn’t too small. There is always something going on, and there are so many things to see and do. In my opinion, it is one of the easiest places for a student to study and enjoy university life. It also has good transport links to London; something that is important for art and design students.”
Why would you recommend your course / NTU to someone looking to study in that area?
“It's a course that gives you a broad set of skills. If you are undecided about what you want to do, design or make, this course will help you develop skills in both areas and ultimately help you discover where your strengths and weaknesses are. It will also open your eyes to other unknown work possibilities that exist in the industry.”
Have you completed any work placements during the course?
“I have completed three placements. My first one was working with a fine artist on one of his performance pieces. I helped come up with a concept for the costumes, then designed and made them.
"My second one was with one of my tutors who was the costume supervisor for the production of Mrs Henderson Presents that was being released in Toronto. I worked with her at Angels Costumes in London for three weeks doing fittings and sourcing fabrics and costumes.
“My third and most recent one was for the Remembering Fred tour. I went on tour for four weeks as an assistant to the wardrobe mistress. I was a dresser back stage and helped with the maintenance of the costumes. I also have a week’s worth of work experience lined up for the summer doing something similar which I am very excited about!”
Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“Doing Colleen Atwood’s job!”