Throughout the Fashion Management course there are many exciting opportunities, with industry experience highly encouraged. It is key to be resourceful and use your initiative in finding these experiences. The Fashion Management Facebook page is a useful tool with lecturers alongside past and present students posting current job offers. This was how I found out about the opportunity to volunteer at the 2015 Scottish Fashion Awards in London.
I jumped at the chance of being a Front of House Assistant for the awards described as “Scotland’s Fashion Oscars”, where the world of design and entertainment is brought together in celebration of the country’s talent and innovation. Having never done anything like this before it was nerve-wracking arriving at the stunning Corinthia Hotel and meeting the other volunteers. However, these nerves disappeared very quickly when everyone started chatting about their courses and experiences. This is the lovely thing about the fashion industry as not only is it its own community, but it’s filled with creative people, passionate about what they do.
Tasks were spilt in the run up to the event in order for all the finishing touches to be made. Some helped out at the Debenhams beauty suite where the awards founder Dr. Tessa Hartmann CBE and invited guests such as Sophie Ellis Bextor were to enjoy treatments from the likes of bareMinerals and Toni & Guy. However, most of us, helped out in the ballroom doing things like packing the goody bags amongst other jobs. I loved the design on the bags, which incorporated the Olympus Pen sponsor, and I was very tempted to sneak a Tunnock’s caramel biscuit.
It was incredible to see the ballroom transformed from a bare space into the “Highland Gathering” theme with a party atmosphere, the perfect setting for the awards’ tenth anniversary. With the finishing touches being put in place, I got the job of updating the Instagram account for the awards. I loved getting to do this, as it meant watching singer Tallia Storm, mystery performers The View and presenter Laura Whitmore all rehearse.
Soon the guests began to arrive and it was a bit surreal playing ‘I Spy’ to see who I recognised. With two tables to look after, the first seated one of my favourite designers, Christopher Kane, while the other was formed of Tallia Storm and The Vamps, along with Lucy and Tiffany Watson from Made in Chelsea. At times I did feel like an awkward gate-crasher!
During the awards I was backstage, taking each winner’s photo and uploading it to Instagram. This included Christopher Kane for Designer of the Year, Model of the Year Misha Hart, and Connor Ball of The Vamps. It was great being backstage watching professional photographer Neil Buchan-Grant work and all the winners seemed genuinely pleased with their award, with new and established talent given the recognition they deserve. At times it was frantic trying to post the pictures in good time but it was all a case of good time management.
Overall, the Scottish Fashion Awards was an incredible experience and I’d highly recommend volunteering at an event like this. Not only do you meet new people from different backgrounds but you can pick up and develop an array of skills as well as getting a taster for what it’s like to work in the events and marketing side of the fashion industry.
All photos I have used were taken on the day of the awards and are credited to the Scottish Fashion Awards, owned and produced by Hartmann Media Ltd. or Fashion Icon.
Thanks for reading!