One of our graduates has jetted off to Indonesia for three months to work on designs for Jakarta Fashion Week after winning the Graduate Fashion Week International Residency Award.
Billie Jacobina, who studied BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print at UCA Rochester, is working as an assistant designer for the Indonesian brand Lekat and has been tasked with putting together a collaborative collection for the major fashion event, which takes place in October.
“Winning the award is life-changing for me and my career,” says Billie. “I have never been to Indonesia before, so learning about the culture and having a completely different lifestyle for three months is really exciting. I am working with Lekat’s head designer to create a collaborative collection which fuses traditional British textiles with traditional Indonesian textiles.”
Billie impressed at Graduate Fashion Week with her C-LYF collection, which involved printing onto many different textures, including sequins.
“Printing onto sequins interested many industry people at Graduate Fashion Week and New Designers. Hopefully this will stay as my signature style, and something I can take further. I was inspired by designs I saw when I was in Marrakech and wanted to combine these styles with the theme of a magical underwater wonderland. I created a narrative about a mermaid, named Luna, who discovered a range of underwater creatures – each piece of my work was inspired by a different creature. I really wanted to show myself and everything I love through this project.
“My degree taught me many of the skills that I needed to create my collection, especially with the technical side of digital printing. My tutors have all worked within their own businesses or labels and they have guided me and given me a lot of first hand advice.”
The Graduate Fashion Week International Residency Award is an annual prize announced by The British Council. The destination of the residency changes each year, with this year’s choice offering the winner the opportunity to take part in the biggest fashion event in Indonesia.
“If everything goes according to plan, we’ll also have the opportunity to feature at London Fashion Week in February,” Billie adds. “After the residency, I would love to keep my label going, if possible, and maybe start selling a few pieces. I have already been asked to do some freelance work over the summer too, which is really exciting.”