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Lucy Qian on studying Fashion at NUA

Lucy Qian on studying Fashion at NUA

At the end of the spring term, we were delighted to welcome back alumna Lucy Qian, to an informal yet informative "Learning Lunch" at No. 47.

Currently in her second year of a Fashion degree at Norwich University of the Arts, Lucy studied Art and Textiles at both GCSE and then A Level at St Mary's. This is her second visit back to share her valuable experiences with our current Photography and Art and Textiles students.

Lucy finds being part of the university's online student community provides creative, mutual support and explains that any good deeds always come back to support you later on. In Lucy's case, she has found that students studying photography and drama will always help out when she needs to model and photograph one of her designs. And in return, those students have work that they can add to their own portfolios.

She has some good advice about portfolios, including having clear headings and labels on each page. Keeping each page very individual, yet matching an overall design, is important in keeping the portfolio fluid, but not repetitive, because:

"Your portfolio has to speak for you when you are not there."

With her work she says quality over quantity is essential, as is paying attention to sustainability: it is a must and cannot be avoided.

For Lucy, TENCEL™ is a good example of a plant-based fabric so is sustainable, and sourced appropriately, should be ethically produced too. Another tip about material is not to be precious about the scraps - don't hoard them and don't procrastinate. Just get rid of them or give them away for somebody else's project!


Susan Conroy, Head of Art, described Lucy as:

"An exceptional student, who outshone with her work." 

There was also mention of being a bit messy too, but that was far outweighed by the quality of her work!

Lucy has been privileged to meet HRH the late Queen's own tailor, who came to visit the university, and was very complimentary about her work, describing her as "very employable".

With choices to make at the end of her third year - to go into the fashion industry or study a Masters - whichever she chooses, we are confident she will give it her all, with great success, and we look forward to keeping pace with her progress.

Find out more about Art and Design GCSE  and Textile Design at A level at St Mary's