From our “Four Seasons” competition, Jodie Spears was our overall winning designer, and I caught up with her at London Fashion Week during her internship prize with renowned international designer, Paul Costelloe.
How did you feel when you won the design competition and were you nervous to be working with such a famous designer?
I was so shocked, the designs made by my course mates were amazing and the individually tailored photoshoots for each different season really brought each one to life, it was an exciting experience. I was initially nervous about heading off to London and meeting Paul and his team however this is something I have always wanted to do so I know how important and enriching these experiences are to me as an aspiring designer.
What was it like getting to work for the Costelloe team?
The team was amazing, from day one I was extremely hands on and got involved in all aspects of what was happening at such a busy time for the company. Paul, his family and his team were so welcoming and kind to me I felt like I fit right in!
Did you get to use any of the skills you’ve learnt on your design course at UOG?
I am so grateful for all the skills that I have learnt on my design course and being able to actually use these and apply these to real life situations only makes me want to further my knowledge and push my skill set to the next level. I was able to use my ever growing production and design skills under Paul’s guidance and this was an invaluable experience.
Was working in fashion in the “real world” as you expected it to be?
“I love everything about fashion and having a chance to work within the industry for this short time has only heightened this. I expected it to be fast paced and non stop, especially with it being LFW and I wouldn’t want it any other way, I think this is what makes the industry so exciting and ever changing.”
What do you think you’ve gained from this experience?
“Obviously I have gained an invaluable experience for my CV but I feel that my time with Paul Costelloe has helped me to move forward as a designer and has given me a better understanding of the industry in which I hope to work within. It has also given me ideas on how to approach my final year of study so that it is as authentic to the real world as possible. Aside from all of this I have met some amazing and inspiring people and made memories that I will cherish.”
Would you recommend others to get involved with the fashion degree at UOG?
“As one of the original students to join the course I can’t fully express how happy I am that I chose to study at the University of Gloucestershire. It is a place that not only prepares me with the skills that I need for industry but also provides a comfortable, supportive and inspiring place which allows my skills to flourish. The members of staff are an endless line of support for my fellow students and I. We are a growing institution for Fashion Design with amazing facilities and talented staff and students, we are most definitely the course to watch! I am proud to say I study Fashion Design at the University of Gloucestershire.”
Would you recommend other aspiring designers to get involved with the Cotswold Collective initiative?
“Most Definitely, it has allowed me to work on a live brief in my second year of study and given me the experience of a live shoot and all the implications that come with that. It was amazing to see my design journey from paper to realisation to finished product. Working with the Cotswold Collective team allowed me to see my design come to life through photography and our own showreel.”
Sum up your experience in a few words; “Exciting, Invaluable and Inspiring”
What’s next for Jodie Spears?
“As I move through the final year of my course and towards my final collection I hope to push my skills further and work towards perfecting my craft in all areas. I am excited to show all that I can do. I aim to seek employment within the industry with the aim of one day creating my own brand. As of now I want enjoy the time I have left at The University of Gloucestershire and really soak up everything it has to offer.”
On behalf of the Cotswold Collective, we’d just like to congratulate Jodie and wish her the very best of luck for the future!