Eleven Design students. Sixteen weeks. One ambition: getting to know yourself better as a Designer. The AMFI Honours Design Programme has just finished. We spoke to Abbie, Britta and Sarah, three second year students who were selected. This means leaving the regular design programme, giving up your summer holidays and being prepared to work hard. This week the students presented their collections at a joint fashion show in Amsterdam.
The Honours programme consists of intense classes in design, concepting, styling, and photography, guest lectures from fashion professionals and the chance to work in a small group of eleven designers. Abbie Stirrup: ‘It’s about working on your design ideas for months and pushing your mental boundaries.’ Abbie believes the programme has significantly improved her whole understanding of creating a collection, from pattern knowledge to construction. ‘It was the first time it felt I was really doing my own thing, like working in the real world,’ she adds.
‘I knew that Honours is a programme where you can actually reach a level you did not imagine reaching a few months before. That is what made me want to do it,’ says Britta Bentele. ‘It’s a lot about expressing yourself and experimenting. The biggest difference with the regular programme was that we had the time and freedom to apply our design handwriting in the way we wanted to.’
As part of the curriculum the students went to Paris to see the Fashion Week and to experience the city. ‘Paris was amazing. I got the most inspiration and motivation from the people around me, doing the same, wanting the same, thinking the same,’ tells Sarah Mayer. ‘During these few months I learned a lot about my strong points and especially about my weak ones. It’s important to realize how limited your knowledge sometimes is. The programme truly is like a little preview into the real world.’
Frans Ankoné, a renowned fashion stylist, was one of the mentors during the programme. Frans: ‘With this programme the students get the time to develop’, he says. ‘It’s very free and experimental and even though they have to give up their holidays they get the benefit of living fashion 24/7.’
Text by Irena Krajnc, 2nd year International Fashion & Branding Student. Photographs by Kadri Günay Akbas, Liselotte Fleur, Charmaine de Heij, Carlijn Jacobs.