Please tell us about yourself
MA Fashion Media Production students will be showcasing their work at LCFMA16 Exhibition from 17-20 February, LCF (London College of Fashion) News took this opportunity to talk to some of this year’s graduating students to see what inspired their final projects. Originally from India, Saloni Dahake only ever had one university in mind when she decided to study a postgraduate, and London was the only place she wanted to study. LCF News caught up with Saloni ahead of the exhibition to talk about MA Fashion Media Production, advice to prospective students and how Holition inspired her final project.
Where and what did you study prior to MA Fashion Media Production?
I studied advertising in Mumbai, India, but switched fields to fashion styling and content development for magazines soon after.
What made you want to study an MA?
After two years of working in the magazine industry and production companies, I realised this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I come from a family of artists, and technology was a big part of my upbringing. I realised I wanted to work towards producing media for various digital platforms, hence MA Fashion Media Production seemed like a perfect fit for me.
Why did you choose LCF? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and exciting career?
Honestly, I didn’t apply to any other university. It had to be London for me and my choice of university was UAL. When I attended my first physical interview with a tutor from LCC, I was offered a place on a styling and media course because of my experience in fashion styling. I didn’t accept the offer as I was keen on switching fields and decided re-apply directly to course leader, Nilgin Yusuf, with a more media-specific portfolio. After a long Skype interview, I was in. I think I danced with joy that afternoon!
Tell us about your final year project?
In Janurary 2015, I did a short internship at Holition, London, which changed everything I knew about technology. It was then I realised I wanted to work across various digital platforms and learn more about the intersection of design and technology.
For my final year project, I created a prototype for an interactive makeup e-commerce community aimed at bringing independent makeup brands and makeup enthusiasts together in a creative way. I was massively inspired by Unmade, London’s e-commerce website and wanted to create an interactive platform for indie brands that not only sold a product but did so in an interesting way. I worked solo on the design and functionality of the website, which I called Re-make, while my mentor, Mouhannad Al Sayegh of Digital Anthropology Lab helped set up everything online. Working with him or even just watching him work on the project triggered my liking for UX and UI design. Even though my website is several steps away from completion, I have a clear sense of direction of what needs to be done next. I want to collaborate with artists, make use of social media channels, find my target audience and set up a technical team that will help me make changes to the website on a regular basis.
What are your future plans?
I plan on collaborating with artists and continuing work on the website as I push live at some point in the future. Other than that, I’m also learning the basics of HTML and sharpening my design and media skills. I would like to work for a creative media agency and learn as much as I can from people around me – in London or in India. I’m working in a new field, and learning is the most important task for me right now. I also wish to pursue my PhD after gaining some solid experience in the industry.
How do you think the course will help you to realise these plans?
This course has helped me understand what I really care about. London has taught me a lot about technology, and after the internship at Holition a month long and the workshop with Fred Deakin, I’ve realised interested in the intersection of design and technology. My mentors at LCF have been nothing but encouraging and I guess that is very important for someone who decided to make a switch from one field to another. I was confused for a really long time about what I wanted to do, but my path seems clear now.
What do you like most about your course, and what did you find the most challenging?
We had three mentors throughout the year who specialise in different fields – making this course suitable for all media enthusiasts irrespective of the platform they wish to work on. My class was a perfect blend of filmmakers, photographers, graphic designers and website/app developers. That not only helped us collaborate with each other but also encouraged us to step out of our comfort zone and learn new skills. However, due to the short duration of this course, sometimes the pressure was intense, and handling learning whilst working on independent projects seemed somewhat challenging. But this challenge wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as it pushed us to work harder.
What advice would you give to anyone considering studying an MA at LCF?
I’m glad I’m getting to answer this question! I think the key is to start work from day one and collaborate with almost everyone around you, especially if you’re an international student! Everyone in this university is a master of a certain skill, hence it is important to network and learn as much as you can from them; and while you’re at it, do not forget to enjoy and travel