From suffering from a heatstroke, to discovering a dead mouse in my room, lets just say that I had a rather rough start of the week… However thankfully the rest of the week went pretty well that provided insightful moments and wonderful surprises.
Tasks at work consisted with the usual scanning and editing of technical drawings with Web PDM and Photoshop, along with some filing and boxing etc. However I was also given new types of tasks and learned some new things. This included writing a production checklist for the Mid Summer 2015 collection. This involved me going around the pattern room to ask the pattern cutters what stage each garment they were working on was at. Such as whether its in the machine room, being fitted on a model etc. Working on the production development files for most of the week informed me about the different stages and which countries the company produce their products at. They mostly work with Indian and Hong Kong based factories, however other places include Romania and Turkey. I also gained a new skill by briefly learning how to use PDS (Pattern Design Software). Its a intuitive and powerful software designed to work with patterns at every step of the production cycle. By using Gerber technology, the finished patterns are then printed out and sent to international factories for manufacturing.
On Thursday and Friday, fittings with a model took place in the Pattern Room. This was a very exciting thing for me to witness because it provided a great insight on how the Pattern Cutters and the Designers communicated and interacted with each other. There is a common misconception that being a Fashion Designer and being a Pattern Cutter is the same thing. However it is not. Designers are responsible for coming up with the design, concept, and color palette etc. Whereas the Pattern Cutter is the one who brings the Designers vision to life. They toile and develop the patterns for the garment.
While I was standing near a fitting and asking my boss for a new task, one of the Designers who was fitting a dress on the model asked for my opinion on whether or not the strap on a dress should be thinner or not. At first I was caught a bit off guard because my first thought was “OMG THE DESIGNER IS ASKING YOUR OPPION SAY SOMETHING NOW QUICK!” Thankfully, we both agreed that the straps should be thinner.
Apart from the Pattern Room, I’ve been able to help out/meet people in other departments like Quality Assurance and Design. I usually have go into the Design Department every other day to give one of the Designers sketches from the Pattern Room. However on Friday afternoon, I actually was appointed to do tasks for the Designers. The first task was to copy and paste patterns onto word and do A3 print outs. Then I was required to box and pack away hangers (SO MANY HANGERS!!). When I went to get some more tape to finish up the boxing job, one of the Designers (the same one who asked for my opinion the day before), said that she liked my white Bershka crop top and wanted to take measurements off me. Afterwards we ended up having a conversation and I asked her things like how much creative input do they really have when working for a brand. She said that they do have a lot of input when it comes to the deisngs, theme, color pallets etc, but at the end of the day still needs to be approved by the Creative Director or Head Designer. She even said at one point that if I am not needed in the Pattern Room and if I would be allowed to, I could also help out in the Design Department. Obviously I’m fully committed to the Pattern Room and especially assisting the Pattern Room Coordinator (a.k.a my boss), but it would be cool to get to know other areas and make the most of my internship!
To mark the end of week 2, I now get to indulge myself into a bit of World Cup madness! Even at work people have been excited about the games! We even ended up doing a sweepstake bet, where we had to pick a random country out of a bag and pay a pound each. Basically who ever gets the winning team at the end of the games, wins all the money in the pot. I ended up with Colombia and Iran. So far Colombia recently defeated Greece with 3-0. Iran play Nigeria on Monday so we shall see how they will do…
So as the World Cup continues, so does the rest of my journey of my internship that will hopefully eventually kick-off my career aspiration in Fashion.