Alumni Stories - Laoise Carey
The fashion industry is currently experiencing a time of huge change: brands are becoming more environmentally conscious, striving to implement more ethical manufacturing processes, and improving interaction with their audiences through the use of technology (accelerated by Covid-19).
Name: Laoise Carey
Current Career: Fashion Design
Graduation Year: 2017
Discipline: Fashion Design
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
I was always very creative but was torn between pursuing art or academia as a career path. I had to choose between studying fashion/textiles, languages or engineering.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
I decided to study at NCAD because I have some family friends who are NCAD alumni so I knew that graduates could have positive outcomes and get good jobs. I always wanted to live and study in Dublin because I found it to be such an inspiring city.
How did you develop your career towards your current job?
After graduating from NCAD in 2017 I worked for a fashion manufacturing company Styletex in Dublin as a Junior Pattern Cutter. From there, I moved to London for two years to work for an Irish luxury fashion designer (and NCAD Alumna) Simone Rocha. Here, I worked in the design department for six months and then moved into the area of garment technology as the sample room assistant. I moved back to Ireland in December 2019 to prepare my application for Masters courses, but during the Covid-19 pandemic I decided to defer my applications and start to work launching my own fashion brand.
What is the one experience – during your time at NCAD – that has informed you most in your career / work to date?
For me, the best experience at NCAD was learning exceptional pattern cutting and sewing skills, including making tailored jackets, blouses and jeans. I have always been interested in the crafts of tailoring and dressmaking, so the hands-on nature of my experience highlighted to me that my skills lie mainly in the areas of pattern cutting and garment technology.
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today, what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
I would encourage everyone to take part in the Studio+ year, after Year 2, to elongate your course. Once you have graduated it is much more difficult to take on unpaid internships, so the Studio+ year is a great opportunity to build up industry experience before you even graduate, and while you can still take advantage of student loans to fund your internship.
Given the global turmoil and change, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, what – in your opinion – are the opportunities for those in creative industries?
The fashion industry is currently experiencing a time of huge change: brands are becoming more environmentally conscious, striving to implement more ethical manufacturing processes, and improving interaction with their audiences through the use of technology (accelerated by Covid-19). Opportunities are opening up for creatives to be drivers of change, and innovators in every area of fashion design, production, sales and marketing. I strongly believe that graduates, assistants and juniors with exciting ideas have more power to create positive change within a company than they may believe.
Portfolio Links: www.laoisecarey.com
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