Wen Ting Lai is a current BA (Hons) Fashion Design student. She tells us what made her choose to study at Leeds Arts University, what a typical week involves and offers advice to those interested in studying at the University...

Why did you choose to study at Leeds Arts University?

I chose Leeds Art University as it is one of the UK’s leading independent art institutions and the only specialist arts university in the North of England. When I attended open days and my interview I immediately decided that I wanted to study here because of the high quality facilities and resources. The working environment is very calm so I feel very comfortable working without feeling stressed. The University is very supportive and has given me opportunities that have helped me achieve my study and creative goals.

Image: Courtesy of Wen Ting Lai

What do you like about living in Leeds?

Leeds is a perfect student city with a diverse and vibrant, friendly atmosphere as well as a range of social events and cultural activities. These include Leeds International Festival, Light Night, and an amazing range of theatres, museums and art galleries. There’s an abundance of good restaurants, bars, clubs and coffee shops and it feels safe at night compared to other big cities. There are also lots of independent shops and venues too, with some very good local food producers and breweries. Most importantly, Leeds is a place to take inspiration from and it has definitely influenced my own designs.

What does a typical day/week as a BA (Hons) Fashion Design student involve?

A typical week as a BA (Hons) Fashion Design student is hard to describe because every week is different and involves learning new skills. The week usually begins with a session with a tutor and a new creative brief. This is usually followed by a taught lesson showing us new techniques and skills that would benefit us in our set task.

Self-study periods provide the opportunity to work in the studio with the equipment provided, library, in the Mac suites or at home. We have access to a wide range of research and design facilities before we start making garments. The whole process involves research, thinking, toiling, design and development. Later in the week we have a session of critical feedback with our tutors. In these sessions everyone shows their progress and you feel really engaged and motivated. There are new tasks every week and towards the end of the year the work flow is quite fast paced and productive. I look forward to working and really see how you grow as a designer through the weeks. 

Image: Courtesy of Wen Ting Lai

What advice would you give to someone considering studying Fashion Design at University?

If you’re considering studying at university choose a subject that you love and enjoy. Stay kind and positive. If you choose Fashion Design, you’ll be learning something new every day. It might get hard but always remember to ask for support and don’t be afraid to talk to someone when you need advice. Make sure you maintain a good balance between work and breaks. Don’t be afraid to meet new people and collaborate with different kinds of creatives! Lastly, make the most of the university life experience and enjoy it. 

Describe yourself in three words.

Cheerful, imaginative, hardworking