We spoke to BA (Hons) Fashion student, Emanuele Piarulli, on why he decided to study in Leeds, his specialist practice and what his plans are after he graduates...

Why did you choose Leeds as a city and more specifically, Leeds Arts University?

Coming from Italy, when I first decided to undertake an education pathway in Fashion, my first thought was Milan. However, after a thorough research I realised that the United Kingdom had so much more to offer in terms of development of one’s own artistic individuality. Leeds and in particular Leeds Arts University, compared to perhaps bigger realities, in my opinion, would have allowed me to find my own direction without the suffocating competitive mindset of most Capitals’ dwellers.

What made you select BA (Hons) Fashion?

The environment where I grew up was rather narrow-minded and not many people really considered Arts as a career. I have never been very talkative, but I have always had a lot of things to say. I guess Fashion was my way of expressing these things and even now, when I work on my briefs, my works are always inspired by the things that have kept my mind busy in the most recent times: gender and cultural identity, social relations etc.

What do you specialise in? What exciting things are you working on at the moment?

I am specialising in Design, particularly Menswear. It was not until we had our Tailoring module at the beginning of Level 5 that I realised my predisposition for Menswear. I enjoyed sewing before, but the technicality behind men’s clothing is so challenging and rewarding I am getting excited even talking about it!
At the moment, we are working on our Creative Cutting module, which is very important if someone wants to generate new ideas about shapes and silhouettes that would be hard to figure out otherwise. ​

How does the University develop your practice?

Our tutors seriously follow us throughout the process of the development of a project. It is hard and you need to employ a lot of time in order to be on top of your tasks and allow your tutors to help you through periodical ‘critiques’. However, if you are honest with yourself, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your very own creations at the end.

What do you plan to do after university?

I would like to gain some valuable work experience for a couple of years, learn some precious skills and maybe apply for a MA in Menswear. In the future, I would like to develop my own brand.