We caught up with BA (Hons) Fashion student, Gemma Hill, on her experience studying at Leeds Arts University, what exciting projects she is working on and her plans for the future... 

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

Being from York, I have always been relatively engaged with Leeds, I have always known the city pretty well, its been a home away from home kind of place for me. The city holds many positive memories from my childhood and teenage years, along this the warmth of the city encouraged me to come to study here.

As for Leeds Arts University, I loved the idea of studying in a specialist arts university. It has always sounded very impressive and appealing to me. I felt that as a creative minded person, this would be the perfect university to continue my studies. The amount of facilities is fantastic, there are many opportunities and new techniques to try, you can develop new skills and develop a love for a technique you may not have thought you enjoyed! The University is a like-minded community of people, who constantly inspire and aid each other. We all bounce off one another, its great! 

What made you select BA (Hons) Fashion?

Ever since primary school I have always been a creative person and I got older, my artistic and creative interests grew a lot stronger especially when I was doing my GCSEs. I loved my art classes and wanted to stay in that environment all day long, all I wanted was to just be in the art room. Eventually an interest in design evolved which encouraged my interest in fashion to grow. I studied fashion design at college and I wanted to become even better at it. Leeds Arts University has enabled me to get to a level of skill which I can be proud of and can encourage future job possibilities. 

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

I specialise in Fashion Design, and I am currently working on my graduate collection. The process is very challenging but I have learnt so much about myself and my design identity. My graduate collection is allowing me to get myself out there and express my practice to others, it showcases me as a designer and will be a proud moment when it’s showcased at the Leeds Arts University fashion show. 

How does the University develop your practice?

The tutors' experience is fantastic! I’ve received a lot of advice and feedback from talented individuals that has pushed my practice into a positive direction. The tutors care about your work and push you into the right direction, they understand you as a designer and person and know exactly how to aid you with your practice. The support is amazing, you can ask about any challenge you're facing and you will get assistance. 

What do you plan to do after university?

First of all, I will need a job to support myself but during my employment I will be actively looking for design job. I would really love some more design work experience. Womenswear design is my preferred choice, however at the moment, I am open to any fashion/textile design opportunity which may become available.  

In the short term, I am a semi-finalist in the Redress Design Award, so if I am lucky enough to become a finalist, my summer after graduating will be taken up by preparing for the final!