A day in the life of: A Runway Designer

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This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.

By Megan Goh (16A03A), Treasurer

“Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” Ralph Lauren

Raffles Runway batches of 2015 and 2016 by Raffles Photographic Society (RPS).

What’s the life of a designer like?

At times, fashion can seem frivolous, a pastime of the vapid and vacuous.

But fashion can also be so much more. As an art form, fashion provides an avenue for expression of views, emotions, and self. At Raffles Runway, we believe that fashion is about taking the world, interpreting it, and making it beautiful.

During Runway sessions, members can expect to learn from other members, learn from professionals, and learn from doing. Sharing designs, and giving and getting feedback on them, allows you to innovate within a supportive environment. Creating alongside other designers that share your passion for fashion brings an extra dimension not just to your final designs, but also the creative process. Field trips to fashion shows and local designers’ ateliers can provide experiences student designers otherwise would not have access to, giving us precious glimpses into the way the fashion industry works. Much excitement is also centred around the planning and execution of our yearly fashion show. Members find inspiration for, sketch, and finally bring to fruition their designs. The process is not an easy one, the path to terrific pieces long-drawn and littered with late nights, re-conceptualised designs, and lost pins- so many lost pins. Ultimately, however, this creative journey is a rewarding one- seeing your design through from a raw idea you want to communicate into a gorgeous outfit is an incredibly meaningful experience.

Behind the scenes at Runway’s photo shoot in collaboration with RPS.

Not only do club members put together entire ensembles from start to finish, but designers are also involved in the production of the entire show. This provides valuable hands-on experience, equipping members with skills along the way, from photo-editing to make-up and hair to crafting intricate artworks as decorations. On top of that, members can also expect to work closely with others, pitching in whenever there’s a spare moment, because there’s always- always– something else to be done.

One of the best parts about Runway is the community. Spending time with similarly passionate people can spur you forward in ways you never expected. The community of designers brings a wealth of new and different perspectives, ideas, and talents to the table. Peer critiques and brainstorming allows designers to build on each other. The sharing of ideas is an idea central to Runway- designing as a community is what sets us apart. Be prepared for continual growth, both as a designer and as a person.

In going through the everyday, Runway designers also tackle larger issues. While we generally work under a broad theme, designers are afforded a good deal of creative freedom, which leaves us space to explore areas of interest. Your passions, talents, or anything you feel strongly are allowed to shine through in your work. While fashion is a freeing art form, it is also an industry rife with issues, tangled in gender, race, and socio-economic oppression. Our work often also carries a social message, or supports a cause, and in so doing aims to confront these same issues. Raffles Runway believes that fashion is a force for good, and we strive to embody this in our everyday. Fashion is a powerful tool, and it is yours to wield.


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