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Continuing on our four part interview with the participants involved in the Student Fashion exhibition at The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Ragtrader spoke to student designer Laura Davis on her experiences.

What opportunities does this exhibit provide you as student designers?

As an emerging designer one of the challenges is forming connections within the industry. I feel like an opportunity like this is invaluable in the exposure we are given and the chance to work with the professional team at the museum.

How did you approach developing the designs and final product?

During the design process we were encouraged to make our own artworks, collage and collaborate, alongside other forms of imagery sourcing and research. I found this a great opportunity to have my own original work inspire my designs and really embrace and further my understanding of my concept. 

What have been some of the challenges throughout the process?

I faced challenges everyday. I find designing a constant form of problem solving and development, from little problems like deciding colours that all work harmoniously or coming up with some amazing idea on paper but is impossible to make with out a lot of problem solving. But that's all the fun.

What have you taken away from this experience? What have you learnt?

I have loved working with the team at the Powerhouse. Being involved in such a professional process was very new for me and so exciting to be given the opportunity to showcase my work which I put so much blood, sweat and tears into literally. 

Have you had any professional experience in the industry?

As a part of our degree we are required to complete an internship in the industry to gain professional experience working for a designer. I was lucky enough to be heavily involved in the team at Ginger & Smart. It was an excellent experience to be involved in the design and production processes including assisting at photoshoots and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA).

What did you learn?

I learnt a lot more about how the industry runs and the business side of fashion. Whilst studying everything is made on such a small scale that it is an entirely different process when designing for a large brand. That was invaluable to me.

What do you see as the biggest challenges affecting the industry?

I think as an industry that contributes a lot of pollution to our ever growing environmental problems, there is a great amount of opportunity to affect change in the industry by using much more ethical and environmentally friendly practices, which is already happening. But changing the way the industry is viewed is always going to be a challenge.

Where do you see further opportunities?

My College has been a great support for our careers after we graduate and we are exposed to opportunities such as MBFWA, The Design Residency and Beijing Fashion Week

What's next for you?

I hope to continue my own label, developing my philosophy and beliefs which stem from this desire to have a positive affect on the planet whilst in the fashion industry. I believe that slow fashion can make such a strong impact on the industry providing a much higher quality garment made in natural fibres in timeless styles that can be worn for years all year round. Coming from the Gold Coast I've always been surrounded by nature and it will always hold a strong place in my heart.

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