While I was sitting on the plane (from my hometown in Sweden back to New York) I was thinking about how exciting the new semester would be. New classes, and many new design projects, both inside and outside of the classroom.
I spent my last semester in New York, studying at Parsons and being a part of the fashion industry, and it made me realize a few things.
It’s been an amazing experience in many ways—I’ve had the chance to create exciting design projects, met incredible people and finally sorted out a great apartment – but, it has been very challenging to manage school work and a social life at the same time.
I’ve understood that going to Parsons, a very strenuous art/design school, truly is a full-time job–whatever you create, there will always be things to add, improve and develop. Naturally, this applies to other majors as well, but I do believe that the arts are special in that the perceptions and views of others are so individualized, especially when it comes to professors.
I think fashion design often feels intensive and rough on students because everything you design personally links to you. It’s your passion that comes to shape in a dress, a painting or plain doodle. So, it’s naturally very demanding to have your creations analyzed and criticized, as it often feels like a direct reflection of your personality. You never feel quite finished, which indeed causes the sense of belittlement and exhaustion.
During the Fall, I was honored to work next to the designers at Karl Lagerfeld (something that I couldn’t turn down despite a tight agenda at school!). It’s been so amazing getting to know the KL design team as they’ve been super friendly and professional in their teamwork. I am a firm believer of work experience, mainly because you learn so many things that school can’t always offer – leadership, teamwork, all the steps in a design process, and so on.
But, even though I've been a part of some amazing things, it doesn’t feel quite maintainable since it’s been such a frustration to manage my time. I think it’s important to make time for developing your own creative style, and since most of the projects in school are very directed, the time for this becomes even more important. To be a good designer I think it's important not to force your creativity. With that being said I am excited to start this semester with a clean slate!