Benefits of Entering Competitions Whilst Studying for a Degree in Textiles

Research the benefits of entry into competitions within your specialist area whilst also reflecting on your experiences in completing this live brief, How has competition entry affected your professional practice through this module? In this essay I will research the benefits of entering competitions whilst completing a textile degree and what can be gained from this in the long run. I will also document how I found completing this live brief to competition standard, especially for such a highly regarded company such as Hand and Lock.

My knowledge of competition entering within our field was admittedly poor before receiving the brief for this project. At first I didn’t really see the point in paying twenty three pounds just to have your work evaluated and more than likely sent back by such a prestigious company, but as the brief went on and I researched such benefits, it became clear how important doing this was. The main reason being because I think it gives you a chance to really promote yourself as a professional and capable textile designer, as well as a committed student.

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You also must work to the high standards set by previous competitors. I think working like this, where you know the competition standard is very high, is extremely beneficial to your work ethic as it gives you a taste for working in industry as well as working to your highest standard possible. I think the hand and lock brief in particular was so fabulously diverse, there really wasn’t any room to go wrong with it. It was easy to understand and fairly simple to chose from the subheadings underneath the overall title of Buntys old drawers.

One such heading happened to be the loosely named, ‘For fun’ The brief I ended up choosing which focused on ‘ombre Chantilly lace and anatomic pin-tucks in guepiere mood’ among other tantalising and evocative words. I was drawn to this brief by the sumptuous and elegant wording and the images that appeared in my mind whilst reading it. My work therefore took on this luxurious feel with plenty of gold and texture. The words evoked ideas, imagination and inspiration for my work, something in which I found many other competitions to be lacking.

Take for example, The Technical textile competition 2011 supported by the drapers society IR1 It has a very analytical style of conveying the question, which I think seems dull and doesn’t really inspire me to enter this, simply from the bland wording and unimaginative design brief. I think by simply changing there approach and wording of the brief, it would inspire many more students to enter. A competition which I found to be just as interesting as the Hand and Lock brief was on the Beta Fashion website.

It goes on to say… ‘The Beta Fashion project was launched with the goal of creating unique and affordable clothing for fashion forward individuals. We have established a new model for the fashion design process – contemporary fashion created on an open platform in collaboration with designers from around the world. More than just a fashion label, we wanted to start a new design initiative that would change the way fashion is created and consumed. IR2 Beta fashion is a self stated company which gives budding designers a real platform to get their designs used in Industry via competitions set on their website. Browsing through recent winners on the site, I see amazing works submitted by Students and new designers a like, Something which I found very inspirational whilst researching the benefits of competition entering in our field. For me in particular this competition has given me a new outlook on the textiles industry and the importance of competitions within our field.

It has given me the confidence to submit work to be judged by Hand and Lock as well as other competitions in the future. To conclude this brief has been extremely beneficial to me and how I plan to work in the future. I have realised what a competitive industry It is and this has made me more eager to branch into the textile industry once I have completed my degree. I plan to continue my research outside of this essay, into competitions and have the confidence to submit my work to them.

I now understand the great benefit these have to design students as It gives you a real platform into the textile industry as well as the opportunity to get your designs used and recognised.

IR1 The Technical Textile competition 2011, The Drapers Society. http://www. industrialtrust. org. uk/drapers. html (Accessed: 21st March 2011) IR2 No named Authour, ABOUT US, beta fashion 2009 https://www. betafashion. com/t-aboutus. aspx (Accessed: 23rd March 2011)