A 3rd year student from DAF, Tamara Dyson is currently in London doing an internship with Vivienne Westwood.  We asked her some questions about her experience and her response is below.

What is your position?

Im interning under Vivienne Westwood, The Red Label (one of the diffusion labels).  Murray is the creative director/head designer, Marcello is the junior designer, and Rachel is the junior assistant designer.  Im basically working under all 3 of them but Rachel delegates to me most of the time. How long have you been there and how long willl you be there in total? I started my internship on the 3rd Jan 2012 when everyone got back form Christmas holidays, and Im working with the Red Label until the end of February.  I’m then assisting the Gold Label (Vivienne Westwood main collection) at Paris Fashion Week and will be in Paris until the 7th March, after which I return to London to pack up and head back to Cape Town.

What are the types of things that you have or will be doing while you are there?

I have been doing ALOT of technical flats on illustrator for the upcoming SS13 range, certain details I can have my own input into; i sit in on meetings, such as choosing new print designs etc; I’ve been doing some research on the brand, our label, delving through the archive room and then coming up with new design ideas/developments; assisted with the set-up and visual merchandising of the showroom for the presentation to the buyers, helped at the actual presentation, assisted with the lookbook shoot, also a lot of running around between the design office and pressroom. I’m assisting at London Fashion Week where I have quite a lot of responsibilities, and then I’m dressing at Paris Fashion Week.

Have you noticed any big differences from working there, than working in SA?

It’s a lot more fast paced and intense than South Africa.  There is literally no room to mess up.

Is there anything that stands out as something you have really learnt so far from this experience?

Although we are taught that fashion is a business, actually being in the industry has made me realise how much MORE it is about the business, and less about the fashion.  Absolutely every decision needs to be approved of by HR, and needs a motivation for the price attached to it.  So many limitations are put in place that need to be worked around, especially in such a company like Westwood that is a family run/privately owned company, with no corporation that is financially backing them.