Fashion students at Macclesfield College recently received a special visit from former student Sophie Hampson. Sophie Hampson left the college in 2014 with a distinction for her level 3 Fashion course and was awarded student of the year for her outstanding practice in design.

Sophie produced an incredible portfolio of work which impressed fashion lecturers from leading international providers in fashion higher education. Progressing straight into university from college she began her BA (Hons) Fashion course at Ravensbourne University, London. Now in her third and final year of study Sophie is preparing for her final degree show and took time out of her busy schedule to share with students her incredible achievements.

Course leader for Macclesfield College’s UAL (University of Arts London) Extended Diploma Fashion pathway, Angela Devoti explained, “The second year fashion students are busy working on their new design projects and have also started work on a specialist unit, Preparation for Progression in Art and Design, where students begin to plan and write their UCAS personal statement for their applications to university. Sophie’s visit was organised to help give students further knowledge and insight into studying fashion at university and to share with the group her amazing experiences working in the fashion industry.”

Students Sam Bunting (left) and Kate Darlington (right) presenting their current design projects to Sophie.

Sophie presented examples of her degree portfolio to the group including tailoring and digital print for a diverse range of briefs, some with acclaimed London designer, Holly Fulton. Sophie also gave her personal insight into her working methodology, drawing links back to her developed skills from college and how the experience of her fashion course helped to prepare her for taking her creative handwriting forward into her degree study. She credited how the structure of her college course and the skills learnt helped to prepare her for the standard of work required for higher education.

During her second year of her degree course at Ravensbourne, Sophie was awarded £2500 for her part in VF Corporation’s Future of Denim Project. VF Corporation are the group behind Wrangler, Lee, 7 for all Mankind, Vans, Reformation and Rock & Republic. Her ‘Denim Innovation’ brief tasked entrants with researching trends and develop new innovations. Project presentations were displayed at the company’s head quarters in North Carolina.

As part of her degree course Sophie also gained a work placement with leading London designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos Divine. Sophie explained to the students how the experience of working with a design team on placement developed her skills even further and she relished learning about her craft through hands-on sewing and toiling with the technical team whilst also assisting the design team during the busy run up to London Fashion Week.

She passed on some great advice to the students, stating how hard work, dedication and believing in yourself was essential. Taking risks, trusting your own design instincts and taking on board constructive advice is also needed in order to develop as a designer.

UAL Year 2 Fashion student, Lorna Sharpe commented on Sophie’s presentation, “I thought Sophie’s presentation was so interesting. Listening to her experiences about what her course is like, and learning more about the structure and specialist subject areas you get to experience as a design student was amazing. I feel like I really understand the experience of life as a degree student even more.”

Course Leader for Fashion Angela Devoti added, “Over the years we have developed a very special network of our fashion alumni who continue to contribute to the fashion pathway – sharing their creative experience, knowledge and specialist subject areas of fashion to our current learners. Students regularly keep in touch to let me know how they are progressing at University and in industry. Over the years our students have gained incredible positions in many areas of the fashion industry and are always keen to share their experiences with our current learners.

Having Sophie back with us was joyous! She is an exceptional young designer; her dedication and commitment to her work has always been outstanding and she deserves every success. I always remember her beautiful drawings and how she always challenged herself from day one, she was always producing her own fabrics, designing her own prints. She also demonstrated a highly sophisticated approach to developing innovative silhouettes; it was remarkable to see at such a young age such raw talent. I have enjoyed seeing her continue to grow into the role of designer on her course at Ravensbourne; she has an incredible future ahead!”

Sophie commented on coming back to the college, “It was so great meeting all the current fashion students. I have really enjoyed sharing my experience studying at Ravensbourne. I wouldn’t be where I am now, without my tutor Angela Devoti’s knowledge and enthusiasm at Macclesfield College; she’s been my inspiration from the start.”