Holding my breath, I half didn’t want to look at the list of names that had been selected to show their work on the catwalk.
My name wasn’t on the list. I didn’t feel upset, if anything I felt relieved to know. I had never set the catwalk as my goal, I had aimed to create an amazing collection, granting me the degree that would be my stepping stone towards a career in intimate apparel.
The catwalk was always a bonus to me and as I know from the selections last year, the show must be a varied cross section of the course. Many innovative and exciting collections were not chosen for catwalk and instead were represented in the exhibition space at Freemason’s Hall.
I cast my mind back to earlier that day and the chaotic sewing room which we had used as a changing room, shoes scattered the floor, a tub of biscuits for our models sat melting on the ironing board, coat hangers and garments filled in any space that was left between the half dressed models and their dressers.
I had felt nervous as I pulled up stockings and struggled to put other people’s feet into high heels. I anxiously followed the six models wearing my collection into the judging room. The panel were impressed with my cording, laser cut flowers as racer back connectors and ombray dye techniques. A "very stunning collection" one of the industry experts had commented.
Later that evening, as I thought about what it meant not to be on the catwalk, the emotion started to surface, I began to think that it really couldn’t have been stunning enough, or that I wasn’t good enough. I am my own worst critic and never credit myself when I do well. Yet a very small but wiser part of me knew that I am really good at what I do and my collection is beautiful.
For me to feel proud of what I have achieved is amazing, I don’t think I have ever really let myself feel that before. Through all the skills I have learnt at university, one of them is to believe in yourself.
If you don’t who else will?
I have realised that you can’t win everything, and in losing sometimes, you become stronger and learn how to be happy for your friends just as they have been for me at times. I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic group of talented designers and want to say a massive well done to us all. Well done class of 2012! We did it!