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Charis Younger


Why did you choose Northumbria School of Design, and what did you know about us before you applied?

From GCSE I always knew that I wanted to study fashion, and as I am from the North East I knew all about Northumbria's reputation within the fashion world and basically spent the next 3 years of my life (A-level and Foundation studies) working towards being accepted here. The real draw for me was its placement year, and its connections within industry. Having a full year to gain work experience in such a tough business and having so much help to find those placements was exactly what I wanted.

What do you most like about Newcastle, and how do you find the city?

Newcastle is home to me; it has such a welcoming feel to it with such friendly people, it's hard not to feel comfortable here. It has such a diverse set of people, cultures, music genres, scenes, etc that it's hard not to be inspired here. Considering there are so many art galleries, and with buildings such as the Lit & Phil, the Hancock and the Sage right in the centre of town, there's so much culture surrounding you to take in. More than anything, I love the fact that you can walk around and not realise that you're actually looking at art pieces by Invader, David Wynne or any of these people.

How do you find the cost of living in Newcastle?

Eating out, nights out, activities in general are all rather reasonable, and the metro makes life so easy.

Did you find the Design School welcoming?

The School of Design has become almost like a little family to me! Especially in final year when you're practically never out of the place. You get to be really close to everyone in your class when you're all under the stress of graduating and the School of Design has ended up being a little microcosm to us all!

How do you find your tutors and the staff within the School?

The staff have always been very approachable from day one. It was daunting coming in, in first year, having preconceptions about cutthroat fashion tutors, but that's entirely wrong! They're all really knowledgeable about different aspects of fashion, not just their own area, and they're always willing to help you out with things.

What are the facilities like?

There are so many different facilities in the school that it's amazing when you actually discover them! It's great in your first year as you get to experiment and try out different disciplines, for example screen printing, pattern cutting, digital printing, knitwear, etc. I'm currently using the metal workshop on the bottom floor to create metal pieces for my final collection.

What do you like most about the School of Design?

The building itself. It's very impressive from the outside and even more so from the inside.  Our floor is all open plan with glass partitions, so it's a fantastic studio space to work in. It's beautifully lit at night time too so it's always a talking point for people who don't study at the university. Also the fact that there is always an interesting exhibition put on in the foyer, just to give you that extra bit of inspiration everyday!

Tell me a bit about your course?

Fashion Design is a really fast-paced course, there's always something to do, always something to work on or research but, that's the fun of it. You're constantly pushed to think creatively and express your ideas and there's a bit of everything involved. We cover everything from; design to manufacture, sketchbooks to illustration, essays, print, catwalks, presentations, lectures, you name it, we do it!

If you had to pick an object to represent your course, what would it be and why?

A stitch unpicker! Because nothing's ever perfect first time and it will never ever be finished, you've always got to work on it more! I seem to spend a lot of time with my unpicker!

What are the most valuable lessons you have learnt to date during your time with us?

As I'm a course representative, I've had to try and be as organised as possible! Not always successfully! But, that's definitely the biggest lesson. If you can get it right in university then you should be well practiced for going into industry.

If you had 3 words to sum up your time with us what would they be?

Intense, Eclectic, Eventful

If you could offer some advice to students thinking of coming to study here what would you say?

It's definitely not an easy course, be prepared to come here and work hard from the moment you start. But that shouldn't put you off. It's the best thing I've ever done with my life and I've enjoyed it so much-I wouldn't want to change any of my time or experiences here.

What are your plans now and for the future?

Currently, I'm working on my final collection rather furiously, trying to get it all finished in time for our show at The Baltic! Very labour intensive but equally just as exciting. And after I graduate I'm moving to London, as I won the national Dorothy Perkins design competition and won a month's internship with them. Then, after lots of applications and interviews, I will hopefully have a job in Womenswear design lined up! Fingers crossed!

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