After two weeks of inductions and introductory meetings my classes at London College of Fashion finally begin next Monday. I've somehow managed to miss all freshers events, but I did attend a great networking session with MA students of fashion photography, styling, fashion media production and fashion journalism (my course) yesterday.
The session took place in the MA room at LCF's John Prince's Street location (as the name suggests, the MA room is a designated oasis for MA students, but what it doesn't suggest is that you can only access it with a code – spiffy!). At first everyone had awkwardly chummed together with people from their course, avoiding other groups altogether – i.e. the exact opposite of what we were supposed to be doing – but then one of our course leaders saved the day proposing we break the ice by telling others what makes us smile, what makes us nervous and something people don't know about our home country. These short introductions led to spontaneous, yet intense mingling – I've never introduced myself to so many people and vice versa in such a short time.
We spent the rest of the morning memorizing names (and pronouncing them with various degrees of accuracy), promptly adding each other on Facebook and exchanging business cards on which our new UK phone numbers were mostly written by hand.
The vast majority of the MA students I've met come from abroad (Colombia, China, Norway, Spain, Italy, the US, Greece, the Netherlands, Thailand, Taiwan, Estonia, South Korea, Romania …). Lots of them have lived in several countries and/or are of mixed nationality, and not everyone's background is in fashion. Looking at photographers' and stylists' portfolios, it didn't escape me that their work is as diverse as the places we come from. The point is that each of us is bringing in something new. And when we immerse ourselves in the melting pot that is London, I'm expecting mad alchemy.