Get to know RHUL’s Fashion Society
Chloe Hill interviews RHUL Fashion Society's new president Mara Pem and their committee to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
What did your society achieve last year?
We grew! Last year we had the highest amount of Fashion Soc members ever seen. We had a lot of very participative and talented individuals in our group which allowed us to do more exciting activities and participate in very fun projects. One of them was ANATT, last year we organised a fashion show for this society joint event. It was themed “The Red Trend Catwalk” and it featured many of our members who participated as models, makeup artists, stylists, hairdresser, performance coordinator, photographer, event assistant and event manager.
Additionally, we care about the career side of fashion and we like to help and inform students who want to get into the industry about the opportunities and the way the fashion industry works in the real world. Therefore, last year we organised a guest speaker evening, where two alumni who work at Burberry came to talk about their role in the luxury retail industry and how to enter and make it in the industry. Also, we encourage career development by doing volunteering with fashion organisations. Last year we volunteered at the Phoebe English fashion show at the V&A museum. Our members were able to work closely with marketers, designers, stylists, photographers and models, while contributing to the creation and running of a professional fashion show.
Also, we contributed to our society by organising a charity clothing sale, where we raised money and collected clothes for Smart Works who provide clothing and coaching for underprivileged unemployed women with job interviews.
What are your plans for the upcoming academic year?
More, more and more! We want more members, more development and more fun. Each year we try to bring more opportunities for our members to discover and be creative. This year we want to work closer with charity, we want for our members to work together for a cause that matters to all. Additionally, we want to increase knowledge, bring more guest speakers from the industry; right now we are working on having some professionals from the V&A and Vogue magazine to come to meet our very talented future members and to give them a bit of advice and insight of their roles. Finally, we also want more fun and creativity! Therefore we will be bringing three fashion shows: one with ANATT, another in collaboration with ACS and the last one our main big RHUL Fashion Show; and tonnes of trips to London, museum exhibitions, socials, photoshoots, SU night outs and creative workshops.
As the new president, is there anything you’re hoping to change about the fashion society?
I really want to get to know our members this year and become a big family. This is why I am dedicated to adding so many socials and fun trips as well as big projects. I want for our members to have fun exploring fashion because fashion comes from the individual and there is no fashion without the people.
I saw that you held a clothes sale for charity last year, is charity something you wish to expand on in the upcoming year – if so, do you have any ideas?
Definitely. Last year we met some lovely members who were very concerned about our community and really wanted to contribute to charity. We have become aware of the impact that we can create and we wish to make a bigger one this time. Thus, members of the committee are looking into doing clothing sales all year around. It will be like our own RHUL Vintage Shop! This type of money raising really worked last time, students got clothes for very cheap money, we raised good money for charity and the recycling side of it is also beneficial for the environment so it’s a bit of a win-win.
For those who aren’t aware of the hashtag #OutfitsofRHUL- would you be able to discuss this further, so that more students can get involved?
So #OutfitsOfRHUL is a thread that we started last year. We have now created its own Instagram page, OutfitsofRHUL, where you can find the pictures of your friends and neighbours at uni wearing some amazing outfits. This can be done either by us asking people for a picture or by people sending us their requests. The purpose of this is to promote diversity, self-confidence and creativity. Fashion is like people, it is unique, and we want to show that, we want to show that there is talent, creativity and fashion at uni, and we want to inspire people, help them to find their own fashion and give them inspiration from their own colleges, friends and neighbours.
What kind of socials or trips does your society host?
We will host lots of different types of socials and trips. We are planning on doing trips to London’s most fashionable locations, and some of its most iconic department stores such as the Selfridges at Oxford Street. Also socials at the pub, SU night outs such as CIYS, movie nights, debate nights, games, photo shoots and beauty and modelling workshops.
Finally, how would you describe the fashion society in three words?
Friendly, creative and rewarding!
Above: Fashion Soc Committee and Members spending the afternoon together doing a cheeky spontaneous photoshoot.
Below: Fashion Soc at ANATT.
Below: Fashion Soc clothes sale.
Below: Fashion Soc First social, CIYS.
Below: Fashion Soc Volunteering at the V&A.