The Influence of 3D Technology in School and Beyond

Arts University Bournemouth

Very rarely do you meet a recent graduate that candidly says “Don’t expect all your internships and placements to be all about champagne and catwalks!” In our latest interview, we sat down with Arts University Bournemouth graduate, Alexa Hedges, who shared her life and work philosophy with us. Her optimism and passion for what she has learned and her career intoxicating, we hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did!

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

I started my studies in London at LCF (London College of Fashion) with a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design: Womenswear. After, I moved to Arts University Bournemouth and finished my Bachelors Degree. I chose Bournemouth because I was intrigued by new software I knew nothing about: Modaris, the Lectra solution for pattern cutters. I was always very technical and wanted to develop those skills as well as design. I worked on honing those skills for 3 years and during that time I secured two placements in industry, one in New York with a ready to wear designer and the other for House of Fraser in London. After graduation I worked for a small fashion brand as a studio assistant (covering everything from design, patterns, production- I was a very jam packed year and I learnt loads) and now I am a Pattern Technologist at F&F Clothing.

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WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM?

Currently I am a Pattern Technologist so it’s a very technical job, however I still design pieces for private clients and I really enjoy it.I am very creative, so you will always find me drawing and designing. My inspiration comes from being in the city and travelling. I observe what people wear, how they act, different cultures. I think it’s all very interesting and I find ways to relate it back to my work.

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CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR LATEST PROJECTS WITH US?

On the personal side, I am working on a new collection and other portfolio building projects. I can also see myself opening my own business one day, but for now I am happy in my role at F&F Clothing.In my professional role I have set mini-projects and goals for myself to complete for our personal development plan.I’ve learned to be happy for every opportunity I have because that helps me move one step closer to living my dreams!

 

HOW DO YOU USE TECHNOLOGY IN YOUR DAILY WORK LIFE?

We use Modaris pattern cutting software which enables you to cut patterns in a timely manner. It’s much faster than the manual way! We are also able to store our patterns online, which allows us to share our patterns with suppliers faster and helps them quickly prepare them for use. We also use the 3D simulation, this is extremely useful for me and I know how something is going to look without even cutting any fabric. This eliminates the need for a ‘first sample’.

 

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WHICH LECTRA SOLUTION DID YOU USE DURING YOUR STUDIES? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THEM?  

During my time at Bournemouth we concentrated on Modaris 2D pattern cutting software and touched on the 3D simulation, now the programs are developed more,current students are learning both more thoroughly.I think learning about these programs during my studies was an amazing opportunity. I speak to many people in industry now and they say if you have years of manual experience it hard to transfer these skills to CAD however if you are able learn both manual and CAD at the same time it’s easier to adapt to one or the other. I feel very fortunate to have been taught this way.

 

ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS AND/OR YOUNG DESIGNERS?

Yes! Here are a few:

  •  Work hard but still have fun, it’s about balance. 
  • Don’t take your time at university for granted, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll need these skills.
  • Take advantage of as many internship opportunities as possible. It gets harder to try different environments once you graduate!
  • Don’t expect all your internships and placements to be all about champagne and catwalks!  You have to work hard and keep a positive attitude because that’s what will get noticed and rewarded.
  • Most importantly, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing. If not follow your instincts and change it.