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The best education ever!

I'd done my share of studying and even went to college, but my real education began when I became a fashion design student. I still use the lessons I learnt then to foster my creativity today.

Photo of Roshinee Raajendran
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I grew up studying in different schools while growing up. I even went to college for three years. And yet, my real education began the the day I set foot in Nift(National Institute of Fashion Technology), New Delhi. 

I always wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up. I saw a Nift fashion show on TV when I was 13 and made up my mind right then that I was going there. I knew nothing about entrance exams. All I knew was that the thought of going to Nift made my heart sing. My heart turned out to be right even though I didn't become a fashion designer. 

There were 30 of us aspiring designers in that class when we started. I was among the few who'd never seen a Vogue before I got there. However, we were lucky to have a educational process that fostered creativity and individuality. It's been eight years since I graduated, but I'd like to share a few useful lessons that I learnt there:

Each term we would have two or more presentations. Now there were 30 of us and each of us had to come up with a unique concept that could be translated into a garment. To come up with something original, we had no choice but to read, create moodboards, research and dive deep into a subject. And no subject was sacred or beyond limits. Philosophy, architecture, comics - everything that came within our orbit was plundered for ideas. Each of us presented our ideas while the others gave their feedback. Multiply that with the number of students and the number of presentations over a period of three years. Even today, I'm not intimidated by subjects in any field. I know that if I'm passionate about it, I'll find a way.
You become a better creative by creating
I remember my first sketching class in Nift. It was bad. Our art teacher asked us to submit 50 sketches in a week. It sounded like a nightmare, but my work improved. I learnt that it's okay to make mistakes provided I got up and tried again. As long as I was interested in the subject, I would get better. 

Be original
Unlike other courses that taught you to follow the herd, fashion designing required us to be unique. This meant that we were required to discover what was special about us and embrace it. My introspection led me to understand that I like design concepts but not necessarily making clothes. I believe that if we pay attention to our true selves, we'll receive all the guidance that we require. 

While growing up I was the odd one out. In Nift, I found my tribe. We had incredible support from our faculty, seniors and peers. Change any of those factors and my experience would not have been as positive. I understand the importance of finding or creating my support circle wherever I go. Creativity cannot flourish in a vacuum. It's the product of much love and encouragement. 

Today I work as a fashion consultant because it suits me better. I've started focusing on my writing and art work and I know that I have a few hideous drafts and ugly art pieces ahead of me before I create something that I can sell. In the meantime, I explore, I work hard and I keep asking myself if what I'm doing is true to me. This is my formula and it works. I highly recommend it.


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Photo of christos christou

Sounds like your concept has helped you through personal experiences which proves it works. Bringing together all creative types helps boost everyones physical talent and mental motivation.

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Thank you for sharing your inspiration Roshinee. I'm also a fashion designer and I feel identified with your post. Designers need to be original, different and "we were required to discover what was special about us and embrace it". it is a good way to said it.

It is a lovely profession full of learnings, challenges and inspirations!

Photo of Roshinee Raajendran

Maria, thank you for your comment :) I apologize for the late reply. I checked out your inspirations and they are great. It's wonderful how designers from anywhere in the world pretty much understand each other right away.

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Great to have you onboard! We notice your amazing post is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have it included on the challenge. You can publish it by hitting the Publish Entry up there on the right of your post (or delete it by following options on the Update Entry button). Looking forward to seeing more of you on conversations across this challenge…

Photo of Roshinee Raajendran

Thank you! I faced some technical issues while trying to publish it, but this morning it worked! Glad to be part of this :)