Sew good? A fashion Intern’s story

So, just what is a fashion internship with Dolls of Decadence like?  What was so good?

Our latest blog entry features our very own intern, Rosie Billington and her journey, as a fashion intern at Dolls of Decadence. With some many on going horrors stories from fashion interns, about their time with Fashion houses, magazines or PR  companies.

We deicded to put our selves out there- not only to get some feedback on the placement platform we offer to fashion enthusiasts, but to help us improve them. Its always a bit of a scary prospect; to ask someone else to judge you and the sevrice you work, tirelessly on.

Maybe, we’d all turned slightly mad or were feeling super brave at DDUK HQ to ask for a detailed analysis on placement process. Had our two positive reviews from previous interns, left us a little over confident?  Or are we close to joining the elite group of Fashion establishments in the Brimingham, providing worth while fashion placements for Midlands based budding fashionistas?

Explain your understanding of your roles and responsibilities whilst at Dolls of Decadence.

As a design assistant intern at DDUK my roles and responsibilities were a wide variation of: pattern drafting, cutting, pinning, sewing, over-locking, hand stitching, application of surface decorations, fabric buying, assisting with photo campaigns, attending events on behalf of the brand and generally supporting the entire process of running a fashion business.

GLISTEN  midi dress by Dolls of Decadence

GLISTEN midi dress in process

What were the highlights of working with Dolls of Decadence?

There have being many highlights of working with DDUK, I have attended many exciting events with Brand owner, Paulinah such as Leeds Fashion Show, Midlands Fashion Awards and Birmingham Fashion Week. I have taken part in the brands look book photo campaigns, including assisting with styling the looks and hair styling. I played part in the construction of the SPARKLE playsuit, worn by up coming artist Hatty Keane for the opening of International pop group JLS’ farewell tour. Other garments I have contributed to the production process, have being featured on the home page of the ASOS Marketplace website.

Screenshoot of ASOS Marketplace home page

Dolls of Decadence (circled image) featured on the home page of ASOS Marketplace website in Apr 2014

How much responsibility were you given during your placement; and how has this been good/bad/satisfactory for you over the last year?

I have been given great responsibilities of taking part in the making of garments purchased by a business’ most important aspect; the customer. I feel that brand owner, Paulinah has the faith and confidence in me that I can carry out tasks; using my skills and that they are up to the required standard to be sold to her customers- the people who keep her business going! I have had important responsibilities such as buying fabric from different fabrics stores around Birmingham; where I have being trusted to use the companies money to pay for the fabrics. I have also being trusted to take orders to the couriers for dispatch to -customers. I feel the responsibilities I have being given is a great working experience for myself- giving me a good insight into some of the other aspects of running a fashion line.





Hatty Keane with JLS singer Ashton

Singer Hatty Keane pose with JLS singer, Ashton on the JLS Farewell tour, wearing Dolls of Decadence SPARKLE Playsuit

What do you consider your most important achievement over the past year?

My most important achievement over the year is gaining the skills and confidence to branch out, to produce garments of my own. At the start of my placement, I did not know which path I wanted to take on the fashion road, I wanted to pursue Fashion styling, as it is something, I think I would have excelled in. However, I have no experience in this area and in hindsight, this pursuit was largely due to my own lack of confidence in pursuing a career as a designer. 11 months later, I now, know I want to design, make and sell my own garments. I arranged and styled the photo campaign, for some of the garments, created by myself up to this point- the feed back, I have received is great. Also, all the customers I have sold garments to are extremely pleased. I feel without this placement I would just be a lost sheep not sure of which direction to take.

To what extent will the skills you have developed assist you with your degree and beyond ?

I hope the skills, I have developed will benefit me, when I return to my final year studying Fashion Design at Coventry University. All of my garment production skills have improved dramatically over the past year and I feel I will be going back to university in October as a different student. I am more confident within myself and my work. In my second year of university, I was put off sewing and pattern cutting, as it was not something I fully understood . I, therefore focused on other areas within the industry such as accessories and jewellery, not because I wanted to but I felt I had no choice due to the level of my ability at that time- I felt I would struggle to much.
I no longer have the same worries or fears and do not feel the same level of apprehension going back to uni. In fact, although I am anxious, I am also extremely excited about creating my own collection in my final year of my degree.

Photography by Alice Corless

Model: Christy Jenkins Photography by Alice Corless Styling/Hair/Make up: Rosie Billington Clothing by Rosie Billington

In terms of personal development, how well do you think the company invested in you?

Brand owner, Paulinah has persistently supported me throughout my placement. She has advised me on all aspects of running your own small business, from the best and cheapest places to buy fabrics and equipment, to pricing the costs of garments, as well as how to market and advertise a fashion brand.
I feel that working with Dolls of Decadence I have gained some extremely useful experience, which I would not have received solely from a degree in fashion.

CANDY dress SS14

CANDY Mesh panel dress- A solo project, I worked on for Dolls of Decadence; from pattern draft to construction #MadeByApprentices

Fashion interns at work

Rosie Billington and former fellow fashion intern, Yasmeen working at DDUK HQ

Is there any part of the fashion business, that you would have liked more insight/experience into whilst working within the company?

I am very pleased with all the skills I have learnt from my placement at Dolls of Decadence. Although, perhaps it would be better to work more in depth with other types of fabrics, aside other than stretch (jersey, lycra) as these are the main fabrics, used in the DDUK studio. I hope to progress a little further within pattern cutting, before ending my placement. This is very likely, as we will be working on the new collection before the conclusion of my placement.

Were there many opportunity’s to get involved with company projects outside of the working hours? If so please give examples.

I have had opportunities to attend a variety events, which Dolls of Decadence, was involved in; including Leeds Fashion Show 2013, Birmingham Fashion Week 2014, The Clothes Show Live 2013 and Midlands Fashion Awards 2013. These events, were great insights into the industry and a great way of seeing how such events can be used to my advantage -getting involved and socialising with like minded people.

Follow Rosie Billington on Tumblr

Showtime: Dolls of Decadence on the runway at Leeds Fashion show. Image by Becci Hull Model: Lara Mcgrath

Showtime: Dolls of Decadence on the runway at Leeds Fashion show. Image by Becci Hull Model: Lara Mcgrath

 AW13 Facade by Dolls of Decadence

Looks from the Dolls of Decadence ‘FACADE’ AW13 collection .Backstage at Leeds Fashion Show 2013