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My life as a bridal fashion designer in Berlin. Volume 5

In 1996, while I was going to the language school, I looked for a fashion college to apply to.

I quickly settled on doing a foundation course at London College of Fashion. 

Although it was considered the most prestigious, I dismissed Central Saint Martin's School of Art and Design, because I heard that they're more into creativity than technical, and I wanted to have a solid foundation before doing a degree. 

I had an interview with Sandy Lang, who became my mentor in the early days of my career.

He said my portfolio wasn't good enough. I didn't do A level in art, so I didn't know how to prepare a portfolio. But he bought me for coming to London as a 16 on my own to study fashion. So, he accepted me into the course. 

In the summer, I attended the university's language course and moved into the student hall.

The hall was a hellish experience for me. Although I can laugh about it now, I wasn't prepared for a wild UK student life of noise and mess. 

I was under a lot of stress living in the hall and developed a kidney stone. I lived with agonising pain for months. I believe it’s because of the hard London water since I grew up with very soft water. But for a while, the GP dismissed it as imaginary pain caused by stress. He also acted inappropriately when examining me. 

After living most of the year with the pain, I was eventually given the medication to pass the stone.

I didn’t do well in the course apart from pattern cutting and sewing. I was new to art and design classes and was behind my peers.

I got a place at a university outside of London, but I didn’t feel right going there as I wasn’t able to give my best in the circumstances.

So, I repeated the course and got accepted at BA fashion design in Women’s wear at Central Saint Martins.

I remember in the summer of 1997, Princess Diana and her partner died in the tragic accident and we watched the funeral on TV in one of my hall mate’s room.

Years later, in 2008, I got a full time job as a junior pattern cutter at Bellville Sassoon who used to dress Diana on many occasions and a year later on to Catherine Walker, another couturier to the Princess. The house is still dressing Princess Katherine today. 


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