Sarah Elizabeth Carter : EGO

This is my cousin, Sarah. Heck yes, she's hot - but what makes her hotter is the fact that behind all this, her brain and skillz is just as awesome as she looks.

It was the 11th of November in 2007 when my cousin Sarah wrote this. I'm not sure if I've published this in my Multiply page, but it seemed like I had posted it on one of my blogs. I was browsing through my HD when I saw it : A Personal Statement by Sarah Elizabeth Carter.
"When you were brought up by a mother who had constant deliveries of the freshest new look, it was difficult not to follow fashion. Funnily enough, the excessive amount of clothing orders brought to our house each month taught me about the pace of trends and cycles. I was exposed to her glamorous ways, and so to a world of colour, texture and excitement. For this she is my greatest influence. Becoming a fashionista would be like living any Vogue-obsessed girl’s fantasy; designing beautiful clothes, styling looks, whilst sipping a ‘Starbucks’ latte before a major deadline or catwalk show, of course looking very important.

For me, studying Fashion Design would feel like finally becoming an individual and finding my place in the industry. It’s the beginning of all the chaos we call life, where I can choose the direction I want to take, it’s the only one I’ve ever considered; creating my own fashion heaven.

I am currently taking a Foundation Studies course in Art and Design. So far I have completed workshop rotations in various fields and am now specialising in Visual Communications and Textiles and Fashion. I have found the course challenging in some aspects as it is so different to anything I have done whilst at school. Even so, I like how the course is quite raw; it has allowed me to become more open-minded as well as discovering new ways of thinking and approaching solutions. I chose to study mainly creative subjects for A-Level. In Art I completed high-graded units; including a ‘personal study’ where I chose to explore the metamorphosis from actor to character, involving theatrical costume and make-up. On both study trips, to New York in 2005 and to Amsterdam in 2007, I received two awards; ‘Best NYC Tourist T-shirt Design’ and ‘Best Sketchbook.’ Whilst studying Textiles I created a variety of pieces, including a dramatic ball gown designed for a masquerade ball event, a Japanese style kimono jacket for Spring/Summer, and a decorative wall hanging.

I get my ‘fashion kicks’ out of regular visits to London, I’m addicted to the lively ambience of the boutique enriched Fashion Capital. I like going to fashion events such as Clothes Show Live in Birmingham and exhibitions at the V&A. Like many teenage girls, naturally I have a soft-spot for Topshop and TV programmes such as ‘Project Catwalk/Runway’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model.’ It is encouraging to see fresh talent being recognised. I’m a musical theatre fanatic and become very inspired to create something dramatic after seeing a show. John Galliano has become very influential for me when designing; I admire how his haute couture collections fuse fashion and drama together in one look, making garments theatrical and literally screaming for attention. Working part-time in a bridal store has also introduced me to a different aspect of design. I find Ian Stuart very inspirational, a British bridal wear designer who drapes drama and still captures romance in far from traditional-styled wedding gowns. I aspire to become a designer who can effectively blend my passions for fashion and theatre together in design. Studying at university will open opportunities for me to develop my own signature style, as well maturing as a person. Of course university isn’t for everyone, but for me it is an important transition from mere future ambitions to reality and careers.

I believe I am a well motivated individual; at the age of fourteen I received my 1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo. When I have been set a target I become determined to meet it. I understand that this plays an important role in the fashion industry due to the ultimate pressure of time. During my A-Levels I was also part of the School’s Elite ‘Dance Performance Group.’ This is another example to show that I can balance my academic and recreational studies well. Both of my experiences in Taekwondo and Dance have allowed me to become self-motivated in reaching goals as well as working well in a team. In a design aspect, I enjoy designing individually as well as researching before final sketches, but I also enjoy collaborating ideas and outcomes with fellow students.

I appreciate that the fashion industry is a difficult one to break into, but I’m not afraid to take risks or make mistakes. I believe that risks make any situation exciting and mistakes force you in new directions, which I think defines fashion beautifully."

I've been trying to edit this but I find it so difficult because everything she wrote plays an important part, looking back at the person that she was, to the person that she is now.

I've always been so proud of her, not because she's my cousin, but because based on her sketches, her motivation, I can tell that she is going to make it. She'll go places. This, I am sure of.

Early this month, Sarah finally graduated from Kingston University, after taking Bachelor of Arts in Fashion, a three year course, as well as the required Art Foundation Diploma, which she took for a year in Buckingham for years.

For their graduation, she was personally handpicked among others to showcase her final collection.

This was the skating/snowboarding event she went to in 2010.
She claims this is what inspired her to come up
with her collection : EGO.

"I was inspired by the riders I saw compete at Freeze Festival in London, which is an annual freestyle competition for both British and Global skiers and snowboarders. I love watching the freestyle competition, not only was I captured by their crazy performance tricks but by their style on the slope. There is a true sense of 'snow swagga' with these adrenaline junkies and, I as a bystander, became hooked too. But with extreme sports there is always a high risk of injury the more you push the bravery of your performance, with this in mind I began to imagine how an athletes competitive nature could errupt an ego at the edge of madness. From here I collobarated with illustrator/animator Chris Culligan as well as probing the minds of two young British riders James 'Woodsy' Woods and Andrew Matthew, to create 'adrenaline mad monsters' which in turn influenced the silhouette and texture of the garments."

Development Boards (design work)
Showing the progress of the her collection

"There was a selection process that narrowed the studio down from 55 to 24 student collections. 24 collections were chosen by a panel of judges to feature on the catwalk show, and another 10 students were selected to showcase one look on the Kingston University stand at Earls Court, London. Being selected to show at GFW in London, however, does not relate to how well we have done for our degree or graduation, it is a showcasing to debut British graduate designers into the fashion industry based upon the impact or conceptual idea of individual final collections. Just because I was selected does not mean I have achieved any better than a student not selected to showcase, there are alot of strong and provocative collections designed at Kingston University that unfortunately were not selected. It was clear that it was a tough decision to be made as the finalised list of 24 collections took a few days longer than aniticipated. It was toture for all!"

Final Collection
Runway Presentation , Graduate Fashion Week
June 7 2011, Earls Court 2, London

This one's definitely my favorite.

I get goosebumps looking at these photos.

"Seeing your first collection go down the catwalk is the most surreal thing, the buzz backstage was absolutely incredible, I just hope the vibe was felt on the other side of the curtain. I was unbelievably nervous throughout the whole day leading up to the Kingston show. I love designing with humour, fashion doesn't have to be so serious all the time, but when you send an idea out to a mass of people not every onlooker will always understand what you're trying to do or say. Its a scary thing! But seeing my collection line up underneath my name with an audio of applause made the months of 11 hour studio sessions and sleepless nights worth it. I would love to work in a design team, continue with menswear and knitwear, I think I've definitely found my calling with sports luxe. I would like to maintain a streetwear edge to my Menswear and experiment with knit further."

Check out more photos of Sarah's collection here, and read on the rest of the feature on GFW here.

I'll be updating this with videos and more links of GFW. I just can't help but feel so proud of Sarah and the many things she'll be accomplishing in the future.

Don't say I didn't warn you.