Former student of The Henley College (@henleycol), Grace Haggerty has recently designed and developed accessories collections for the re-launch of fashion brand Juicy Couture (@juicycouture), for the UK and European markets, with her designs being featured on British Vogue’s website (@BritishVogue, @voguemagazine).
Grace studied Fine Art, Photography and English Language A levels alongside the Extended Project, which she chose to do in Textiles, and credits The Henley College’s excellent facilities, supportive and encouraging staff and the freedom that comes with attending a college over a school sixth form, for preparing her for university and her future career.
Grace spoke about her time at The Henley College:
“I was really interested to study Art and Photography, and was directed to The Henley College for the photography facilities especially, and the knowledgeable staff – which were both brilliant.
I really enjoyed my time at Henley, got great results, and I would recommend the College to anyone!
I felt very ready to leave school after GCSEs, and was keen to study A-levels in a different environment with new people.
One of the best memories from my time at the College was the photography trip to Tuscany, Italy. We shot 35mm film and developed the negatives in the evenings from our hotel bathrooms, hanging the wet strips of film off coat hangers and shower doors, after rinsing them in the bath. It was a lot of fun!
I always wanted to have a creative job or work in design of some form, but I was unsure how I would go about it in a way to earn a decent living! After my time at Henley I studied an Art Foundation specialising in fashion, which then led me to studying BA (Hons) Fashion Design Menswear, at the Winchester School of Art (University of Southampton). For my final collection, I designed and constructed a collection of men’s silk suits, and accompanied each look with oversized, novelty accessories for the catwalk. I had a lot of fun with this, and it’s where my interest in accessories began.
I’m thankful for very supportive and encouraging parents and College tutors, without whom I would have found my career path much more challenging.
The Fashion industry is extremely competitive. What you’re doing outside of your study-hours counts for a lot, and gaining industry experience is a really important aspect.
All of my A-level subjects have helped me throughout university and definitely into my professional working life. English Language was one of the best classes I studied at The Henley College and has been very beneficial, not only with completing the academic writing aspect of an Art Degree, but with communicating with factories, suppliers, developers and sales, as I now do on a daily basis.
The Henley College was a good step between school and University for me. It gave me more independence and increased confidence in my abilities and personal development. Plus, I made some great friends!”
Grace has also recently assisted on the latest collections for sportswear/lifestyle brands such as, FILA and Hi-Tec, and hopes to one day lead a design team for a luxury fashion house.