Daniela studied MA Fashion Curation at the London College of Fashion. Here she told us why she decided to move from Singapore to London to complete her masters.
Why did you choose to study MA Fashion Curation at the London College of Fashion (University of the Arts London)?
I had been considering doing an MA for years – 5 to be exact, until I found the right course for me. I chose this course as it is one of the only (if not the only) course that specialises in curating and exhibiting fashion. It is led by Judith Clark and Amy de la Haye, and I basically chose the course because of the calibre of their work. I had assisted a fashion curator who had done this course before me, and as I read up more about the course I was convinced it was for me.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
Lecturers – the connections that they have brought and the guest speakers they have organised. They brought in collectors, curators, artists. My lecturers were so experienced and had worked with international institutions like the MoMu and the V&A. The love they have for their practice was contagious and very inspiring. They really allowed us to question and explore fashion in very academic and artistic ways. There was also a collaborative project where we worked with students in different courses and this was also extremely rewarding.
Why did you choose to study in London?
I had visited London a few times before deciding to do the MA. Each time, I was more and more impressed and intrigued by London. Coming from Singapore, where fashion has not been archived and can arguably be called a fairly new phenomenon, where we are striving for the new and often destroy old buildings, London’s love for history and archiving was a beautiful contrast. London was amazing to meet people from literally every corner of the earth. As a hotbed for aspiring designers and artists (as well as very established ones) the city provides a very rich, deep and intriguing experience.
What have you enjoyed most during your time as a student in London?
London is complex, dynamic and inspiring. As a creative person, I enjoyed being a student and experimenting. The various museums and galleries, and even just walking along the canals/parks, was inspiring and cleared my head. For a collaborative project as part of my studies, I worked with 5 students from France, China and Korea and we created an exhibition in a gallery in South-London with almost no money—the gallery sponsored their location for free. The support for young creatives is very genuine in London.
I also worked part-time with a painter, and this was one of the highlights of my time in London. I also did internships with a curatorial collective called White Line Projects, who had graduated from my course years ago. I was also picked as one of the artists for Made in Arts London and had my work exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair and was commissioned to hold embroidery workshops. Apart from funding my living expenses, these experiences allowed me to keep utilising my skills as I developed them in my MA, and to experience working in another city.
What are your plans after graduating?
I have now returned to Singapore and am a Fashion lecturer in LASALLE College of the Arts as well as continuing my fashion label Mash-Up. I hope to continue drawing links with London and Singapore through collaborative projects, research and visits to London.
What advice would you give to other students who are considering to study in London?
I am glad I worked in Singapore 5 years before doing my MA in London, to really understand the context of my work and identity as a Singaporean. My advice is to find something that you love and are coming to the table with, to truly engage and contribute to the city. I would also recommend you try to contact alumni of your intended course if possible, and come prepared to do your course as London universities are very research-led. Also, try to make friends outside of your usual cultural circle …getting out of your comfort zone is extremely rewarding in London!
You can find out more about Daniela’s work on her website www.danielamonasteriostan.com
If you would like to follow in Daniela’s footsteps and study in London, start by searching for courses available at London’s universities.