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Behind the scenes

with a 3rd year

Fashion student

From sourcing fabric for wedding dresses to handling social media for a couture bridal studio, Anya Matheson may just have our dream role! Today we’re catching up with her to find out what she’s been getting up to on her placement at Freja Designer Dressmaking in Edinburgh, and which trends we will see coming from the catwalk to the aisle this year.


What made you decide to pursue a career in fashion?
When I was in Primary school and first ever watched The Devil Wears Prada, I remember getting annoyed when Andrea (the main character) left at the end – I just couldn’t understand it because I thought it looked incredible! I’m studying Fashion Management at Robert Gordon’s University in Aberdeen. I found the course through simply browsing online at courses and ever since discovering it, nothing else seemed to compare – it looked amazing.
In our third year, we get the opportunity to go out on placement within a fashion company to get experience about the variety of business sections in the fashion industry. At Freja, I am assisting in different roles from daily tasks that Mette is needing help with, such as maintaining the blog and social media, to looking at materials for dresses, so I’m getting a lot of experience doing various tasks.
What are you enjoying most about your course so far?
I’m enjoying the versatility. You get a feel for absolutely everything – both business and creative elements – but a lot of freedom with what you want to do, for example, creating stores. It makes you feel like the Alan Sugar of fashion at times.
Where would you like to be in five years time?
In five years time I would love to be a director of Marketing and PR. It’s a big position but is both business and creative, and each day is different.

freja designer dressmaking 2 Freja Designer Dressmaking 1

What is your advice to anyone hoping to pursue a career in fashion?
My advice to others is to be yourself, not let others pressure or try to change you. Before studying I got told various things to change about myself if I wanted to get into the industry, which is not true. Fashion is an incredibly diverse and accepting industry and everyone is welcome, not everyone is as judgemental as you think.
Tell us more about your placement – what does your role involve?
My placement at Freja consists of keeping social media pages up to date and replying to people who message the store, dealing with client enquiries and other daily tasks Mette needs help with. I also get to do merchandising tasks, like deciding dresses to go in the windows on display, depending on the bridal trends and I even did the decorations for Valentine’s Day.
And what have you learned so far?
I have already learned so much! I’ve seen up close the amount of work that goes into making these high quality products (from the first meeting to the end), how they are made, the sort of advice to give, things that work and don’t work. I have learned about blogging and certain programmes a business uses and the guidelines of how to use them, as well as social media and working with clients.


Which looks are filtering through from catwalk to aisle?
A lot of evening wear and couture trends filter through to the bridal sector, as they are both made from the same high quality materials and styles. Some of the trends are visible between couture collections and bridal. One of them being Ellie Saab, whose collections for 2016 show a lot of heavy embellishment and 3D florals/floral appliqué which is one of the main trends for spring/summer wedding dresses. Another is Giambattista Valli, showing lots of decorations like lace and tulle, linking to the Spanish trend this season where ruffles and so on were displayed, as does the romantic wedding trend this year. Ralph & Russo featured heavy embellishment and A-line shapes, again these features are very apparent in wedding dress trends this year.
What do you think will be the main trends in bridal design for the coming year?
One of the bridal trends for 2016/2017 shows a big change from the traditional wedding dress. This is two-in-one dresses which can come in different forms. One is where the dress will have a part of it that is detachable, in a lot of cases the train detaches to make it easier for the bride to move and dance after the ceremony. Another is having the dress divided and being in two separate bits, a top and a skirt.
Any advice for brides looking to stay true to their own style on their wedding day?
My advice for brides staying true to themselves is to choose something you like and feel comfortable and beautiful in. It is your wedding day and you want to be in something you feel amazing in, that is what’s most important when selecting a dress for your big day. Also do not to get yourself in a panic or upset if you have not found something you like yet, there are places like Freja Designer Dressmaking to help get your perfect dress.
I love Anya’s take on The Devil Wears Prada, I was rooting for Andrea when she quit! Something tells me we’ll be seeing a lot more of Anya in the future. Watch this space… Christina x

  • Mette Baillie - May 28, 2016 - 8:52 am

    It has been an absolute pleasure working with Anya, and we wish her all the best for the future, i am sure she will reach far, MettexReplyCancel