Challenge 2015 – What feels like the end is often the beginning

It’s been a really long time since I last posted – and a lot has happened!

I’ve finished my stint in education! You’re now reading the blog of Abagail Emily Vincent owner of a 2:1 Fashion with International Experience Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree.

Well that’s a slight lie because I don’t actually receive my degree until 16 November when I graduate, but still, I think it’s a pretty big achievement and I’m nothing less than over the moon. There were times throughout my four years at University that I really felt like giving up, sometimes it was really hard. Fashion is a very competitive business and even being a student you can really feel pressure from industry and making sure what you are is what they want. Fashion is opinion based and sometimes people just won’t understand your stories, inspirations and way of working; you really have to push to make it all crystal clear for people to read and digest. That aside it was also the best four years of my life. I’ve learnt so many new skills, met friends for life a long the way, and created some memories that will last forever.

I thought now would be an apt time to share some photos of what I’ve managed to achieve since the beginning of 2015. I will post more photos in due course but these images are just a few of my first photo shoot from my Graduate Collection. I’m a little late to the party with these as this shoot is from back in May, but I just got round to quickly editing some photos on my iPad.

Abagailemily Collection 1

Abagailemily Collection 2

Abagailemily Collection 3


These photos were taken by the gorgeous Meg Quick, my beautiful models were Lily Sadin and Aurelia Czech, and hair and makeup by  the super talented Navdeep Mahk (Magnifique Stylist).
Since finishing I’d be lying if I said everything has fallen into place. I’m still looking for a job, but that’s ok. I figure that most people who get a job straight out of uni are either 1. insanely lucky or 2. insanely talented and since I’m neither of the above I will have to settle for evenings in front of my laptop searching for new opportunities.  Never the less I am lucky enough to have a part time job at home to soften the blow of being in tens of thousands Pounds worth of debt and keep me busy at the same time. Essentially – I’ve finished my degree but really its just the beginning of the journey.


Challenge 2014 – Review of My Year’s Goals

At the beginning of the year I set myself a few goals for the year to work on. Instead of them being the typical new year’s resolutions I wanted to focus on things that would really build me as a person.

It would be wrong for me to say that I was always thinking of the goals that I set myself, because I found it very easy to forget about them and sometimes was just too lazy to work on them!


The first of my goals was to be more patient.

I do think that I worked on this a little bit but I do find it easy to slip back into a pattern of not wanting to wait for anything or anyone. I’m not the sort of person who can sit back and let something happen when I know that it shouldn’t, but on the other hand I have been a lot more patient when waiting for someone to do something they say they’ll do. You’ll either trust people to stick to their word, or you wont. So I have tried to be a lot more trusting this year, I’ve tried to stop being as much of a control freak and I think that kind of ties in with my first goal.

Secondly I said I wanted to admit when I’m wrong.

I found this one a lot harder because I am probably one of the most stubborn girls you’ll ever meet – and I’m never wrong. Admitting that I’m wrong, like I said in January really isn’t something that I do. When I really can see that I’ve caused a problem, or made a mistake then I’ve no problem with apologising, but sometimes I really can’t see any harm so I find it a lot harder! I think that this is one of my goals that will have to roll over to 2015.

My third goal was to work on my Italian.

After the New Year I really did try to improve on my Italian and I think that I did manage to pick up a little bit more of the language! I downloaded nearly every app on  my iPhone that I could find, (Memrise, Duolingo, Busuu) and worked on it particularly on warm sunny days that I could sit in the park and enjoy the heat at the same time. There’s no way that I’m amazing at Italian now, I’m still only at a beginners level, but it’s something that I want to keep working at because I think it’s a really useful skill to have!

Forth on my list was to make more friends.

This is one that I didn’t really have too much of a problem with once I came out of my shell in Italy I found it really easy to make some amazing friends. I can now say I have friends for life from places all over the world and I’m so happy for it. As soon as I opened up a little bit more I found I was having the most amazing time and then found it really hard to say goodbye when I had to leave in July!

The next goal was to draw more.

I set myself the goal of completing one drawing per week, resulting in 52 drawings in one sketchbook. I think I got to about 10 drawings and then became too lazy to carry on. There’s no doubt that throughout the year I did a lot more than 52 drawings in my work or doodles on paper but I wanted to have just one place where I could record my sketches and practice to see my improvements, and simply draw for the pleasure. I think that this is another one of my goals that I’d like to carry forward to 2015, and hopefully stick to.

My sixth goal was to travel.

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation especially if you look back on my posts from the last year. 2014 has definitely been the best year for travelling. I’ve managed to fit so much in and got to see some amazing places. I did spend a lot of money to see all of the things I wanted to see this year but it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to quickly give up. I couldn’t even say my favourite place I’ve been this year, I have loved every destination.

My next goal was to learn to take a good photograph.

I’ve taken a LOT of photos this year. Some have turned out good and some have turned out bad. I’ve experimented a lot with my camera and I think I love it more and more every time I use it. I’ve learnt especially that a filter on Instagram doesn’t always make your photo look better, sometimes it really makes them worse! I’m learning more about my camera every time I use it and try to use it on manual settings as much as I can to ensure I’m getting the most I possibly can out of it.

Another goal was to be more healthy.

This one is a typical new years resolution that 99% of the population say on the 1st of January every year, but by 5pm are stuffing their faces with more chocolate and more crisps. I didn’t want to restrict myself and say that I can’t have things that I want because I know that some unhealthy foods make me happy from time to time. I have managed to cut down a lot on eating sweets, chocolate and crisps, especially over the last 6 months. I do try to cook from scratch whenever I have the time and genuinely enjoy my meals a lot more when I do! I’ve started drinking water lots more (usually with squash, I hope that’s not cheating) and I feel so much better for it!

Finally I said I wanted to create more.

This one got left from the start really, I try to make little things here and there, but I’ve really not done any more than I usually would throughout the year! The start of the year was a lot better as I was doing a hands on course in Textiles and Knitting I made my own fabric samples using embroidery, embellishment and knit and I did find it really fun. I can only do as much as I can do and where I’m on quite a creative course anyway, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and take a break from it rather than stay constantly submerged in beads and fabrics!

Reflecting on the goals I set really has made me see that this year has been amazing and I’ve managed to get so much out of it! I keep thinking that this year has gone so quickly but when I sit and think back to everything I’ve achieved January seems like so long ago! I’ll be posting my challenges for 2015 over the next few days so that I can give myself something else to work towards over the next 12 months!

Once in a Lifetime Experience Guide

As part of my degree this year I’m required to make a poster on my experience. The poster is supposed to show the benefits, outline learning and also any issues that are relevant to highlight! I thought I’d share mine on here too, for you to see! If anyone is reading this and is thinking about doing the Erasmus scheme it’s really something I recommend, I’ve learnt so much this year. It’s such a great experience that I’ll never forget!




Making 2014 the best 2014

Like most people do at the beginning of the year, I’ve decided to set myself some goals to achieve throughout 2014.

I’m not really the sort of person who manages to keep up with new years resolutions and tend to have the typical ‘Stop biting my nails’ or ‘Don’t eat as much chocolate’ but this year I really want to see if I can make some changes for the better.

I spent a lot of time in 2013 trying to work out my flaws and things that I should try and adapt in my life to become a happier and better person. My ‘resolutions’ are ones that will hopefully reflect my flaws and mold me into the girl I know I can be.20140105-213528.jpg

Be more patient – I know I’m not the most patient of people and can never understand why people don’t do things when they say they’ll do it. I worry a lot that if people don’t do things straight away that they’ve forgotten or just don’t want to do it. I hate waiting for replies and for things to arrive in the post. A good example of this was waiting for our internet in Milan – Admittedly it did take a lot longer than it should have done but if we’d have just been patient about it, it wouldn’t have caused half as much stress as it did. I expect too much of people a lot of the time, and I need to learn to do things for myself, and when I can’t do them myself I need to respect that other people have important things to do in their life too. Sometimes you just have to wait!

Admit when I’m wrong – I hate admitting when I’m wrong, it’s just not something that I do. But I think that to be a better person I need to respect that everyone makes mistakes and that’s what we learn from, so from now on I’m going to try and admit it straight off that I’ve made an error.

Work on my Italian – I’ve been living in Italy for about 3 months and I’ve hardly attempted to pick up the language. One of the main reasons for me moving abroad this year was to pick up a language as I felt it would give a huge advantage on my CV. In the evenings when I’m sat at home not doing a lot I think I should practice a little bit more. So instead of spending my time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram I’m going to devote my spare time to trying to be the best I can at speaking the language of the country I live in!

Make more friends – This follows on nicely from my last point. Since being in Italy, I’ve really struggled making friends. I think it’s mostly to do with the language barrier as some people don’t understand English sarcastic humour! But this is really something I’d like to work on. Since being in Italy I’ve met people from all around Europe and even the rest of the world and to keep connections in all of those places would be a truly amazing thing.

Draw more – My design tutor at NABA told us all at the start of the semester that we should be drawing all of the time, as that’s the only way we improve. Although I do a lot of sketches for my design work, I never really draw just to draw which is something I’d really like to do. My little sister carries a moleskin sketch book around with her and does the tiniest but most beautiful drawings in, so I think this would be a good place to start. I want to draw just to draw so I’m setting myself the challenge of completing one drawing each week. By the end of the year that’s just 52 drawings. It’s a small goal, but hopefully something that will help me improve as a designer!

Travel – Seeing as I’m already IN Europe I think this is a good place to start. I’d like to travel and see new things, new cultures, buildings and meet new people. I’m already going to Barcelona in a few weeks so that’s a good place to start! I want 2014 to be the year I can look back on in decades to come and see it as my adventure year!

Learn to take a good photograph – I’ve just bought myself a new camera as a motive to make myself learn to use it. I want to know what makes a good photograph, how to use my camera properly and also take photographs that are worthy of actually showing people and being proud of! Rather than just the ones look slightly good once you’ve stuck them on Instagram and added a filter!

Be more healthy – This ones a bit cliche I know. I can admit to myself straight away that I will never be the person who will only eat salads for lunch and genuinely enjoy them. I want to find the healthy foods that I love, and learn to cook properly for a balanced diet. I’m not telling myself that I can’t have chocolate and crisps because I know that I love them far too much – but I think it’s probably about time to cut them down just a little bit so that I can feel healthier and enjoy the benefits! Drinking more water is something I also need to work on. I was going to set a separate goal for this, but I don’t think it needs one. Drinking more water will hopefully make me feel more energetic and less tired in the day.

Create – As a fashion enthusiast I think I really need to start creating more of my own clothes and accessories to wear. Last year I was working on my headbands which really made me happy and I loved it when people would comment saying how much they liked them or whether I could make them one. Nothing feels better to me than someone complimenting me on my work, but people can’t compliment me if I’m not making anything for them to comment on!

So these are my personal challenges for the next year which I am to work on every day! Hopefully by the end of the year I wont even have to think back to the goals I set and will just come naturally!