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.


Research – Trip to Versailles

This year is a big one for me as it’s the year I create my first full collection. With the help of my tutor at Coventry University I decided I wanted my inspiration to come from a very decorative source, being Versailles.

As I was basing what is essentially a visual dissertation on a certain location, of course it’s only sensible to take a trip to visit that place! Last week that’s exactly what I did!

On Tuesday 20th January I jetted off to Paris to get some essential research from what is most probably the most spectacular palace in the world. Luckily my Mum offered to come with me, as I didn’t want to go alone! Firstly, booking the trip itself wasn’t easy! This was the first time I’d fully booked something on my own, had to figure out how I’d get to the airport, the best times to fly, booking a hotel, and how to get to the hotel. Obviously I’ve booked things before, but this time it was all down to me, and it did feel like a lot of pressure!

By the time we’d finally got to our hotel in Paris on Tuesday we both needed a little sit down to recuperate from our journey! It was quite late in the afternoon so that evening we just got dinner from a restaurant close to the hotel and then caught a bus to the Eiffel Tower. (Because you can’t go to Paris and not take a trip to the top!)

On Wednesday we caught the Train to Versailles. It was pretty much love at first sight. I’d never been before so only had pictures as a reference for what to expect, but the pictures really don’t live up to how spectacular it is! It was free for me to get in as I’m a student under 26 and a European Citizen which is literally amazing as to how much you get to see inside. I think I walked around the whole place with a massive grin on my face because it is exactly what I wanted for my project. It’s so over the top, so highly decorated, the attention to detail is insane! There’s so much I can take from my little trip there and excited to start experimenting more with the colours, decoration, and shapes I found! (Watch this space for sneak peeks of my work!)

Abagailemily Versailles

While I was in Paris I also got the chance to see Museé d’Orsay, and the Louvre. There was a section in the Louvre about Versailles which was great as there was a tonne more that I can use for inspiration! There was even more little details like cutlery, crockery, pocket watches, clocks, etc.

Abagailemily Musée d'Orsay

Abagailemily Louvre

After a hard day of even more research my mum treated us to afternoon tea at Ladurée. I had a pot of vanilla tea (best tea I’ve ever tasted) and a giant macaron with fresh raspberries and lychee cream filling. It was definitely an experience I’ll treasure as it was so nice to have time with just my mum to do something girly! The restaurant had lots to choose from and was so pretty inside, it’s something I’d recommend to anyone  looking for something a little different to do in Paris. Although it is a little bit pricey I’d 100% go again as it just makes you feel so fabulous!

Abagailemily Ladurée

I had an amazing few days in Paris and I’m looking forward to going again next week to buy the fabrics for my collection! Exciting/ scary times!

Create 2014 – Prom Floral Crown

20140519-142045.jpg My little sister’s prom is coming up soon (she’s so old now) and as a little gift for her, she asked me to create her a floral crown, like the ones I was making last summer.

We’d been speaking about it for a while before I actually got around to creating it, she asked me before Christmas, but living in Italy it was hard to find supplies! While I was home for Easter in April, Elspeth and I went to find the flowers she’d want on her crown so I could finally start creating it!

We both decided, as her dress would be black, white flowers would be best, simply as it would lighten her overall outfit. I wanted to my best ever job on this crown as it’s really the most important one I’ve made.

We decided on three different sized flowers for the crown, two different sized leaves, and also pearls to add a special touch.

I’m really pleased with how the crown turned out, it probably took me about three hours in total to make it perfect. The finishing touch was the crochet ribbon to tie it together.

Her prom isn’t until July, but I’m not going to be home until then so I had to make it as early as possible to ensure she actually had it for the day! I will hopefully post some more photos of her wearing it in the near future!

She will be the most beautiful floral princess at the prom!

2nd Semester – NABA Milano

In March the 2nd semester at NABA began. In the first week, as an Erasmus student I was told to go along to all of the classes to get a feel for the work and also to understand what we wanted to gain from our experience. I thought that this was a really good idea as then if I decided I didn’t like something that I thought I would love I wouldn’t be stuck studying it for 3 months.

I found that all of the classes were really interesting and found it really hard to choose what I thought I’d like to do. I chose the subjects in accordance to what I’d never studied before and also what I thought I’d gain the most from for my final year at Coventry University which starts in September.



Firstly on my list of subjects there’s photography. There’s a lot to tell about this subject so I think it will need it’s own post!

I really wanted to study photography as it’s something I’ve wanted to develop my skills in for a long time (you can refer to pretty much all of my previous posts!!) Really this was the most ideal choice for me. It will give me the freedom next year with potential shoots, I will be able understand what I want from my photographs and also take them myself if needs be.  It will also help me to diversify my skills into not only design but something a little bit different.

It was a tough decision picking photography as it was either this or illustration and the class for this was equally as amazing.

The tutor for illustration saw the best in everyone’s work and understood that everyone has a different drawing ability. He was able to give you guidance on how you can develop your own skills – which made the class very personal and worthwhile. The course was due to be pretty expensive, where we’d have to supply all of our own arts equipment, most of which I already had back in England – and buying everything would also mean not being able to bring everything back as I only have space for things in my two small suitcases!

The idea of illustration really drew me in as not only would our tutor be able to develop my skills, I’d also be keeping up with my ‘One drawing a week’ challenge. This is one of my challenges for the year which unfortunately I’ve really not stuck to!

The thing that made me pick photography over illustration was the idea that I think a drawing style is something you can develop yourself with a lot of experimentation. I studied art at GCSE and A-Level, but photography is something completely new to me so it would give me one extra skill, if nothing else.


Accessory Design

Secondly on my list of subjects there’s accessory design. This is actually a group project where we’ve been set one designer and one artist to take inspiration from.

So far, I’ve not found this project as interesting as I initially thought I would. The designer that my group was given is Céline, and the artist is Claude Cahun.

Claude Cahun’s work focused on the idea of gender roles which makes her work androgynous – the complete opposite to my personal style! I’ve found it pretty difficult to take inspiration from her work and find things I like – although, this hasn’t been impossible. I believe it’s necessary to be able to work to any kind of brief as a designer so obviously this is a challenge I’ve accepted. Hopefully this project will help me to discover a new style to my work and diversify my own portfolio.
I’ve put a few images together on Pinterest so far – so you can see my inspiration here:


Pattern Cutting

Lastly there’s pattern cutting. This class carries on from the first semester, it’s my favourite one, and the one that I’m most excited about.

There’s a lot of work involved though, and considering there are only 6 lesson left of the semester with only 4 hours in each lesson I’m going to need to knuckle down. We have to make 2 outfits from our collections that we designed in our 1st semester (which I’m still owing a blog post for!) I’ve adapted my designs slightly though, in terms of colours. I wanted to make my colour choice a little lighter and brighter – which would perhaps transform my collection into a S/S collection, opposed to A/W. I need to go fabric swatch shopping later in the week to decide my new colour and fabric board for this collection.

I’m also hoping to do a photo shoot of these garments in the summer for my portfolio, which really excites me! This will be my own little project, not something that is required by NABA.

This course entails a lot of work so I’m going to have to plan my days around the free periods in the studios to make sure I finish on time!