Meet Cheyenne Forde, a Fashion and Textile Technology major studying at Regent's University London!
Student Spotlight: Cheyenne Forde, ‘18
US university: Buffalo State SUNY, New York
Major: Fashion and Textile Technology; Apparel Design, B.S
Study abroad program: Regent’s University London, London, June 2017 Fashion Styling and Photography intensive 4-weeks course
Why did you choose the UK?
The United Kingdom has always been on my bucket list of places to travel. To be honest most of my travel goals are based in Europe. Growing up watching interviews and “Behind the Scenes” for movies, and video shoots amongst others, I was shocked to hear a European accent from the majority of the cast members. Their accents are hidden so well you would’ve assumed that they were American the way they portrayed a character or sung a note. I began realizing that a lot of talented people that I was intrigued by came from Europe. A great amount of screenshots of clothing that are in my phone were influenced by UK fashion. Lastly, to be honest I was always a sucker for a man with an English accent.
Why did you choose this program?
I chose this program because I always wanted to study abroad, however I knew I never wanted to take leave for an entire semester. This summer program granted me the opportunity to acquire more knowledge about a subject that I had already wanted to expand on but never took the steps to pursue it, while being in a foreign country for only a month! Who could pass on that offer?
What was your favourite class?
The course that I took was Fashion Styling & Photography, for the first half of the class we met extremely driven and talented people in the industry that worked hard to be where they’re at today. We focused on the process of styling, whether it is for runway, a photo shoot or even to style a client, we learned what is needed to complete a task. The second half of the class; photography, we were to use the information given and based on the assignment we were to execute a proper shoot by styling and directing a model while you are taking the photos. What I enjoyed most about this class is the freedom to choose how you decide on executing your idea. I took it upon myself to become the model in each shoot as well as the director while either a student or my professor would be the photographer. I came to London because I want to become a: Fashion Designer, Horror Film Director/Producer as well as a Model. I used this class to improve on my poses and facial expressions to become a better model and I used each assignment to learn how to direct myself and others on how to bring my vision to life. Thirdly, I used the UK as my source of inspiration observing the architecture, the weather and watching all of the pedestrians showcase their personal style.
What’s your best memory from your time abroad?
Can I choose two memories? How can one just settle on one! Traveling to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower at night was breath taking. The energy coming from my surroundings while sitting on the grass just looking up, I am not sure how to describe what I felt but it was almost as if I was at peace/happy. My second most cherished memory was meeting Danielle Griffiths. Out of the four years of attending college, I have never read a fashion textbook for my classes. Don’t get me wrong, I attempted, but never found interest in what I was reading, so I always found a way around reading in order to stay on top of my classes. When I went to listen to Danielle share a little insight for her book… let’s just say I wish I had my sketch book and pencil in hand. I was so inspired, ideas were flowing in my head with each word she said, I thought about what designs I wanted to do next, where I wanted to go with my career and how I wanted to get there. I bought her book and got it signed by her. I haven’t read it yet, ONLY because I decided to take a year off from my role as a fashion designer. When I read Fashion Stylist’s Handbook I want to be completely finished with school (December 17’) and I want to have expanded on my modelling career as well as film.
What was the greatest challenge you encountered during your time abroad?
My greatest challenge that I encountered while studying abroad at first was adjusting to the time difference. During my first week of classes I was extremely tired and was not as alert as I wished. After I got used to the 5 hour difference my actual challenge was dealing with the amount of inspiration that was going on in my head while trying to absorb the culture. The course was sort of rushed in my opinion, I felt like I couldn’t execute my ideas into my portfolio the way I wanted to because there would be a next assignment due. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. I love a good challenge and this opened my eyes to see that I needed to improve on time management - fashion waits for no one!
What advice would you give to other students who are thinking about studying abroad in the UK?
Some advice I would give to people studying aboard is to go with at least one person you know. Fortunately out of the five students, four including me came from Buffalo State College. I feel like without knowing the other students, I would’ve felt uncomfortable after a while and remained in my room if I didn’t have class that day. I also would have never travelled to Paris and would’ve basically wasted my European experience.
Fact about the UK that you think people would be surprised to learn
The sun rises around 2am! I’ve always enjoyed staying up at night so often while I was lying in my bed I would watch the sky and I would notice that it began to get brighter and gray-ish outside. By 4am the sun is already up and the birds are chirping. I believe that London is only fully dark for about 4 hours from 10pm-2am. It might sound weird but I found this so fascinating! It made me want to get out of bed at 4 o’clock in the morning and start my day. For those who say, “there aren’t many hours in the day”… move to London!
What do you think you gained from studying abroad?
The best thing that I gained from studying abroad is my motivation. Before I came on this trip I felt very lost. I knew what I wanted to do but didn’t know how I wanted to go about getting there nor did I feel like I knew how figure that out. I wasn’t completely sure if directing was for me. I also did not know the complete thought process behind a worthy editorial. I was able to work with Simon Armstrong who gave me the confidence to walk - honestly as soon as soon as Professor Georg said who Simon was and what he does my shyness went away. Normally I hate being stared at which causes me to avert my eyes or look down when I’m walking in public but now I have noticed that I am straying away from my bad habits.