Fashion placement experience: Lauren, Studio Intern at Holly Fulton

Lauren Chivers, a Portsmouth Fashion and Textile Design student, chose to do a Placement+ year where she completed a number of short-term placements. Working at Holly Fulton and Paul Smith gave Lauren experience of working at a small company and a much larger business. Lauren tells us about her placement at Holly Fulton, where she worked alongside another Portsmouth fashion student, Sidnie.

Myself, Sidnie and another intern Jacqueline from Germany who we became close with.
Myself, Sidnie and another intern Jacqueline from Germany who we became close with.

Who are they and what do they do?

Holly Fulton is a British fashion designer, who set up her label in 2009. This is a much smaller company than Paul Smith, with only 5 members of staff – including Holly herself.  She is well known for her bold graphics and prints, and innovative use of textiles within her designs.

Which department do you work in? 

At Holly Fulton I assisted whichever member of the team I was required to help – which would vary each day depending on what needed doing.

Delivering collection to the press office - suitcases
I often had to take garments to and from the Press office so they could use them for photo shoots, etc. In this instance I was taking the whole Resort 17 collection back to them!

Have you had the opportunity to work with different departments?

The majority of the design, development and creation process happens within the same studio at Holly Fulton, meaning that depending on the workload, I was involved in a whole range of tasks. This varied from pattern cutting, toiling, organising the studio and even helping out the sales manager.

This is one of the toiles I made based on one of Holly’s designs. Experimenting with different techniques to see which worked best. This was a design idea for her SS17 show, which unfortunately didn’t go ahead, as she is currently working on other projects.


What is your role? What were your main duties, tasks and responsibilities?

At Holly Fulton my role was a general Studio Intern – therefore my tasks and duties varied from day to day. However, I spent a lot of time running errands and interacting with factories and customers, sampling and toiling designs and assisting with the organisation and tidying of the studio. I also spent the last few weeks of my time there being solely responsible for pattern laying and cutting out the pattern pieces for all of the in-house production. This was a big responsibility, as I had to ensure they matched the sample garments, and that I made no mistakes!


Are you treated like an employee?

I had a brilliant experience at Holly Fulton and I learnt so much about pattern cutting and developing designs. I also had to do some more menial jobs such as going to get coffees and delivering orders to customers which are the kinds of jobs I expected to have to do as an intern.

My leaving gifts from Holly Fulton and the team
My leaving gifts from Holly Fulton and the team

How was your placement related to your university degree?

My tasks included toiling and pattern cutting – two key elements of my degree! I actually learned many new tips and tricks into how to make my patterns for design neater and clearer, as well as better ways of toiling that I will continue to use in the future.

Find out more about fashion work experience


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