Enny Piscitelli is a Level 5 BA Fashion student at London College of Contemporary Arts. She recently completed an internship at Paul Costelloe and received excellent feedback from the Head of Design. Her work has been featured as part of the LCCA 2022 Showcase, and her collaborative piece with MyWardrobeHQ is available to rent on their website. Let's find out more about Enny's internship experience below.
Could you tell us about how the internship was arranged?
After finishing the White Shirt Project earlier this summer, I was emailed by my Course Director, Sadie Clayton, to see if I’d be interested in completing an internship over the Summer Break. She sent me over a few different brand names, and I let her know that I’d be keen to go to Paul Costelloe as I’m quite interested in the history of the brand and the pieces that they produce.
I then applied via Sadie by submitting a Portfolio and I was invited to an interview.
How did the interview go?
The interview was with the Head of Design, Jordi Vall i Saborit, and it went really well. During the interview he mentioned that he was 99% sure I’d be able to complete an internship with them, and that the dates just needed to be approved. It was agreed that I’d assist with the London Fashion Week SS23 collection.
You mentioned that you submitted a Portfolio, how did you select pieces for this?
I already had a Portfolio and sent this to Sadie for feedback. Sadie suggested that I make it more personal and to focus on only submitting my best work. I also sent over my CV.
What were your expectations for the internship?
Whilst I’d previously done an internship in Italy, which involved routine sewing tasks, I had completely different expectations for this one as Jordi had gone through exactly what to expect in the interview.
He explained that it was a very freeing internship, and that I’d be in the office alongside their team. Initially, I’d be working on small tasks to build up my understanding of Paul Costelloe and so that they could assess my skills. Jordi did mention that my Portfolio showcased my skills well, and that I could begin with pattern cutting and sewing.
How did the internship challenge you?
Paul Costelloe was in the office most days, so I got to meet and talk to him regularly. We talked about the upcoming collection together and he asked for advice on how I’d sew it. It really challenged me to think creatively, but it was also empowering to be asked as I felt included in his team. Later, I was able to contribute to the collection and was given full control over the development of these items. As the main collection was complete, these were smaller accessories, and I was able to make the patterns and toiles, cut the fabric and sew the final piece. It was really exciting to as these pieces would be part of the show, and it allowed me to apply the design processes I’d learned and expand on these with advice from the Paul Costelloe team.
What was it like being part of London Fashion Week?
I didn’t really think about what it’d be like until the day came, so I didn’t have many expectations going in. I wanted to go and see how things worked, and just take it all in. The event with Paul Costelloe was very well organised and in the lead up to the show, I helped with choosing the models and selecting the accessories that they’d wear.
On the day, my role was to organise the models and ensure that they went out in the right order and that they returned to their positions after a quick change. Each model had three outfits and so it was important to stay calm and to stick to the rehearsed timings, but I still had fun.
That said, when I called the first model and they walked out, it was so intense. My legs were shaking, but it was the absolute pinnacle of the experience.
What did you learn from the internship?
Everything really, especially when it came to pattern cutting and sewing as there was a woman on the team who was very knowledgeable and gave me lots of tips. I also learned a lot about the organisation required for a fashion week show, and how much preparation goes into it. It was all new to me, from finding models to accessorising, and the importance of taking ownership over the tasks you’re allocated.
You received some amazing feedback from the Paul Costelloe team, how did that make you feel?
I was so surprised! I didn’t know it was going to happen, but I’m really grateful. I know there’s a placement on the course coming up early next year, so I’d be open to going back to them if they’ll have me.
What are you looking forward to most about the next LFW?
I’m looking forward to exploring more opportunities and learning about other aspects of fashion week.
Where else would you like to complete an internship?
I’d be excited to try anything that comes my way, but there are two brands which I’d love to complete an internship at. The first is Vivienne Westwood, I’m interested in the environment and the ideas of the brand, especially as they create in a different way to what I’m used to so it’d challenge me. I’d also like to intern at Alexander McQueen, I have no idea what to expect from an internship there, but I’m sure it’d be brilliant.
How would you like to see yourself develop as a designer?
I’m not sure how to answer that as I’m still figuring out what kind of designer I’d like to be. On the course we’re given lots of opportunities to explore sustainability and ethical fashion, which is something I’ve only got limited experience with, so I’d like to develop my knowledge there.
I’d also like to learn more about creating different types of garments and how to tailor. My favourite aspects of the course are sewing and pattern cutting so this is where I focus most.
In terms of design and product development, I’ve mostly just worked with simple shapes and silhouettes. At Paul Costelloe, we mostly worked with cottons and the shapes and silhouettes were very puffy, and I could see my skills in this area develop, especially in creating very structured shapes with boning and tulle, so I’d like to continue developing these skills.
What are you looking forward to as you start your next year at LCCA?
Last year we spoke with Martina Spetlova who leads the Print Workshop unit at Level 5, and she talked about what to expect from the course. Printing is something I’ve not really done before so I’m really looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to working with CAD and Sadie, I want to improve my skills and confidence in this area. Learning more about Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as creating mood boards will help with my overall design and construction process.
How has you experience been at LCCA so far?
LCCA has been great so far, we had some issues in the first term, but they were quickly sorted out. The students are happy, and they feel that they’ve been listened to, especially by Sadie which is really important to us.
Now that you have discovered more about Enny and her internship at Paul Costelloe why not kickstart your fashion career today at LCCA! Find out more about our BA Fashion course here.