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In conversation with: Brooke Savino, MA Fashion graduate

Brooke Savino graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in 2023, from MA Fashion and discusses her experience of studying a part-time Master’s. 

Brooke studied BA (Hons) Fine Art before going on to complete an MA in Fashion. She describes her practice as ‘multidisciplinary’ as she combines textiles, painting, wearable art, video and installation into her work.

Why did you choose to stay on at Norwich and study your MA in Fashion?

I chose to continue and stay on for my master’s at Norwich because there was a friendly and nurturing atmosphere with emphasis on the individual. I found that tutors and technicians were able to invest more time in getting to know you and your practice which helped to offer a personal and valuable direction for my work.

The broad and self-directed nature of the course encouraged me to think more widely around my discipline which led me to experiment more in different areas across the university. The workshops were very accessible to students no matter what course you were from, and I consider this to be a key strength of the university.

“An MA in Fashion at Norwich felt like the perfect progression for me as I found a passion for bringing art to life on the body, where I could unite these interests.”

Brooke Savino, MA Fashion graduate

Could you tell us about your experience of studying in Norwich?

I loved studying in Norwich! It balanced a vibrant city life with lots of character. I liked that Norwich had a quaint feel to it. The university buildings are all located in the city centre, with Guntons and St Georges overlooking the river. It always felt like a very peaceful place to study.

What did an average day look like for you as an MA student?

Every day was different, which I loved! I would spend most of my time in the fashion studios, textile print rooms, library and or the computer workshops. I balanced part time work alongside my master’s so I would make the most of the university’s evening hours.

My taught sessions were mainly on one day of the week which was helpful for master’s students that were balancing studies with other commitments. I would really enjoy these days as there was usually a fun workshop to inspire new ideas and time to gain feedback from tutors and course friends.

Talk us through your practice and how you stay inspired?

I am very inspired by art and my purpose for creating fashion is to bring art to life on the body. I like to follow a very intuitive approach through draping, painting and drawing. The prints for my MA collection all developed as small-scale paintings in my sketchbook. I have a certain aesthetic that my work naturally follows, and I love to create pieces that someone would feel beautiful in. There is always an ethereal and feminine quality to my creations.

I am constantly finding new designers that inspire me such as Zimmerman, Schiaparelli, Susan Fang and Iris Van Herpen. There is an artistic and beautiful feel to each of these designers’ work that influences me in different ways.

How has your MA helped you to develop your skills and prepare you for the future?

The opportunity to dedicate two years to developing my creative practice has been an incredible experience. In my journey, the course offered me a chance to challenge myself in a new discipline and in doing so, I have found an entirely new career direction that I am passionate about.

Studying independently at this level has allowed me to refine and embrace my own creative process which has given me the confidence to take this forward in a future role.

Tell us about your final project?

My final project was titled ‘Aura’ and is a collection that enabled me to unite my love for fashion design, art and music. Through an intuitive flow of creativity, I explored my aura through the piano, painting and movement. The collection became a coalescence of everything that inspires me to be creative.

I spent most of my days in the fashion studios developing toiles and sewing the collection. I also spent time in the fine art studios painting and experimenting with installation and in the textile print workshops, where I made hand painted fabrics. I went onto use the facilities in the 3D workshop which introduced me to new processes and techniques. This is where I developed the sculptural forms for the garments with wire and created waste – dye resin buttons.

I carried out photoshoots in the beautiful East and West Garth campus buildings which were the finishing flourish for the project. This is where I created a video as part of the final display. The support from the technicians in the design studios was so helpful in guiding me through Adobe software’s for this addition to my project which included After Effects and Premiere Pro.

“My MA experience was inspiring, fun and rewarding. A memorable experience that I will never forget!”

Brooke Savino, MA Fashion graduate

Can you tell us what your highlight or favourite moment was from your MA?

The highlight was the opening event for our Post Graduate show. It was so rewarding to see my final master’s project in a show and to celebrate with staff, friends and family. I enjoyed the feedback I received from members of the public about my work. It reminded me of our purpose as creatives and our ability to make people feel something from what we create.

When I finished my MA I felt really proud of myself and all of those on my course. PG Fest was the perfect way to celebrate all the hard work from the MA cohort which was a memorable experience.

What advice would you give someone considering a postgraduate course?

Make as much use of the facilities as possible. You are lucky at Norwich because you can easily access workshops. I am already missing the textiles workshop rooms and the space to be able to work on large scale prints!

Always ask for feedback where you can. At Norwich you are surrounded by experienced staff who have worked in the industry so make the most of their input.

Finally, consider at the start what you would like to gain from your master’s and self-direct your projects to achieve that initial goal.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my portfolio which I hope will provide a new opportunity in the fashion industry. My dream role would be based in a studio that creates artistic fashion pieces, where I can be involved across art direction and design.

You can discover more of Brooke’s work by visiting her Instagram

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