Student Spotlight: Rosa Schurian-Stanzel

BA (Hons) Top-Up Fashion

During your time here at Morley, you have managed to complete several individual projects related to costume and performance alongside your studies. Can you tell us a bit more about them?

It’s my pleasure. During the “individual project” module of my first year of HND, I created the interactive performance “Enter the Garden Rosa. Exit your Comfort Zone.” which took place in an empty house in Peckham. The audience was able to put on a costume I sewed, become the character and therefore act like it for a couple of moments . The costumes should help the audience to step out of their comfort zones and experience different emotions, thoughts and interactions.

During my second year of HND, I was able to assist stylist Seta Niland on a photoshoot for the Protagonist Magazine, I volunteered at the London Fashion Week for the Austrian brand “Kalissi” and I worked as Costume Design volunteer at the Lewisham Youth Theatre.

In May 2019, having built some confidence with my drawing over the last 2 years of studies, I sat down in front of the Tate Modern and performed a “live drawing session”. London Pedestrians could decide over the value of my minute-illustrations. According to the motto “Pick a sketch, pay what you want”, I opposed my work to the museum’s value landscape and the art market.

In August 2019 I was able to bring my Performance “Garden Rosa” to an Austrian theatre festival where I was also the costume designer in residence and was responsible for 8 different productions. I didn’t have to sew anything, but chose clothing from a costume archive.

How were you able to find these projects; did you produce them yourself or did you find them through a job posting?

Some of them I produced myself, others I found through online research, coincidences or word of mouth. For my interactive performance, I came up with the concept, created the set, sewed the costumes, wrote the texts, illustrated drawings for sale, designed the programme leaflet and worked on my social media advertising campaign, besides working on my final collection for the Morley Catwalk. On other projects I worked during Half Term or holidays, which was less stressful.

Did you find it difficult to approach potential collaborators /employerswith your ideas? What approach do you think worked the best for you?

Having done my performance “Garden Rosa” in London already, and having seen that it worked out well, gave me confidence to address an Austrian theatre festival with the idea of presenting my work there. It is not intimidating for me to address collaborators or employers, but it is definitely a time investment. Those emails and applications have to be thought through and rewritten quite often before they are ready to be sent. For some applications I sent, I never got a reply, but those experiences were important for me too.

What was the most satisfying aspect of working on these projects?What were you able to learn?

It is very satisfying to see that dreams and aims are achievable, and the fact that I am slowly able to practically realise, what I have theoretically learned. During those projects, I learned a lot about the different fields of the fashion industry, about how working with others can add value to your own practice and how it is so important to always stay curious.

Join our BA (Hons) Top-Up Fashion and define your place within the rapidly changing world of fashion.