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Posted 13.12.17

Creative internships & dedication: Students style photoshoot for Hook LDN

By Sarah Packer

Land Before Bedtime for Hook LDN, styled by Ella Light and Ethan Penn.

With fans including Nicole Scherzinger, The Vamps, Example, Sam Smith and some of fashion's top influencers, Hook LDN is a British eyewear brand that specialises in creating high quality, style-led designs that are influenced by music and fashion.

The company has an ethos of supporting new and emerging creative talent, most recently featuring up and coming music producer Land Before Bedtime (Harley Light). We catch up with BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Marketing students Ethan Penn and Ella Light who led in the styling of the photoshoot for Hook LDN...

How did you get the opportunity to work with Hook LDN?
Ella Light: Me and Ethan share a similar stylistic vision and so when the opportunity arose to style for a major eyewear brand in London that was interviewing Land Before Bedtime for their up and coming artist pages, I knew that I had to take it. I submitted my portfolio to their creative director and they believed that my styling was in keeping with their brand and loved the aesthetic of my previous shoots. It was amazing to get such great feedback. I knew that together me and Ethan could create some eye-catching outfits to make Harley stand out and fit the brands MO.  

What was your role on the shoot?
Ethan Penn: Our main role was styling, it was our job to source the garments and plan the looks. Working closely with Harley, we analysed his aesthetic and compared it to that of Hook LDN. From looking at their previous shoots and image style we learnt that visuals were minimalistic and sleek with a heavy link to urban, city life. Models were dressed simplistically, in order for the glasses to remain each shot’s focal point. With all this knowledge, we formed our concept and went into the shoot with a clear artistic direction and vision.

Land Before Bedtime a.k.a. Harley Light styled by our students

What skills did you learn?
EP: It’s definitely offered me practical insight into how the fashion industry works, I learnt what it takes to be part of a team and work together to create the desired outcome. You’re always going to pick up new skills when working alongside industry professionals and it meant I was able to experiment with my styling skills and gain feedback, helping me progress my professional practice.

EL: Dedication. Having to get up at 3am to catch a bus to London for a full day of shooting is something that tested us! But if you are truly dedicated to something then it will be worth it as the industry recognises commitment. Also taking a client’s wishes on board. When you move into the professional working world, you have to remember what the client wants to achieve from the shoot and make the best stylistic decisions with that in mind.

"Everyone here is open to communicating and collaborating, something that is deeply embedded in the college ethos...that atmosphere breeds amazing creativity." – Ella Light

How important do you think internships are during studying?
EP: Extremely important. They offer a real insight into the industry and can open your eyes to the reality of your practice. I would advise everyone to try a range of internships in a variety of different areas. Before now I had never really considered styling as a career option but after enjoying the shoot and whole process it’s one that I am definitely considering.

EL: I think it’s very important. University offers a rare time in your life where there is constant advice from someone who was, or still is in the industry. To have the support from lecturers whilst interning is such a help, especially if the internships don’t turn out how you expected them too, it’s good to have that reassurance and guidance and you need to make the best out of those opportunities.

Students exhibit their work to industry at our annual Degree Shows and also lead on the styling of our Fashion Graduate Lookbook.

There's been a lot of debate about paid and unpaid internships. What's your view on them?
EP: As a student I think paid internships sound ideal and would love to say that they should all be this way but the reality, for fashion especially, is often far from it. I think we have to look beyond the financial reward and consider the valuable experience we could have, what it could do for us and where it could lead. That being said I think it should be circumstantial, if someone is working ridiculous hours and tasks and having to travel and pay for accommodation, then yeah, there should be financial help.

EL: Being in such creative fields usually means that getting paid internships are few and far between. That being said I definitely think that everyone should strive for paid internships, just because we are students doesn't mean that we shouldn't be respected and as a result viewed as someone who can be the 'lapdog' and get paid pennies. I normally base a paid internship vs an unpaid depending on the length. For example, a week-long internship I think can be unpaid but a three-week long one should offer some allowance, but it is also about the experiences and opportunities you can earn via networking, these can be invaluable and worth more than a couple of weeks pay in the long run.

Styled by Fashion Media & Marketing students Ella Light and Ethan Penn.

What made you decide to study Fashion Media & Marketing here at the college?
EP: I have always been interested in the fashion industry and its influence on society and culture. I quickly learnt during my A-levels that the design and manufacture elements of fashion and textiles were not for me. I wanted something more, I had all these ideas of how garments and campaigns could be promoted and marketed better so I came to the decision that it was more the media and marketing side that I was interested in. When looking at various universities and institutions I knew immediately that I wanted to study here, from the moment I walked in I knew that this was a place for creatives and somewhere I could enhance and develop my interest and skill set.

EL: I love the warmth that the college offers. With most creative universities I visited, especially the bigger ones, the atmosphere came off as quite cold and standoffish. I have never felt that way at Plymouth College of Art. Here there is a real sense of family. Everyone is open to communicating and collaborating, something that is deeply embedded in the college ethos and is something that should be celebrated, as that atmosphere breeds amazing creativity.  

"I knew that together  me  and Ethan could create some eye-catching outfits to make Harley stand out and fit the brands MO." – Ella Light

Any highlights of the course so far?
EP: I would have to say attending London Fashion Week. We photographed street style shots of some big names in fashion and immersed ourselves in the atmosphere. Those couple of days really opened my eyes to the industry, and it was my first fashion week.

EL: I absolutely adored visiting London Fashion Week too. Being amongst some of the greatest streetwear photographers and even being photographed is something that I think everyone who does fashion would love and I would advise everyone to go and visit. I cannot wait to visit Paris Fashion Week in February!

What do you hope to do when you graduate?
EP: I’m not yet sure on the specifics yet, but I aim to go into the more marketing and branding side of the fashion industry. That could all change within the next two years as I have some internships planned in a variety of areas to help with my decision.

EL: I intend to keep building my portfolio with internships and move onto a paid internship once graduating through the contacts and opportunities I have acquired during my time studying. The ultimate goal is to move into a styling position once I advance in my career.

Follow Ella @ellalightphotos and Ethan @penn.ethan on Instagram.