Behind the scenes in Bradford School of Art’s fashion studio

Meet Mohammed Bashir Ahmed, also known as Bash, who’s in his second year of studying BA (Hons) Fashion in the area he loves the most, all things fashion and creative.  

We spent some time with him in the fashion studio at the Bradford School of Art, Bradford College, to find out what it’s like being a fashion student, what inspires him, and what the future looks like after graduating. Whilst wandering around the fashion workroom in the historic Lister Building, we saw Bash in action dressing a mannequin in one of his creations, an edgy camo dress inspired by the work of Vivienne Westwood. 

“I created this dress in the first year of my degree in the Fashion Practice module, which involves researching and designing an outfit and then presenting it to an audience. In the fashion industry garments can produce a lot of waste, so there’s a way to reduce it by utilising subtraction pattern cutting.  

“I actually got some help on this dress from Chaman Bhatti, a BA Fashion Alumni, who graduated a few years back. She came back as a visiting speaker to Bradford to talk to us about Vivienne [Westwood] as she got the chance to work with her. 

After seeing Bash’s fabulous designs, we wanted to know who or what it is that inspires him. 

“My culture inspires me a lot. I’m from Bangladesh, we’re known for our clothes and our garments, especially ‘Banarasees’. I take a lot of inspiration from South Asian designers and from movie directors. 

“I’m a big fan of Sanjay Leela Bansali and the film Padmaavat. I fell in love with the whole look and culture. It kind of inspires my dresses.” 

“I take a lot of inspiration from South Asian designers too, like Ali Zeshan Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra. I just love the intricacy, the details and it’s so regal when it comes down to history. I love history, so I did tons of research about the old Indian kings and queens and the heritage, that’s a big part of why I’m into fashion.” 

Choosing where to study is a huge life decision to make, as it paves the way for your future career path. 

Bash originally chose Bradford College to study Level 2 and 3 in Art & Design. Bash explains: “When I was studying at College, I used to see the fashion department hosting a fashion show every year, it looked really exciting and something I wanted to be a part of. 

“I love the familiarity of being here and already knowing the tutors; I feel like you work harder when you’re comfortable somewhere.” 

We asked Bash how he found the teaching by his tutors: “The tutors are brilliant, they are honestly great. “A big misconception that I had was ‘why do you want to go to a College to do a University degree?’ but for me personally, I didn’t want to be in a big group of learners. If you’re looking for more one-to-one teaching, you will get that here, which is why the teaching is so brilliant. 

“I’m not the type of person who can just look at something and learn. I’m more of a ‘I need you to show me what I need to do, and then I will take it and run with it’ type of person. You feel like you’re working with your friends because you don’t see the tutors as teachers, you see them as friends. That’s the best way I can describe them.” 

“One of the best things about fashion is that there are so many avenues you can go down career-wise”, Bash continues. 

He explains that one of the biggest misconceptions, for those looking for employment in fashion, is that people assume they are limited in career options like creating clothes or becoming a tailor.  

“The modules taught on the course allow you to find your own style but then go down different routes – so with the Studio Technologies route you can design fashion using computer packages and graphics, or with the Fashion Practice and Pattern Cutting module, you look at trends, colours and concepts and identify your target market before designing an outfit, or you can go down the creative direction side of things. 

“When you study fashion at this level, you develop a broad range of transferrable design skills so you have so many routes to choose from.  If I had to narrow it down, I’d like to work in Creative or Styling or Studio Technologies.  

“Ideally, I’d love to go down the creative route and use my heritage and cultural inspiration to design both menswear and womenswear and be part of the northern fashion scene. 

Find out more

If you’d like to study BA Honours Fashion at Bradford College or would like to visit our studio and facilities, please contact the Course Lead Angela Loftus: