Saturday, August 30, 2014

Berlin: World Cup Final


My mission this summer was the travel and see as much as I could. I considered London my home base and was eager to explore places outside. One of the first trips I planned was to go to Berlin, this was in July right right in the middle of the World Cup games. England had been out for a while now and the final between Argentina and Germany was scheduled on the same weekend I would be in Germany. This was not planned, but it worked out in our favor since everyone knows Germany won! 



Anyway, I will never forget this time in Germany, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience! Not only did I enjoy being in the city of Berlin, but even more so I enjoyed the activities that were all around me. There was this energy in the air that produced an excitement among the people and everyone was simply passionate about life, it was written all over their faces. I chose to watch the game at a beer garden called Prater Park, my friends and I came there early and ate some German food while waiting for the game to start. Unfortunately, that day it was raining so we had to find coverage under the tent. There was a big screen in the tent and everyone was huddled together to cheer on their homeland. I have a lot of German friends but it was still very intriguing for me to observe the people in their element. The game was exciting and what came afterwards was even more. The entire city went crazy, they unglued themselves from the televisions and started celebrating in the streets. It was wild, there were fireworks going on, chanting, and riots. My friends and I stayed on the streets and celebrated till sunrise, it was truly a unique experience. In conclusion, German fan or not a German fan, this day marked history!

WHO'S NEXT?: Paris Trade Show

When I was in Paris with LCF, we were given an opportunity from one of our professors to attend a trade show. The professor had a few extra tickets because she and her PR firm were attending it that weekend, so I was eager to make sure I got one of the spares. This was my first trade show experience and I was thrilled to go! The trade show was called WHO’S NEXT? and it was located right outside Paris. A few of my classmates and I arrived to the grounds and were surprised to see that it was a massive production, there were 3 huge conference buildings that made up the show. I never really realized how much effort it took to put all of this together. There are many trade shows that go on in Paris every buying season and this was one of the biggest. Each building has a designated product category (accessories, handbags, pret-a-porter, etc.) and within each of these building are hundreds of designers showcasing their new products in kiosk type displays.




We started in the accessories department and ran into our professor who was with her designers, it was exciting to see her in her element and she showed us some of her designer’s jewelry. I also ran into a kiosk that displayed cuffs with transit maps on, I immediately recognized the brand and remembered that when I worked with the online d&mShop we sourced Drexel campus cuffs from this brand. I started conversation with the employee at the booth and she was happy to hear that I had some background knowledge of the brand and mentioned that Drexel was the first and only university that they had collaborated with. It is instances like this that make you realize what a small world we live in.




Anyway, the rest of the tradeshow was awesome, I really enjoyed walking around and observing not only the products but the people. There were SO many people and everyone seemed to be on a schedule; everyone there meant business! It was well worthwhile my time!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Farewell London

Tomorrow is my last day in London and I am feeling very conflicted. It seemed like three months just flew by, but then looking back, I have done so much. My first days in London seemed like so long ago, but I still cannot believe that I am leaving London in two days.  I still remember being accepted into the London College of Fashion study abroad program and being concerned about the financial burden. I was also nervous about leaving the country on my own for the first time.

I would say that aside from academic gains, I feel like I grew so much as a person. I am now even more independent than I already was, and I feel that I became a braver person. Being outside of my home country really opened my eyes to the world. In addition, learning from London College of Fashion tutors really opened my eyes to the global fashion industry. I have always wanted to work internationally, and traveling by myself reassured my passion to travel for my career.  
This London study abroad program will be held in a special place in my heart. I will never forget this experience and how it made me grow as a person. I am so glad I decided to study abroad despite my financial concerns. I honestly think that the financial cost of my study abroad experience is worth it because it has shaped me as a person, which will aid to my future career.

Fine Dining and Nice Views

Coming from a very picker eater, here are my some restaurants in London that I had no complaints about. My first dinner in London was at Wahaca at South Bank. This Mexican restaurant has amazing pulled pork tacos and pretty much anything on its menu sounds delicious. I am very particular about Mexican food and I assure that Wahaca’s Mexican cuisine is very delicious.  Not only was the food amazing, but also the view of the London Eye from the restaurant was also amazing. The price point for Wahaca is reasonable and it is a perfect place for a nice dinner on the weekends.


One of my other favorite restaurants in London is Burger and Lobster. This restaurant only has three items on its menu all costing the same, twenty pounds each.  The options are: a burger, a whole lobster, or a lobster roll. My personal favorite is the whole lobster, however if you do not want to be messy than I suggest the lobster roll, which is just as delicious.



Moving on to fine dining, I strongly suggest Duck and Waffle at Heron Tower. This is officially my favorite restaurant in London. It is open twenty-four hours and seven days a week, but it is evident to make a reservation ahead of time. My reservation for Duck and Waffle was late at night and I enjoyed a beautiful night view of the city. I ordered the duck and waffle dish and it left me speechless. It was probably the best meal I have ever had along with a breathtaking view, it was the perfect meal.




As my London trip is coming to an end, yesterday my friends and I had dinner at the Oblix at the Shard. Like Duck and Waffle, the food is pricey since it is fine dinning, but it is worth the experience. My favorite dish from Oblix is the Smoked Salmon Flat Bread with Cream Cheese and Chives; for my main course I had the Grilled Dover Sole. Oblix is a very high-class restaurant and dinning there made me feel like I was a billionaire (but I also did spend a fortune on my meal). Nonetheless, the view and the experience were well worth it. I know for sure I am going to miss my favorite restaurants when I leave London.


London Pride Parade





I have never been to a Pride Parade before, I was made aware that the London Pride Parade was approaching and I decided it would be fun to attend my first Pride Parade in London. On the day of the parade it was raining really hard so I thought not that many people would attend; to my surprise the streets were filled. Community organizations, campaigners, charities, police academies and individuals participated in the parade. 

The parade was so colorful and lively and the crowd was enthusiastic and cheerful.  I think the rain emphasized the support of the audience for the occasion. I was touched by the smiles on the faces of people as they marched the parade; it was their moment to shine. They all loved the attention and loved stopping for pictures. 

Many of them dressed in exotic colorful costumes, some as famous people. I captured pictures of princesses, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth.  When the parade was ending I tried to exit with my friends and somehow ended up walking in the parade! The parade was so fun to attend; I will always remember my first Pride Parade was in London. 


Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit

Everyday when I took the tube to class I would see advertisements for the “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” exhibit. Recently I was near the Barbican museum and decided to view the exhibit.  I walked into the room and started admiring the mannequins and all of a sudden, the mannequin looked me in the eye! I was so shocked because for a second, I thought the mannequin came to life. Soon I realized the

faces were projected onto the mannequins. It is amazing how quickly technology is advancing and how it is incorporated into our daily lives. One mannequin in the first room represented Gautier, he spoke an introduction to the exhibit and it felt like he was there in person. Many of the mannequins spoke and were interactive. One mannequin in particular screamed, “Why are you string at me!” as I stopped in front of her. Every mannequin had it’s own personality; another mannequin said, “ I am so tired of standing here.” Walking through the exhibit was quite entertaining.


The center of the exhibit was a mannequin runway show with mannequin judges that critiqued the catwalk. In this exhibit I was able to see the details of the garments up close and it was very astonishing.  As a Madonna fan I really liked the section dedicated to Madonna for her infamous cone bra designed by Gautier. Overall, really enjoyed the exhibit and I am so glad I went to see it.

video

Drexel Pride

Drexel’s term curriculum and its talented faculty have trained us Drexel students to be extremely skillful. We do not realize how much we outshine students from other schools until we are directly compared to them.

During our summer program at London College of Fashion, we had classes with students from all over the world. Even though they all majored in Fashion Merchandising or Design and Merchandising, it was clear that Drexel students were the most informed and the best prepared for any of the classes. I now appreciate Drexel’s Design and Merchandising program even more. Aside from taking classes within our program, the classes we are required to take outside of our major really played a significant role in my experience at London College of Fashion.  For example, the marketing classes I took at Drexel really prepared me well for the Fashion Entrepreneurship and Fashion Business Product Development classes I took at London College of Fashion.  Without a doubt, classes we took within our program such as Analysis of Product also prepared us well for those classes.
Drexel’s program has also trained us to be strong writers; therefore we all performed well in our Fashion Media class. 

Moreover, Drexel’s photography class requirement played a significant role in the Styling class I took at London College of Fashion. After taking photography my perspective about angles and framing really enriched my photography and thus produced quality photos for Styling.


It is no doubt that after taking various Visual Communication classes and classes such as Presentation Techniques at Drexel, all Design and Merchandising students should be comfortable using the Adobe programs and creating great visuals. In fact, our Visuals for Fashion tutor at London College of Fashion specifically asked the class who was from Drexel, because from her experience Drexel students produced outstanding work. For this class, each student designed mood boards and submitted them online. On the projector, our tutor pointed out the mood boards she liked the best and they all happened to all be designed by Drexel students. I am happy that Drexel trained me well and I am proud that we have such a good reputation even on an international basis.








Thursday, August 28, 2014

Barcelona

One of my regrets about studying aboard is not traveling as much as I could have.  Although classes and homework were stressful when studying aboard, I should have planned more short weekend trips. One of the places I had always wanted to visit was Barcelona, therefore my friend and I planned a three day trip during our week off.

When we arrived to Barcelona we first explored a local high street. Even though it was nothing out of the ordinary, I really enjoyed simply walking through the street and looking at all the locals. I stepped into a cute beauty supply store and got a gel manicure for only seven Euros, I was very content.  My friend and I figured out how to use the subway and it was actually very easy to navigate and became the most convenient and economical way travel around Barcelona.

On our first day we explored Las Ramblas. There were a lot of retail stores and we followed the path and walked all the way to the end where the harbor was. On the way there I took a picture with a human statue and it was very entertaining. We had a lovely dinner at a restaurant by the water, and I ordered tapas and paella. We were able to see the sunset and it was a beautiful sight. It was the perfect first night in Barcelona.




The next day we visited two of Gaudi’s famous architectures: Casa Batllo and La Sagrada Familia. The curvilinear structures were very amazing. I had seen these places on television and in books but seeing it in person was just breathtaking.

 

On our last day we started our day off with fish pedicures. I had always wanted to try it and I decided to do it since there was a place right near our hotel. It was so frightened when I first placed my feet in the tank, I did not like the feeling of the fishes on my toes. However, after twenty minutes, I became more relaxed and the experience became quite enjoyable.


Later that day we explored another one of Gaudi’s famous designs: Park Guell. The view of Barcelona from Park Guell was amazing, and the architecture was just astonishing. We ended our last night by having at late dinner at Las Tapas Locas at  Port Olympic. It was the most amazing dinner and it was the perfect way of ending my trip. I fell I love with Barcelona and I am sure I will return one day. I wish I was less concerned about saving money while I was in London and took more advantage of traveling while I was in Europe. My advise to anyone is to not worry too much about saving money, because spending the money is worth the unforgettable, life changing experience.  

Afternoon Tea in London

After being in London for two months I realized that I never tried having afternoon tea.  As a result, I decided to go to afternoon tea at the Kensington Palace near my flat.  I sometimes overlook how fortunate I am to be living across the street to Hyde Park and only a block away from the Kensington Palace. The place where my friends and I got tea was called the Orangery. On our way there, we passed by a beautiful garden with a fountain. The Orangery was very glamorous, and the tea set up was very beautiful. The tea at the Orangery was very spectacular; I got the blueberry earl grey tea. However, although the set up for the meal was gorgeous, the sandwiches were very mediocre. The bread was stale and it tasted like the sandwiches have been sitting out for a while. Overall it was a lovely experience, and it was a good place to have afternoon tea for the first time.


Recently I had afternoon tea again. This time my friend took me to a local teashop called the The Muffin Man. It is a very small and cute teashop, nowhere as glamorous as the Orangery. The servers were also not the most friendly; however, the quality of the tea and food was exceptional. Although the set up was not as nice as the Orangery, the taste of the tea and food made up for it. I would recommend anyone to visit the Orangery for a royal experience, but to also try local teashops for quality tea and food.

Kensington Palace: The Orangery

Food in Paris

Aside from its beautiful sights, Paris is recognized for its food. Within the five days I spent in Paris, I experienced the hype for its amazing food.  My friends and family all know that I am a very picky eater, and I admit that I have high standards for my food. In London, I was disappointed quite a few times with my food. However, I am proud to say that for every single meal I had within the five days I spent Paris, I was very impressed.

Everyday in Paris I started my day off with a visit to a local bakery near my hotel. I had amazing croissants and baguettes. My first dinner in Paris was at a random Italian restaurant that my friends and I picked for convenience reasons. I was not expecting anything amazing and I ordered the penne pasta. The pasta was probably one of the best pastas I have ever had, and I knew from that moment that Paris is indeed the culinary capital.


While in Paris, I visited the famous Laudree and had afternoon coffee and macaroons. The macaroons were of course amazing as they melted in my mouth. Also, the interior of Laudree was beautiful and I felt like a royal person while I dinned inside.


I also had the most amazing pizza in Paris, again at an ordinary restaurant. I cannot imagine how the pizzas would taste like in Italy. At the Basicalls de Sacre Coeur, my tutor took us to the “best crepery in Paris,” she was right; the crepes were breathtaking. After getting crepes, I got the most delicious beef stew at a restaurant on the mountain.

I will never forget my last meal in Paris. I had just gotten back from an exhausting day in Versailles and I was starving. I had went back to the hotel and I only had one hour before I had to leave to catch my train back to London.  My friend and I decided to go to a restaurant across the street from the hotel. It was dinnertime and the restaurant was empty. Once again, I was expecting a mediocre meal. The owner of the restaurant suggested the steak and that was what I ordered.  I am very particular about my steak and I must say that it was the BEST steak I have ever had in my life. That meal was the best way to end my Paris trip.

Paris Trip


Since applying to the London College of Fashion study abroad program, I was made aware that it included a five-day trip to Paris.  Paris is a city that I always dreamed about visiting and until the moment I heard “ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Paris” through the broadcast on the train, I realized that I have indeed arrived in France.  The first day in Paris was a very exciting; we went on a relaxing boat tour and saw a good view of the Eiffel tower. I still remember the exact moment when I saw the Eiffel tower in person.  I had just gotten out of the subway station and my tutor was making an announcement so I looked in her direction. When she was finished, she silently pointed opposite her direction and we all turned around. When I saw the Eiffel Tower (only from afar), I was so touched and I almost shed a tear. I have always seen the Eiffel tower in movies, on magazines and postcards, but I never thought I would be able to see it in person. Of course, as a tourist I took numerous pictures of and with the Eiffel tower.  That night my friends and I decided to go to the Eiffel tower, after a complicated subway ride we arrived to the Eiffel tower right when it was sparkling and it was a breathtaking sight.



Another memorable moment in Paris was when I visited the Louis Vuitton Flagship store. I was informed that there was an exhibit on the top floor of the store so I decided to go look at it. As a Louis Vuitton lover, walking through the massive store was like walking through my heaven. The store was like a maze and it took me a while to find the elevator. The elevator doors opened up to a dark black elevator; then a Black man in a black suit comes out and asks if I was going to the exhibit and escorted me into the elevator. The elevator was covered in black velvet/carpet on all dimensions.  I stood in the pitch-black elevator and it was silent for about thirty seconds, I was actually a little bit frightened and confused.

When I arrived to the top floor I was confused as to where the “exhibit” was. The area was empty and around the corner were pieces of newspaper and photographs on the floor. There were also pieces of art hanging on the wall that looked like it was drawn by children. The exhibit was not what I had expected; I expected an exhibit of brilliant designs and amazing artwork. However, the view of the city from the top floor and the elevator experience was worth the trip. On the elevator ride down, I asked the elevator man why the elevator is pitch dark and he said “it is to remove you from the outside world before seeing the exhibit.” I thought that was such a clever concept and design.



On the third day we visited the Louve and I got my typical tourist picture which I am very satisfied with. At the Jardin de Tuileries we were lucky enough to see goats come out and “trim” the grass.


Moreover, at the Musee de L’oragerie I saw Monet’s Water Lilies. I always find it fascinating to see the famous works of art I studied in person. The view from the Basicalls de Sacre Coeur was breathtaking. It is the highest point in Paris and it had the best view; I would say it was the highlight of my Paris trip.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodbye London

On Sunday August 31st my time in London will end. As I try to visit all of the amazing places in London that I have missed so far, I know that there is no way I can fit them all in. London is such an amazing city and has so much to offer. There is so many amazing sites like the view from the restaurant Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron tower that is open 24hours. Or the view from the Shard on the 52nd floors rooftop bar. Or the view from the London Eye that looks over all of London. There are so many places to visit and see that it would takes years to see it all and experience the true love that London has to offer.

I have a full agenda for the upcoming week. I plan to visit Abbey Road where the eleventh Beatles album cover was shot. I also plan to visit the Shard to see the beautiful nighttime view of London from the 52nd floor bar. I also plan to visit the markets one more time and get presents for my friends and family. There are so many things to see and do in London and I wish I could fit them all in but with only one week left I have to keep the list short and leave time for packing!

After studying at the London College of Fashion and studying with Anne for a two week intensive course, I have now spent about 11 weeks in London and have truly had the most amazing summer. I could not have asked for a better experience and I would do it all over again without a doubt. The experiences you get studying abroad you will never get anywhere else, even when just traveling abroad with your friends or family. You get a chance to learn from new and amazing people and meet people from all over the world. Not to mention it is a great conversation starter when applying to jobs and Co-Op's, you will have so much to talk about. I would recommend studying abroad to anyone I meet, and not just in London but truly anywhere.

I truly have fallen in love with London and will always remember the amazing summer I spent here. Traveling to London has made me fall in love with traveling in general and has inspired me to go to new places and try new things. There are so many places in the world and so many amazing things to see and this trip to London has showed me that. I can't wait to travel to as many places as possible and take advantage of the people and places that are out there that I don't know yet and have not seen yet.
Goodbye London! 

Islington

After our 8 week program at the London College of Fashion, we have a second two week intensive course with Anne Cecil from Drexel. During this course as groups we are researching and observing the small part of London called Islington.

The best part about exploring and studying in Islington is that we probably would not have visited this part of London on our own if we did not have this program with Anne. Islington is an up and coming are of London and our job is to research specific parts of Islington that need work or need improvements to make life there and visiting there the best experience for the people. Islington is a specific part of London that many of the original architecture and buildings still remain so there is a lot of history still thriving in the area.

My groups main area is a new up and coming apartment complex fused with retail spaces and a cinema. Our job is to: 1. Observe 2. Debrief and 3. Synthesize the area and come up with a plan to make this area mix correctly with the market of people that are living, working and visiting there. We are using a new method of "AEIOU. In this method we observe the Actions, Environment, Interactions, Objects, and Users of the Area. This method was taught to us by Anne and has allowed us to organize our thoughts and really observe everything in this area from the people that live there and are walking around there to the signs that are on the street. This project has opened my eyes to seeing just how much goes into the building of a new area. You have to think about so many different aspects that all make up a successful living and shopping area. I liked this project because it gave us the opportunity to work in groups and really observe and research one particular area and learn what it is now and if that is right for the people that are there now. It really gives us a chance to work in the field and stray from the norms of learning in a classroom. It gives us the opportunity to learn and then put into place what we are learning and get feedback and see what we are doing well and what we need to improve on.

Overall, I am so thankful for the chance to both study at the London College of Fashion and study with Anne for the two week intensive. Both programs were very different and gave us two different views of the industry form the high streets of London and the places in London that need to be researched and maybe need improvements put into place.

London inspires Change

When coming to London one of the first things the director of our program at London College of Fashion told us was to be different and unique and try new things. She talked particularly about changing our hair and trying new crazy things with makeup and clothing. I personally have had the same long blonde hair my whole life. I wanted to take her advice and try something new but I was nervous. After being in London and experiencing all of the unique and crazy styles of the people hair  I decided I would try something new. I didn't go for pink or blue like some of my classmates did but I decided to try a darker blonde look with brown roots. I love it and everyone loves the new change and the new look that they have never seen from me before. Hair in the UK is like fashion. It is always changing and staying up to date with the hottest styles. Toni and Guy, and Aveda are two particular salons that have training institutes. At these schools the stylists that are learning from the experienced colorists and stylists in the industry, need models to practice on. You can go in any day of the week and ask to be a model. If they do not have any space available at that time they will provide an appointment for you and you can go back at a better time that works for them and you. At these schools you can get color, or cuts depending on what you want. You will have a brief discussion with the training stylist and with the teacher and they will do you hair for free, in exchange for being there model and letting them do your hair. A lot of times they like to do crazy and fun cuts and colors but if you want something natural they love to do that as well.

I chose to go to Toni and Guy salon in Sloane Square. This particular Toni and Guy salon is not a school but the original Toni and Guy salon that Toni and Guy creator and and CEO, Toni Mascolo still works and takes appointments today. The salon is full of amazing hair stylists that specialize in cut and color. I recommend anyone studying in London for a long period of time to take a chance and do something fun with your hair while you are in London and try something new. You can always dye it back before you go home!

Before 

After 

Markets in London

Two of my favorite things to do are to eat and shop. I love all different kinds of food and I love trying new things. Before I came to London I looked up the different markets in London that are well known and had good reviews. One of the markets that had great reviews was Borough Market. This is a food market located near the London Bridge. I knew that I had to visit this market to try the amazing food from around the world and experience a London market. I visited Borough market during one of my first weeks in London and fell in love. There is every kind of food you can think of, from every different kind of place in the world. There is Swedish food, Indian food, Spanish food and so many more. When my mom visited me in London, I took her to Borough market and she wanted to spend the whole day there! I have visited Borough Market over 5 times since being in London and have been able to have some of the best food in London and even pick up some groceries. 

Along with Borough Market there are many other markets that combine food and clothing and everything else you can think of. Another well known market is Portobello Market. People travel from all over the UK to visit this market and it is a must see tourist destination. Along with the many stores that are located on Portobello street, every day of the week there are food vendors and clothing and accessory vendors on the street. The best day to go to Portobello Market is on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. On the weekend the market is packed with so many different kinds of food, drinks, desserts, clothing, antiques, accessories, and really anything you can think of. The market extends down the length of Portobello street and you could spend a whole day or even two exploring all of the vendors and the cool things they have to offer. 

Another market I would recommend going to would be Spitalfields market. This market is more of a clothing and present market. I have visited this market many times while being in London as well. This market has vendors from across the UK that have handmade clothing, jewelry, and anything you can think of. I visited Spitalfields to get all of my presents for my family and friends back at home. One of the cool things about Spitalfields is that it is located right in front of Brick Lane. Brick Lane houses some of the best graffiti work in London. The streets are covered in amazing art and behind every corner is a new masterpiece. Also on Brick Lane you can find some of the best Indian food in London. We were brought to Brick Lane as a field trip for one of our classes. We were told to explore the streets and the vintage shops as well as the graffiti and artwork that decorates many of the buildings. They also told us that the best Indian food in London is located on Brick Lane. 

Overall the shopping in London is amazing, but for different and unique handmade goods the markets are the place to go. For the most tasteful and unique foods and drinks inspired from around the world, the markets are the best places in my opinion to eat in London. 
Graffiti on Brick Lane 

Graffiti on Brick Lane 

One side of Spitalfields Market 

Afternoon Tea

In London it is a tradition and a highly practiced event to have tea. Specialty teas and unique teas from around the world are celebrated over small sandwiches and desserts. It is a common practice in London to have tea in the morning as well as in the afternoon before dinner. Londoners many times prefer tea over coffee in the morning and have around 2- 3 cups of tea a day. While living in London we thought it would be a good idea to practice this well known London tradition of "Afternoon Tea". Living right across from Hyde Park and Kensington Palace we thought it would be a great idea to have Afternoon Tea at Kensington Palace's tea room, the Orangery. Afternoon Tea begins at 2pm. We sat down and were able to mix from a large selection of teas for each person. With you tea comes a variety of sandwiches, croissants, and sweet desserts to compliment your tea. The experience made us feel like true Londoners and the decor was lavish and amazing to look at. The outside was surround by gardens and the inside was ornately decorated with white lines and chairs and complimented by Blue and Gold dishes. While in London I would recommend everyone go to Afternoon Tea at any place that offers it and enjoy the relaxing experience with friends and good small desserts.


Shopping in London

Of course coming to London as fashion majors we were all overly excited to start shopping on the "high streets" of London. London is known as one of the fashion capitals of the world next to New York City, Paris and many more. We had only heard about how amazing the shopping was and could not wait to check it out and make purchases to add to our American wardrobes. One of my favorite destinations to shop was Oxford High Street. Although many Londoners do not enjoy this high street due to its high volume of people, especially tourists, I loved the busy crowds and the "three-story" stores. Some stores that I enjoyed the most were ones that are not from America. River Island and Harrods were two of my favorites. River Island is more of a fast fashion retailer where Harrods is a luxury department store with a food court and afternoon tea. Along with Harrods, there are other main luxury department stores that you have to see when living in London. Selfridges, Liberty's, and Harvey Nichols are also great destinations for luxury fashion and high end designers. Even if you are not wanting to buy clothes at the high end prices, it is amazing to walk through these stores and look at the amazing designs of big name designers. Top Shop in London is the place we went to find whatever we needed. In the TopShop on Oxford Street you could get lost for hours in the four-story building. You wouldn't mind getting lost due to the Cafe, Bubble tea stand, Cupcake Stand, Hair Salon, Eyebrow Waxing Salon, and so many more. The clothes offered in this Top Shop ranged from Top Shop's own collections as well as collections from young up and coming designers. These are one of a kind pieces that can not be found everywhere. Top Shop sponsors the designers and sells their clothing for them. The collections as so unique and its so exciting to know that you are helping out a new designer. Overall the shopping experience in London is made more into a destination than just a stop in and grab one item experience. The stores in London make the shopping experience a lot more exciting and fun. Who doesn't want to drink bubble tea while shopping or take a quick break for a cup cake?

Fashion Visuals- London College of Fashion

During my time at the London College of Fashion we took a class entitled Fashion Visuals. In this class we learned about the importance of visuals in fashion and how to relate images that were completely unrelated. We were given freedom to take images from anywhere and across all spectrums of themes and create mood boards. We were allowed to use themes of color, contrast, line, texture, shape etc. I liked this class a lot because in any job you have or whatever department in the fashion industry that you work in, you will have to be working with visuals and a lot of times with mood boards to present your ideas and your plan. This class gave us the opportunity to really define our skills and make successful images to put in our portfolio. This class is not offered at Drexel and allowed us to improve our skills with visuals which some Design and Merchandising students are not as good at. Fashion Visuals was a fun class and allowed us to work with images that inspired us and give us a break from traditional written projects and presentations!