Graduates 2023: Olivia Rhind: Fashion Communication

“I soon learnt that what sets Brighton apart is the sense of freedom and lack of judgment that runs through the city, making it an endless source of inspiration.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

My FMP explores the relationship between food and fashion, an unusual pairing that has been explored before, but I wanted to show my perspective and interpretation on it. My final outcome consists of  a magazine called ‘this is not a cookbook’  in which I aim to inspire a deeper appreciation for this essential aspect of our daily lives. The publication showcases photography and styling as well as graphic design. Using my skills in art direction and storytelling which is a strong theme running through the magazine. I wanted to take my 4 years at university and everything that has led up to this final outcome and put my best skills into one publication.


My main influences through my FMP have come from colours, specifically colours seen within food. This is an aspect that is not overlooked but sometimes forgotten about, including myself. I’ve never examined colour within food as of now and found myself becoming more intertwined with it. Another key reference is movement within food and the connection it has to us, we share the same light, air, and water, yet do we consider ourselves similar to food?

My inspiration for movement within food came from Erwin Wurm. my profound admiration and gratitude towards Wurm for revolutionising abstract art. Through his approach, Wurm has provided me with appreciation of connections and relationships within his artwork to then link with mine. Leading on from this, my last key connection has been soil to skin, a movement that also leads on from my dissertation. Fibershed has changed my perception to think about where the starting point of our garments is before it even reaches the factory. The main influence for soil to skin is Fibershed, started by Rebecca Furgess a non-profit organisation, that aims to focus on developing sustainable and locally sourced fibre systems as well as educating  on more sustainable garment processes and agricultural practices. I gained knowledge and education from Fibershed and now I disperse my knowledge to others. This cycle of education can link to community, which is a crucial role within the action towards sustainability.

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

During my 4 years at Brighton University, my course has proved to be incredibly beneficial and supportive in my journey towards becoming a graduate in Fashion Communications. Through this degree program, I have learnt valuable skills and knowledge that would have otherwise been inaccessible to me if I had not done my degree. I chose to pursue a degree and specifically at Brighton University was mainly influenced by the city’s iconic creativity and uniqueness as-well as the excellent recommendations and connections I had received about the art school.

Did you go on a placement? If so could you tell us about it – what were your takeaways?

I had the opportunity to undertake a placement as a part of my studies, and I’m extremely grateful for that experience. I was fortunate to secure a one-year placement at a baby clothing company, where I initially worked as a digital design for the website. As my work progressed, I transferred into the social team and designer assists for the various social channels as well as the website. I learned a lot in terms of my industry skills, work ethic and patience. It also helped me become more comfortable in a professional environment and taught me more about my own capabilities and how far I could push myself to achieve goals. I really feel proud of myself for taking on a placement year due to it boosting my confidence and gave me better tools to tackle my third year.

Was the location of your course in Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

When I made the decision to attend Brighton, I knew I would be immersed in a vibrant and creative atmosphere. However, I soon learnt that what sets Brighton apart is the sense of freedom and lack of judgment that runs through the city, making it an endless source of inspiration. In my first year, I organised a photoshoot in the busy North Laines, capturing a ballet dancer. I was so surprised not a single person seemed to be fazed or took notice.

What are your plans after graduation?

Prior to and after graduation, my main goal is to actively pursue job opportunities in the industry and gain as much experience as possible. I want to maintain and keep the creativity alive by collaboration with other talented and like-minded individuals. As this will allow me to explore new ideas and push boundaries. I’m excited to start in the world of work and continue in my creative industry journey.

If you could give you 16 year old self any advice about going to University what would it be?

I would say that the educational path you pursued was exactly the right one. Don’t underestimate the importance of your art BTEC years in college, even if you might have doubted their value at times. choosing Oxford Brookes was the right move as it allowed you to truly discover yourself and find your path. Then, despite initially choosing Manchester Met as your university choice, following your gut instincts and transferring to Brighton turned out to be the perfect choice. In the end, everything you did was the right decision, and each experience taught you valuable lessons and led you to where you are today.

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