Several hours of chat and cake later we were led past the lake and through the fields to an area where hay bales and blankets had been set out ready for us to gather around a projector screen. Why the al fresco lecture hall? Well, basically the theme of the trip centred around the idea of nature and its role in providing constant inspiration for fashion designers. This sounds a bit obvious I know but the way in which our host, New York trend forecaster, concept designer, stylist and lecturer Gemma Gambee unpacked and explored the topic was anything but. Within about 2 seconds I’d become utterly entranced by Gemma’s talk. This wasn’t exactly a shock given my borderline sad obsession with luxury branding, trend progression, fashion history and all things digital, basically Gemma’s areas of extreme expertise and the main areas unpacked in her witty, captivating and almost unbelievably on point views on the industry past, present and future. I’m not joking when I say that I’m a total geek about that stuff. My friends and family literally (and unsuccessfully) beg me to shut the hell up about the thesis I finished well over a year ago. Luckily however, some people are equally obsessed so after being that student sitting at the front with their hand up every 2 seconds I was so happy to be able to corner Gemma afterwards and learn more about her work.

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