21-year-old Valentine METZGER from France is also happy about the outcome of the competition

It’s wonderful to see that all the hard work has eventually paid off. In the past few months I was working on my collection sometimes twenty hours per day, so it’s great to feel it has been rewarded. For the collection, I tried to work with materials I appreciate, like pearls or lace but in new and different ways. Using them on rather sporty outfits I tried to break from classic dresses.

What were the main difficulties you encountered while working on the collection?

Well, I chose to work with pearls and embroidery which proved to be really time consuming. Since all the garments were hand-made and I had to do everything on my own, it took an enormous amount of time. On top of it, I decided to take a one-month course at Maison Lesage, the famous French embroidery atelier. So I would say that the most difficult part was to estimate the time it was going to take to prepare the collection, as I had never done anything similar before. But finally, I managed to have four looks in my collection!

Why did you choose to study at IFA?

I was looking for a smaller school, as I don’t like the concept of big groups where a student is completely lost in the mass. The size of IFA really appealed to me and I wasn’t mistaken. The teachers here have a very personal approach to every student and are always willing to help. Another reason was that the courses here are taught in English and I wanted to improve my skills in that language. The first six months were a little hard for me, especially due to my lack of technical vocabulary but it got much better with time. Since we were only three French students in the class, we had to communicate with the others in English and that helped me a lot.

What are you working on right now?

I am currently doing my internship at a wedding salon. It was quite a coincidence: since my sister is getting married next month, I was helping her find a dress and we discovered this salon. I loved everything on their website, so I decided to apply there for an internship. And after an interview I was accepted. Once again, I get to work with pearls and lace, the materials I like which I used for my final collection. My internship here will last a month, after which I will do another one at Chanel.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, you never know but I must say I like very much what I’m doing right now. So I wouldn’t mind opening a wedding salon of my own one day. But not in Paris. Paris is too big and there are too many people. I come from a small village in Alsace which is close to the German and Swiss borders, so maybe I’ll open a salon in one of those countries.