Gifted Highlands student marks end of time at Uni with a 1st

A creative Fashion and Textile student from Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Gray’s School of Art will this Friday graduate with a 1st class honours degree, setting her on course for a career in her childhood passion.

Pieternel gradPieternel Baak, aged 21, is originally from the Netherlands but relocated to Spean Bridge in Scotland with her family at the age of three.

Pieternel had always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer and from a very young age had started crafting outfits for her toys.

“There are pictures of me at the age of nine hand-sewing dresses for my Barbies and dolls,” she said.

“I had always wanted to pursue fashion design as a career so the next obvious step after high school was to go to art school.

“In High School you get a very basic art education so going to art school definitely teaches you how to develop massively as a creative, as well as teaching you more technical skills like pattern cutting and manufacture.”

Pieternel’s decision to go to Gray’s was influenced by the flexibility of the fashion and textiles course, which allowed her time to develop her ideas and craft before focusing on a specialism.

“ I liked that the course at Gray’s  was a combined fashion and textiles course which meant you didn’t have to immediately decide what specialism to go down. Although I was very set on fashion womenswear from the start it was really beneficial to learn printing and knitting techniques and to have to option to specialise in that if I had changed my mind.”

During the third year she took the opportunity to go to Amsterdam on a three-month placement with Schueller De Waal, which was a standout highlight of her time at university.

“I learned so much about running a small fashion label, production processes, technical skills and many other areas which really aided me in my final year project. I also got the opportunity to go to Paris Fashion Week with the label which was also an amazing experience.

“The guys at Schueller de Waal taught me an invaluable amount about the running of a small fashion label and I am still in contact with them so I am extremely grateful for the opportunity of doing a placement while at uni.”