Fighting words: How Natalie’s scholarship has paved the way forward

We spoke with Natalie Wong, a Year 3 BA (Hons) Fashion Design with Marketing student and recipient of the Marguerite Dennis scholarship, about Regent’s, life in London and the doors that have opened thanks to her scholarship. 

Natalie Wong headshot
Natalie Wong

'I’m a little bit of a melting pot; I was born in Hong Kong, and my family moved to the US when I was the age of six in pursuit of freedom of speech. Now I live in London, where I can say that I have the freedom to do what I want – and I want to share my story through my designs.

'I came to Regent’s with the aim of figuring out my design philosophy and to grow as a person. Since I started here, my tutors here always pushed me to do better and challenge myself. I can confidently say I’ve fulfilled my aim and grown as a designer. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and built on my knowledge and I can graduate knowing I’ve set up a great foundation for my career. 

'London gives you the chance to be experimental – you’re not locked in a box. People in Europe appreciate fashion and art on a completely different level. It’s something completely different than what I experienced in the US, and that’s one of the things I love about living and studying here. 

'Back home, I worked a lot on the technical side of things, but didn’t have a lot of space to add my own unique flair. Now, here in Regent’s and in London as a whole, I can explore my creative side, while I hone my technical skills.'

Marguerite Dennis scholarship 

'I wanted to apply for the scholarship because Marguerite Dennis, the sponsor, is also from the US and I felt a connection to her because of this. I thought I could really show her – and the scholarship panel – what I could achieve with the funding because I have such an international experience. 

'The extra financial support has been hugely helpful in helping me prepare my graduate collection. Fabric and equipment are expensive, and the funds I received have given me the freedom to be more experimental with what I use and how I bring my designs to life. It helps me achieve the goal I came here for in the first place.'

About her graduate collection 

Natalie Wong's collection is a work in progress
Natalie's collection in progress

'My whole time at Regent’s has been leading to one thing: my graduate collection, which is based on the protests happening in Hong Kong.

'The collection has been playing on my mind for a long time, as I was born in Hong Kong, and some of my family still live there. I wanted to create something that showed my life story and who I am as a person. 

'My main inspiration was my cousin’s photography; he quit his job in the US and went to Hong Kong to document the protests. To bring out the themes in his photos, I used discarded objects from the protests – umbrellas, backpacks, masks. Everything is wearable and functional – it has to be when you live in a city like Hong Kong!'

For her future 

'When I graduate, I want to showcase my collection so other people can see my world through my eyes. 

'Throughout my time at Regent’s, I’ve met a lot of professionals and industry speakers, and I hope to leverage these connections to break into the industry. I’m using this time to develop a really good online portfolio, and I’ll go from there.'