Fashion Design is a visual expression of art through clothing and accessories. It is based on the personal preferences of a group of people, resulting in a study which not only focuses on style, but also includes social behaviors of populations. Fashion designers create billions of clothing items for consumers each year. There are three main categories of fashion:
Haute couture is French for high-sewing. Haute couture garments are made to measure, i.e. made for individual clients. They tend to be quite pricey, with large amounts of attention and detail going into the creation and fabrics of the items.
Ready-to-wear, or pret-a-porter, falls inbetween the haute couture and mass market categories. It is indeed referring to high-quality clothing, but the garments are bought off the rack and ready to wear and not made to measure.
Mass-market garments are ready-to-wear clothes, and made based on the current trends set by the large fashion brands. They are made from cheaper fabrics and produced by machine, as opposed to hand made, and considerably more inexpensive.
Courses in Fashion Design
There are an array of education possibilities within Fashion Design out there, all you have to do is to find the best option for you - here are some alternatives to consider:
The first level of creating a fashion piece is having the raw materials – the textiles – of the item. Many education programs focus on the study of textiles, introducing students to fabric charts and different styles to which to apply them.
Marketing plays a crucial role in Fashion Design – a designer must be able to sell the pieces they create. Many students combine a degree in Fashion Design with marketing, business, or fashion merchandising in order to start their own business or retail store.
Costume Design mainly involves the development of historic or other costumes for theatre or film and TV production. An education in Costume Design instructs students on researching, designing, sewing, and drawing costumes, while working with directors and producers to develop the best wardrobe for each character.
There are a variety of study options available within fashion design:
Diploma in Fashion Design
Bachelor degree in Fashion Design
Master’s degree in Fashion Design
Doctorate/ PhD in Fashion Design
Degrees in Fashion Design are available in many countries; however, two of the most popular places to study style are in Italy and the United Kingdom. Both countries have world-renowned fashion capitals, Milan and London respectively. Each city hosts Fashion Weeks during which designers can display their new clothing to fashion-influencing audiences.
Careers in Fashion Design
Upon earning a Fashion Design degree, finding a job is based largely on your portfolio - thecollection of your best work. Most employers look for designers who have a degree and specialised knowledge of the fashion industry. Strong sales and presentation skills are valuable in selling ideas, and understanding the business side of Fashion Design will be of great benefit to any fashion designer.
Once you've completed your studies, a common option would be to work as a pattern maker or sketching assistant under an already established designer. There is also a high demand for fashion designers in apparel wholesalers, and once established, succesful designers can be employed by high-fashion design houses, who offer design services to elite clients.