Fashion Design 101

I guess you all know this little mind game that every now and then grabs your thoughts: “What if?” “Where would I be now, if I would have done this and that?” In my case that would be “What would my life look like, if I would have studied something creative like fashion design or art?” I’ve always enjoyed being creative and those courses were actually on my list to consider for university, however I eventually opted for business administration – the safer route. Nevertheless from time to time I still play with the idea and this is why I decided to see what it would be like – how does the work of a designer or at least a course in fashion design really look like?

So I enrolled in a fashion design online short course at Central Saint Martins, one of the world’s best fashion schools.

First of all I give you an idea of the general set-up: the purely online-based course took place in the form of a live-session. This means that all students and the teacher joined the virtual classroom at the same time and date all over the world. I could see and hear all participants; be it a girl from Brazil, Canada or Thailand. The seven participants came from all over the world and the different cultural backgrounds led to so many different interpretations of the same topic that it was truly an enriching experience!

We had two teachers who were guiding us through the complete design process and gave us the proper technique on how to approach a theme, form a concept, investigate different angles and subsequently decide for a direction. The teacher encouraged us to let our imagination flow and just scribble without thinking. They showed us where we could draw inspiration from and how we could translate this into shapes and eventually garments.

After every lesson we were given homework to complete until the next session and then present to the classmates. Even though it was probably only a small glimpse into the world of fashion design, I almost felt like a real, little designer during those late evenings producing my mood boards, colour palettes and outfit ideas.

On my way to my final collection based on the theme of “architecture reimagined”, I also learned a lot about myself. What I found most interesting was that I sometimes approached the tasks from a different angle than you were apparently supposed to do. For instance I couldn’t help but think in economic terms: is this wearable? Would this fit mass market customers? Is this design and cut too crazy? I could hardly come up with super creative, totally unreal designs. Also at one point it was quite funny when I noticed that I always start the process of a new design the other way around. I intuitively started thinking of the material (Which fabric would look and feel nice? Which other materials could be combined with it?) and only then thought of the piece of clothing that could be created out of that fabric. This is also why my collection ended up consisting out of materials I currently love most: crepe, neoprene and metal.

In the end, given the limited time I had due to my full-time job plus the work for the blog, I was quite satisfied with the outcome. This course gave me valuable insights into the different steps and stages of a fashion design process and only further strengthened my passion for it. I now decided to take advantage of my grandmother’s sewing machine and her expertise and start creating a few clothes for myself. As soon as they are ready, I will defiantly integrate them into one of my upcoming outfit Posts!

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