Fashion Design Skills 101 – Skills That Fashion Schools Don’t Cover Nearly Enough

In fashion school, most of your time was spent learning to create fashion illustrations, draping, sewing, and flat patternmaking. While these are good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to create computerized flat sketches, develop garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards. And I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!” To which I reply: You think you know, but you have no idea! Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on those skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first design position. In this article I will discuss each skill and its importance in the fashion industry.

Draping and Patternmaking – Low Importance
While patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, they usually only come in handy when you deal with a lot of fits. However, fittings are usually conducted by technical design teams so if you got into fashion for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the majority of design positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!

Sewing – Low Importance
On the creative side of design, sewing isn’t that relevant. Yes, it’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a great seamstress. On the job, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from clothes at the stores, to “how to” books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if you’re sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.

Illustration – Almost Unnecessary
Sadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the industry – they are scarcely used by designers in the real world. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized technical sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats, which are faster to sketch and much more practical. Not only do they present a clear representation of design concept, but they are a must have for production. Flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Fashion schools have not followed this shift and still focus more heavily on illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.

Computer Programs – Must Know
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating floats, flats and CADs. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel since they are relatively affordable in comparison to more industry specific software. Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the fashion industry. Many companies are also requesting knowledge of WebPDM, so if your college offers a course in this program, it would be to your benefit to take it. If your school does not teach this program, find a school or venue that does offer this program and take it!

Flat Sketching – Must Know
While interviewing candidates for design positions, we’ve seen applicants’ portfolios filled with beautiful illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you flat sketch?” If flats are included in their portfolios, they are usually basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidates sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop? ” Almost everyone says yes, but it’s usually far from the truth.

A lot of fashion school grads seriously believe that they know these programs well, but what you learned in school isn’t enough – fashion schools don’t teach these skills well enough for entry level designers to be competent within the fashion industry. Schools just cover basics, which are usually forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to practice and become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and other programs beyond what schools teach: read books and take additional courses (offered in either classroom or online settings).

Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry – Must Know
Knowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment to create garment specifications, or “specs” is a fundamental skill. Many companies create their spec sheets using Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from company to company, depending on different market segments and categories, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop specs from scratch!

As a head designer, to set spec standards for a company, I usually went to different stores, found garments with a good fit and copied the basic measurements. This is quite common – the fashion industry is a copycat industry- most fashions hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another company. Once, during a shopping trip in London, a store salesperson noticed I was a fashion designer collecting style ideas. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right – even top designer brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections. There are even official terms: a “knockoff” is when a style is copied and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied.

Educate Yourself!
Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer important classes like “flats and specs for the fashion industry”, but believe it or not, these courses are not required by the curriculum! Another handy course that should be taken is “creative fashion presentation.” Salespeople use presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey creativity level. If you can make outstanding presentations you’ll be assigned to do them often, and believe me it’s more fun to make boards than do fits or send faxes and organize showrooms.

To sum up: in order to get a job before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the industry. Become proficient with flat sketching, include flats in your portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in fashion, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!

For your reference and use, we have posted lots of industry standard flat sketches and CADs in JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats on DesignersNexus.com. If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in a very good shape

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Tafe Fashion Design Course and Merchandiser

The fashion industry has undergone a complete change in the recent times and the distance certifications for same are required for achieving success in fashion world. Fashion technology is becoming the fastest and entrenched industry in today’s world. All budding designers are working hard to develop new designs and brands which help companies sell their clothes, jewellery and footwear. The fashion Industry is widespread and requires creative ideas along with dedication for work for any designer to be famous.

Milan and Toronto are the famous Fashion Hotspots where the best designers and budding talents display their collections and perform shows. Today with various universities and institutes offering Fashion Designing courses which have facilities to teach the technical software’s of CAD and Patternmaker, are becoming increasing popular. Tafe fashion design course with the help of distance education help students reach them removing the barriers of countries. The courses available also offer specialization in Children / Menswear / Womenswear and even Bridal for designers to choose from. One such name in the education arena is TAFE.

TAFE

Tafe offers various courses which include the “Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design and Technology”. This course is specifically designed to train budding designers and help talented students develop their creativity through in specialized areas of Fashion Designing.

Course Details

Tafe fashion design course offers the Fashion Designing Diploma for students who are willing to apply practical, creative and technical knowledge in the field. Various aspects like design application and product development for management level students are also covered in the Course. Complete research is done by students while studying this course on topics from garment realization, fine patternmaking, fitting, interior, construction, merchandising and sizing which shall be used in the Fashion Industry.

Any successful and well equipped course for Fashion Designing shall include garment cutting and block construction which are the most essential aspects of garment design which are a part of the TAFE Diploma Course. The course consists of elective subjects like grading techniques, fashion development through patternmaking, fashion illustration, fabric manipulation, textile fibre, pattern draping, lingerie design, design elements, fabric sketching, swimwear design, sizing design, CAD and specialized software developed for computer fashion designing and selling concepts are available.

Merchandiser concept is also increasing today which is resulting in extensive design research for better quality and designs. Besides the basic cloth, jewelry is also being designed by various designers which is giving the industry a new look and arena to showcase. Students from Indian cities like Delhi and Mumbai which are hubs for fashion designing are aspiring to undergo the certification provided by TAFE. Delhi and Mumbai are two bog fashion centers in India. This course facilitates subject which shall help the student develop expertise in AQF5 level. Fashion production management and supply chain are vital components of the course curriculum which help in developing creative and critical thinking required for the fashion world and merchandiser concept. Applications.

The course is industry specific and is much more proactive than various similar courses offered by universities worldwide. This full time course can be undergone for a period of 3 years which provides Certificate IV LMT41007. This is the Applied Fashion Design and Technology Certification which is recognized all over the world and has greater industry acceptance for employment. Various Managerial level positions can be easily acquired after this certification in the Fashion Industry. The information on tafe fashion design course can be availed online from the websites. The Certificate subjects and details regarding fees and locations are displayed on the website. Before entering the Fashion industry one must get quality certification from renowned institute and TAFE is the first name that comes to one’s mind.

Fashion Designer Jobs – Where Style Meets Substance

Fashion designing has always been a popular choice of young men and women all over the world. Stylish and well paid, these jobs would help you to gauge the pulse of the changing fashions in fashion capitals like New York and Paris. Fashion designing would teach you to consider clothes as a strong expression of one’s persona and style statement rather than just protection of the body. Fashion can make a person feel confident and strong as it has a bearing on the personality of the wearer.

There is a bevy of option son fashion designing including haute couture, wedding dresses, sports wear and fashion design among others. There are various reputed fashion institutes from where you can fine hone your aesthetic sense and innovation. A successful fashion designer should have an open mind and an eye for details. Customized fashion styling would help you to remain in the race.

Fashion designing has huge demand in the contemporary world where fashion is a potent weapon. As long as there are style- conscious, men and women on this planet the scope for this job would only go up. Fashion designers should creative hot and innovative designs that imbibe the current trends, select the right fabric and colors to infuse life into the designs. They would be required to work for long or irregular hours and hence they should be robust and active all round the clock Accessorizing is also part of fashion designing as a great dress alone would not complete the style statement.

Fashion Design involves various branches like Garment design, Leather design, and Accessory & Jewelry design. Fashion designing a great bet to mingle with the rich and the famous and some of the most famous figurines of the movie and fashion world, which in itself is an attraction for many youngsters to pursue a career in fashion technology.

Fashion designers are in great demand. Apart from fashion boutiques and ready made shops, fashion designers can also set up their own business with the minimum set up cost or do freelancing for well known fashion houses and designer labels. Freshers can think of Apprenticeship under a well-known designer to showcase your talent. The fame and glitter of the fashion world is the added attraction of these career options. The sense of accomplishment when your creation is admired by some of the most famous men and women in the world cannot be expressed in words.