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What It's Really Like to Study Fashion Design


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Fall is nearly here and I can't stop thinking about how STRANGE it feels to not be in school. I guess that's why writing this post has been on my mind a lot lately.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fashion designer?

Maybe you've always dreamed of working with the top designers or being the next Coco Chanel or Christian Dior.

Perhaps you just love to sew clothes and you're starting to consider studying fashion design to help you better your craft.

It could be that you're just family (hi, Mom!) checking in on what I've got to say.

For whatever reason, you are here. So, I am going to give you the inside scoop on what it is REALLY like to study fashion design. Kinda like what my title promises :)

Many people that I encounter ask me what I studied in college. When I respond with Literature and Fashion Design I typically get a reaction somewhere between, "Ah, so you want to be a teacher," and "Oh wow, so you're gonna be like {insert most famous designer they know}!"

And I always have to keep a calm face and explain that no, I am not a teacher and no, I probably will not be the next Karl Lagerfeld or Miuccia Prada (but that would be pretty dang cool!).

What studying Fashion mostly prepared me for was working in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry. We learn draping (manipulating a two-dimensional piece of fabric around a three-dimensional body to create garments), flat pattern drafting (lots of math- measuring, drawing lines, angles, curves, etc. to make a flat object fit a 3D body), as well as entrepreneurship, business principles, and marketing.

The fashion industry is portrayed by a lot of media as a strictly glamorous world; unfortunately, this is not entirely true. Fashion definitely includes appealing and glitzy aspects such as haute couture, celebrities and more, but it also includes very (VERY) unglamorous ethical and moral problems. Did you know that the fashion industry is the second largest polluter, next only to the oil industry? (There are many ways to measure this statistic. Read these articles here and here.)