University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Francesca Sterlacci

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Francesca Sterlacci is the CEO of University of Fashion (UoF) which she founded in 2008 as the first on-demand online fashion video library bringing the art and craft of fashion design and business to schools, libraries, organizations and the general public. As owner of her eponymous label for ten years, her collection sold in fine stores such as Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Barneys and Nordstrom. As a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology for 11 years, she became Chair of the Fashion Design Department where she initiated the complete revision of their AAS and BFA degree programs, as well as wrote three certificate programs: Leather Fashion Design, Outerwear and Haute Couture. Francesca has also taught graduate level fashion design at the Academy of Art University San Francisco for six years, both on site and online. Her publishing accomplishments include: Leather Apparel Design, the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry (First and Second Editions), the A-Z of the Fashion Industry, Leather Fashion Design and a 3-volume beginner series on Draping, Pattern Making and Sewing designed to complement the UoF lessons. She has also made literary contributions to both the Encyclopedia of Clothing & Fashion and You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Women. Francesca holds an AAS, BA and an MSEd (master’s degree in higher education).

What is Draping? An Overview and History


Madame Grès inspects her draping work

Madame Grès inspects her draping work

Draping is the process of transforming a clothing design into a three-dimensional form. The art of draping dates back to 3500 BCE, beginning with the Mesopotamians and Ancient Egyptians. Greek fashion followed with the invention of draped silhouettes like the chiton, peplos, chlamys and himation. The Etruscans and Ancient Romans invented the toga, a length of fabric that wraps and drapes around the body.

Throughout the ages, clothing was categorized as either “fitted” or “draped.” A “fitted” garment would be sewn together and worn close to body, in contrast to a “draped” garment, such as a toga that doesn’t require sewing. In today’s fashion world, both fitted and draped garments can be patterned using the draping process. Read More

Technology & Fashion Education…What’s New?

Recently, Bill Gates, co-chair of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Microsoft, joined the Summit Innovation in Education in discussion regarding the future of higher education and his personal vision for how the college learning experience can be transformed through technology.

The Gates Foundation‘s current project is awarding grants to educational reformers and those looking to mitigate “inefficiencies” in the current model of higher education.  He argued for radical college reform, where students watch video lectures from premier professors as homework and in turn use class time for interactive learning activities.  Gates described the foundation’s proposed educational process as one of continual refinement, with a clear directive “to improve, to learn, make mistakes, [and to] try new things out”

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