University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Francesca Sterlacci

Francesca Sterlacci

Francesca Sterlacci is the CEO of University of Fashion (UoF) which she founded in 2008 as the first 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, set to launch January 2019. 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).

Trend Watch NYFW: Lace and Sheers

- - Trends

As the debate rages on about the expense of fashion week, especially given the fact that the Internet delivers the designer’s message real time to the world, one thing is for certain, the clothes do excite and inspire!  We will be covering the key trends during this fashion season, beginning with the lace and sheer trend.

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Product Development: From Design to Department Store

1140015-10-1307123566936Product Development is known as the process of following a product from concept to production. This process may differ depending on the size of the company. For a medium to large size company, many people are involved in the creation of a new design starting with the creative director and/or the designer who gets the ball rolling with the help of their design assistants. This process begins approximately one to two years in advance of the season for which the merchandise will be sold at retail.

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Pattern Making: 2-D Designs to 3-D Garments

Prada patterns photographed by Brigitte Lacombe

Prada patterns photographed by Brigitte Lacombe

A pattern is a two-dimensional diagram of a garment, drafted by what is known in the fashion industry as a pattern maker or pattern cutter.  The process is also known as pattern drafting, pattern cutting and flat patterning. Once a pattern is made, it is subsequently cut and sewn in fabric to make a garment. The history of pattern making can be traced as far back as the thirteenth century concurrent with the introduction of form-fitting clothing. Tailors and dressmakers authored guides on how to cut and sew men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. Guilds were formed offering apprentices the opportunity to learn techniques of the trade. By the late 1770s, publications such as Garasault’s Descriptions des Arts et Metiers, Diderot’s Encyclopedie Diderot et D’Alembert: Arts de l’Habillement, and The Tailor’s lnstructor by Queen and Lapsiey, all contained pattern drafts for the professional tailor, as well as the home dressmaker.

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Pinterest as a Tool for Inspiration

- - Technology

Technology, and the use of sites such as Pinterest, has greatly influenced the creative process.  Pinterest allows users to easily create boards by collecting, saving, and curating images.  These boards can also serve as mood boards, a way to visually represent your ideas that convey the style and tone of your inspiration.  Creating a mood board is an important step in creating a collection.

Pedro Pedreira

Pedro Pedreira

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Fashion Art: Drawing and Illustration

French Fashion Plate: 1880

French Fashion Plate: 1880

Fashion Art is the process of visualizing your design ideas through the medium of fashion drawing. The art of fashion drawing dates back to the sixteenth century, much before Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, blogs, and ‘costume’ books depicted regional and ethnic dress. From the seventeenth century through the nineteenth century, France and England produced a multitude of fashion magazines containing fashion illustrations.  Among the most proliferate were Lady’s Magazine, Godey’s Lady’s BookLa Belle Assemblée, Ackerman’s Repository of the Arts, Le Cabinet des Modes, & Gallery of Fashion.  Within these early magazines, fashion plates depicted the latest fashion trends of the times.

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What is Draping? An Overview and History

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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