University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Kara Laricks

Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.

Be a part of a projected billion dollar business: Wearable tech

- - Contest, Technology

As much as we believe in and advocate for preserving the art and craft of fashion design at the University of Fashion, we cannot help but acknowledge the economic trends in fashion. Where consumers are spending their fashion dollars is valuable information for a designer wanting to run a viable business, and may serve as a source for inspiration (and certainly innovation) for emerging designers trying to make their unique mark in a saturated market.

Case in point: The wearable tech market. Did you know that the latest statistics predict that the wearable tech industry will reportedly be worth $34 billion by 2020? Read More

Design for a new time

In Sunday’s New York Times Fashion & Style section, we were introduced to Manufacture NY – “a fashion incubator, factory and research facility housed in a landmark building that was once Storehouse No. 2 of the United States Navy Fleet Supply Base” in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The project is the brainchild of Bob Bland, a 33-year-old designer/entrepreneur/visionary who has been determined to develop a “21st-century garment district” after struggling to produce her own line locally. Read More

Meet Francesca Sterlacci, founder of the University of Fashion

- - Fashion Education

Exciting developments are on the horizon for the University of Fashion including new video releases, new partnerships and most importantly, a new group of students looking to the U of F to keep their skills sharp over the summer. This makes now the perfect time to introduce you to our founder, Francesca Sterlacci. A pillar in traditional fashion education and a revolutionary in online fashion education, Francesca has found a unique way to support students who currently attend fashion school as well as those who dream of attending, but might not have the access. Read More

Join the social media wave – or sink

- - Fashion Business

With the Met Ball just around the corner celebrating the Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 Exhibition, Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, we anxiously anticipate what fashion’s biggest players will be wearing. But this year, consider how you will view who is wearing who. Will it be via Instagram? Twitter? Snapchat? Recently, how consumers consume their information has been on the tip of the fashion industry’s tongue and certainly the top of its mind. Fashion publications have gone out of print, and even online reporting has had to revamp. Read More

Renew your older patterns with a new trick or two up your design sleeve

- - Pattern Making

Isabel Marant‘s sleeve game is strong. During the last few seasons, she has shown almost every iteration of sleeve pattern known to designers. From a raglan sleeve to a long bell sleeve to a bishop sleeve, peruse Marant’s collections and you will get an A to Z overview of sleeve variations. Spring has arrived and with the summer close behind, we thought it the perfect time to feature cool and easy sleeve pattern options. Festival season is here, and with it, the need to loosen up, relax and appreciate the styles of spring and summer. Read More

Spring cleaning – for your patterns

- - Pattern Making

Breathe it in. The weight of the winter is lifting and spring is in the air. What better time to clean out your studio and clean up the fit of your patterns? We’ve all been there – wishing we could somehow hide the eyesore of a serger in our studio or shift a shoulder dart out of view. While the serger is a must-keep, you do have options when it comes to maintaining the proper fit around the bust through the use of dart manipulation. Read More

The finishing stitches

- - Sewing

Challenge: You’ve draped, drafted and sewn your original garment. Now, how to finish it in a way that honors your workmanship and gives your garment a professional quality?

Solution: Watch our four latest video releases. Read More

Pulling back the curtain on celebrity red carpet dresses

- - Red Carpet, Sewing

Following Chris Rock’s hosting brilliance, Lady Gaga’s moving performance and Leo’s it’s-about-time Oscar win, we are experiencing a bit of an awards season hangover. There were very few trends on this year’s Oscar red carpet as we saw everything from pastels to jewel tones, delicate lace to full-of-fabric confections. With so much information to process, we decided to take a bit of a backseat from the “Who wore it best?” hoopla, and offer up some interesting red carpet dressing facts we’ve learned from recent read, Hijacking the Runway by Teri Agins.

From pastels...

From pastels…

First, did you know that the Oscars are seen by 43 million worldwide? No wonder designers are eager to dress celebrities – just imagine the number of photographs, tweets and posts that float around in the days (even months) following an awards show – with the designer’s name attached! But, an important question to ask as an emerging designer is where will widespread press lead you and your budding company? Will your fledgling business be able to accommodate immediate requests? And ultimately, is the cost worth the “reward?”

...to jewel tones.

…to jewel tones.

If you are an emerging designer who is seeking this type of widespread press, consider the cost. According to Agins, fashion houses offer not only gowns to celebrities, but also hair and make up, limo rides to the big event and other perks that can cost upwards of $60,000 to $100,000 per event! Contracts including confidentiality agreements are often drawn up between celebrities and their handlers (stylists, publicists, managers, etc.) and fashion houses to keep under wraps these expensive exchanges.

Some celebrities receive up to 50 gowns from various designers to choose from for the big night. Rarely do celebrities keep (or purchase) the gowns that make the final cut.

...to full-of-fabric confections.

…to full-of-fabric confections.

As an emerging designer, the lure of celebrity endorsement and press can be very enticing. However, it is important to think as an emerging business person as well when representing your line. Whether a local celebrity requests one of your garments for an event, or Rooney Mara’s stylist must have one of your gowns for next year’s Academy Awards, keep your feet on the ground when hashing out the details. Remember, you created your unique piece down to the very last French dart (which by the way, shameless plug, is our latest video release). Honor the value of your work, as an example for others to do so as well.

It’s all in the details

- - Sewing

We are in the thick of New York Fashion Week and this season, we’ve seen changes galore in when designers present their collections, where collections are shown and who pops up and then disappears from the fashion scene. Read More