Learning how to work with cascade ruffles opens up endless design possibilities that will let your imagination run wild. In this lesson, Fiona Liu demonstrates how to draft circular fabric pieces and then how to apply them onto a sheath dress foundation, which will be sure to inspire you. This design detail is great for creating dramatic eveningwear pieces that are quite easy to achieve.
Whether you choose to create your ruffles out of a crisp or stiff fabric like silk gazar, organdy, taffeta or voile, or you opt for soft cascading ruffles using a silk charmeuse, georgette, chiffon or crepe, you will have fun experimenting with this pattern making technique.
Image credit: Fiona Liu University of Fashion
Fiona has taught more than 13 lessons for the UoF that include pattern making, draping and zero-waste design. Here’s a sample of her many talents:
From left, Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Harris, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden on stage together, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Photo Credit: AP)
Saturday, November 7th was an historical day in the United States. Not only did the country elect former Vice President Joe Biden to be our 46th President, but we also elected our first female, first Black and first South Asian Veep, Kamala Harris.
President-elect Joe Biden, delivered a message of hope, unity and possibility, during his victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe wore a navy suit and light blue tie, assuring that he will be a president who, in his own words, “seeks not to divide but to unify.” He told the crowd of supporters, “Let us be the nation we know we can be. A nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. There’s never anything we’ve tried we’ve not been able to do.”
Kam & Joe rocking pantsuits and Joe’s signature ‘American flag’ socks. (Credit: People Instagram)
HERE COMES THE FASHION
Although this blogpost will mainly focus on Dr. Jill Biden and Kamala Harris, we thought we’d provide a teaser on Joe Biden’s sartorial choices (stay tuned for our next post on Biden Style in depth).
According to L.A. bespoke tailor Fresh (tailor to music icon, Weekend and other celebs), when asked about the difference between a Trump suit (Brioni, $3,000 loose and oversized) and Biden’s suits (Delaware’s Wright & Simon custom made ($795) and Hickey Freeman’s ($1500) Rich Fresh said, “The first thing to look at is the shoulder. Biden’s suit sits right on the shoulder, which allows the chest to sit right, the sleeve to fall beautifully. Biden’s pant break sits right at the top of his shoe. Even though he’s moving and walking, you can still see it hits right at the top. He’s not showing his whole sock off, he’s not trying to look super cool or like a teen, the whole leg fits great.” Oh, and speaking of socks…let’s not forget Joe’s signature ‘American flag’ socks and his cool pocket squares! The new men’s trend?
DR. JILL STYLE
Harris was not the only one who made a bold sartorial statement that night. Our incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, chose a chic navy floral vine dress with an asymmetric hemline, created by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the designer duo behind the Oscar de la Renta label. Dr. Jill paired her dress with coral kitten heels, minimal jewelry, and the accessory of 2020, a simple face mask. On Instagram, the Oscar de la Renta company posted a picture of the first couple-elect to their 4.8 million followers. “Today we congratulate our President-elect Joe Biden and the [future] first lady Jill Biden.”
President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In an interview with WWD, Oscar de la Renta’s chief executive officer Alex Bolen said, “We’ve been fans of Dr. Jill Biden’s for many years and have had the privilege of working with her in the past. Oscar adored the opportunity to work with accomplished women, finding role models such as [former] Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton, Mrs. [Laura] Bush and Dr. Biden particularly inspiring.”
“Like Oscar, Laura [Kim] and Fernando [Garcia] relish the challenge of helping women lead their lives — especially if those lives take place on the world stage — with a tremendous sense of confidence,“ said Bolen. He also congratulated the Bidens’ and Senator Harris, on behalf of the design duo, himself and his wife Eliza, the company’s executive vice president. “We wish them every success.”
The late Oscar de la Renta, who passed away in 2014, dressed many first ladies (from both parties) in his lifetime, from Laura Bush to Hillary Clinton.
Designers are betting that the first lady-elect will help rev-up the American fashion industry, when she steps out and onto the international stage. Rumors are already circulating as to ‘who’ will she choose to wear for the inauguration ceremony? And those of us in the industry know how much of a BIG DEAL that is for the lucky designer!
Like her husband, Dr. Biden is known to support local shops. She asks about prices and considers her purchases in her home city of Wilmington, Delaware. But like many first ladies before her, Dr. Biden’s style decisions have begun to change (her Oscar de la Renta dress was a hefty $5,690). Mostly known for choosing classic looks from smaller, contemporary labels, within the past few months she has shifted to wearing powerhouse designers, such as Ralph Lauren, Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell.
Organizations like the National Retail Federation are also optimistic about the future under the Biden administration. According to WWD, the group issued a statement on Saturday, congratulating Biden and Harris and pledging to work with the new administration: “As the largest private-sector employer in the country, the retail industry looks forward to continuing our tradition of working with presidents and their administrations of both major political parties to advance the industry’s priorities in job creation, economic development and career opportunities for millions of Americans. We congratulate president-elect Biden and vice president-elect Harris on a hard-fought victory,” said National Retail Federation president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay.
“Throughout this year’s extraordinary circumstances, retailers have shown their resilience and adaptability and will continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers, the communities we serve, and the 52 million working Americans supported by the retail industry as we enter a busy holiday season,” he added.
OUR INCOMING FIRST LADY’S SIGNATURE LOOK
Dr. Jill will be unlike any other first lady before her. For the first time in U.S. history, this first lady will hold a job outside of the White House and will continue her work as an English professor at Northern Virginia community college.
Jill Biden wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress and matching mask for the final presidential debate. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
While President-elect Joe Biden talks about bringing the country back together in unity, his wife Jill’s sartorial choices back up that rhetoric. Her fashion choices reflect a softer, gentle tone that has been missing from the White House. Unlike Melania Trump who is known for wearing austere, minimalistic, utilitarian fashions (who can ever forget her “I really don’t care, do you”? jacket and the Alexander McQueen army green military suit she wore to the Republican National Convention)? Dr. Jill dresses at the opposite end of the spectrum, as she prefers feminine silhouettes, bold patterns, and rich, deep jewel tones. The one thing she does share with Melania is a love of statement heels. Dr. Jill has rocked Valentino heels and Stuart Weitzman ‘Vote’ knee-high boots — but unlike Melania, Dr. Jill has worn them for state events, not for humanitarian relief efforts.
Also, unlike Melania Trump and Michelle Obama before her, Dr. Jill’s sartorial looks have been low key and much more representative of how American women actually dress. The incoming first lady’s aesthetic has been understated, elegant, and at times preppy. She tends to favor flattering shift dresses and wrap dresses in bold hues, and with just a quick change of her shoes, these looks are perfect transition pieces for a day in the classroom to an evening at a political event for her husband.
Jill Biden wearing Alexandra Posen’s VOTE mask while campaigning in Texas. (Photo Credit: AP)Only time will tell if Dr. Biden will continue playing it safe with her fashion choices once she is in the White House and whether Kamala will stick to wearing only suits, but one thing is for sure, American designers are lining up. Young designers especially are hoping that they’ll be given a chance to shine just as Michelle Obama did for so many during the 8 years she was in the White House. We are all hoping that both Dr. Jill will Kamala will throw their muscle behind sustainable brands. Something tells us they will. Keep your eye on this space.
We thought it would be fun to make some sartorial recommendations for Dr. Jill:
A look from Rodarte’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Rodarte)
A look from Lila Rose’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Lela Rose)
A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)
A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Ulla Johnson)
A look from Thakoon’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Thakoon)
A look from Brock Collection’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Brock Collection)
A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Altuzarra)
A look from Nili Lotan’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Nili Lotan)
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also took the stage on November 7th, and emphasized the promise of America in her speech. She wore an ivory-colored Carolina Herrera pantsuit and a silk bow blouse accessorized with an American flag lapel pin. Kamala, known as Momala by her step children, spoke positively about what the future may hold and encouraged children to imagine themselves in ways that others might not yet recognize as achievable. The VP-elect also credited all of the women who went before her, “I stand on their shoulders,” she said of those who fought for voting rights at the beginning of the 20th century, and of the “new generation” that had exercised those rights last week.
The color white has long been associated with the women’s suffrage movement, adopted as a symbol of moral purity alongside green for hope and purple for dignity. The hue also signified their ethos of nonviolence, an olive branch to those threatened by their then-radical calls for political equality.
While the ivory Carolina Herrera suit that Kamala Harris wore to address the nation on November 7th was one of her best sartorial choices to date, we are secretly hoping that Harris will take a more fashionable approach. As the first female to ever hold such an important role, it has to be hard for her when making fashion choices. That’s why the Power Suit is the safest way to go! Or is it?
On the campaign trail, Harris stuck to her uniform of polished pantsuits and her favorite accessory – pearls, but while the traditional attire for female politicians can be a bit bland (think Hillary and her pantsuits), we would love to see Harris take a bolder approach to power dressing.
The VP-elect hails from California, so her laid back sensibility comes through in her sartorial choices. When the Senator stepped off a plane to assess the damages of the wildfires in Fresno, California, she wore a simple olive jacket, jeans, a white t-shirt and Timberland boots – American women everywhere connected to her, because this is how American women dress!
Kamala Harris’s love of Converse sneakers. (Photo Credit: Elle)
Kamala’s sartorial choices so far have revolved around Converse sneakers and have gained plenty of traction with younger voters. For Harris, fashion does not define who she is, its her fearless approach to politics and policies that define her.
To help get Kamala out of her pantsuit rut, we are suggesting a few day looks from the spring 2021 collections that we think would look fabulous on her:
A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Christopher John Rogers)
A look from Michael Kors’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Michael Kors)
A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst)
A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Altuzarra)
A look from St. John’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of St. John)
A look from Adam Lippes’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Adam Lippes)
A look from Khaite’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Khaite)
A look from Tory Burch’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Tory Burch)
SO TELL US, WHAT LOOKS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON OUR INCOMING FIRST LADY DR. JILL BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT KAMALA HARRIS?
We have lots of teachers! With 13 different disciplines and 500 videos to learn from, including draping, pattern making, sewing, fashion art, product development, knits, childrenswear, menswear, CAD fashion art, CAD pattern making, accessories design, fashion business and fashion lectures, we thought we’d introduce to more of them as we continue our blog series, Meet Our Instructors.
Pardon us for bragging but did you know that all of our instructors are either fashion college professors (from top fashion schools) or are fashion industry professionals?
Ever since we started offering 30-day free access offer to schools on March 4th due to Covid-19, and we launched a special promo to individual subscribers (was $189/now $169 using promo code NEWS21Y), we have tripled our subscribership!
So, for all of our new schools and subscribers here are a few more instructors that you should get to know. Click on their name to find out what they do in the industry and what they teach at UoF.
Kathlin Argiro– shares her extensive knowledge on how to start a fashion brand in her 3-part series for University of Fashion.
With a successful track record as a fashion designer and entrepreneur, Kathlin has sold her collection to top retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.
In 2010, she joined the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) as an Adjunct Faculty member and has led high profile projects for First Lady Michelle Obama and for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.
Most recently, Kathlin began teaching in FIT’s MFA program. She also serves as a mentor for FIT’s Design Entrepreneurs NYC (DENYC) mini MBA Program.
In addition to her role at FIT, Kathlin has also taught at Parsons School of Design, Pratt, and Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (ZSTU), China.
Considered a fashion industry expert, Kathlin has been quoted in numerous publications and has been a guest panelist at industry conferences and universities, including Mount Holyoke College and Fordham University.
Passionate about sharing her experience and mentoring emerging designers, Kathlin launched a consulting business, Kathlin Argiro New York, in 2014.
Richard Rosenfeld is a veteran in the fashion education industry and we are honored to have him teaching a series of model-drawing lessons for University of Fashion.
Richard has taught fashion model-drawing classes at Parsons since 1978 and at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) since 1989. During that period, he taught numerous famous designers, including Chris Benz, Isaac Mizrahi and Jason Wu, as well as New York illustrator (and UoF instructor), Steven Broadway.
Having attended the Rhode Island School of Design and as a graduate of Parsons with a degree in illustration, Richard has worked as a fashion illustrator for high profile publications such as Vogue, WWD, Glamour, The New York Times, and for various department stores and other fashion design clientele.
Richard’s philosophy for teaching fashion drawing focuses on developing good observational skills, the accurate depiction of textiles and various types of garments in silhouette, all with a personal point of view. His preferred medium of choice is a combination of pencil & watercolors.
Currently, Richard enjoys mentoring young design professionals and continues his passion for drawing from live models during the Covid-19 pandemic via ZOOM. He is curious to see how the health crisis will impact the future of this creative industry.
Andrew Curwen’s lessons for University of Fashion demonstrate a designer’s respect for Savile Row workmanship. His hand sewn buttonhole lessons are pure works of art.
Andrew is a graduate of Parson’s BFA program and currently resides and works in Manhattan. With a background in bespoke construction and textile arts, his introduction to tailoring was taught and nurtured by a master Savile Row tailor.
The disparity between love and death are recurring themes throughout Andrew’s design work, something that could be described as a feminine brutality. Andrew works to design fashion for posterity that touches on the human condition.
Barbara Seggio has over 30 years of experience working in the fashion industry as a designer, technical designer and freelance design consultant. Her specialty is women’s sportswear and childrenswear design.
At the University of Fashion, Barbara shares her expertise in the areas of draping, pattern making, sewing and childrenswear. Barbara is also the editor of Sewing Techniques for Beginners and co-editor of Pattern Making Techniques for Beginners, UoF’s companion book series.
As an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Barbara teaches all disciplines of fashion design including: draping, patternmaking and sewing. Barbara’s accomplishments at FIT include: development of the childrenswear specialization, chairperson of the Childrenswear Advisory Board, member of the Sewing and Childrenswear Curriculum Committees and instructor in their high school weekend/summer program.
A Reminder to High Schools & Colleges
We are offering all high schools and colleges a free one-month access to our University of Fashion content library of over 500 educational videos. Teachers, should coordinate their school’s request and send that request to cs@UniversityofFashion.com, and we will provide your school with an access code. So…students, tell your teachers!
The goal of our free 30-day access to schools only, is to help schools salvage the balance of their semester. In preparation for the fall, in the event the pandemic continues into the next semester, we have waived our one-yearschool subscription minimum and are now offering special shortened subscription terms and rates.
Since 2008, University of Fashion has been providing individuals, groups, schools and public libraries with hands-on and lecture lessons in fashion design and fashion business. Many of our subscriber schools have been using our content in hybrid classrooms for years. Just read our testimonials.
As you use our library, we’d love your feedback. Tell us which are your favorite lessons and what new lessons you’d like to see? Send comments to us at cs@UniversityofFashion.com.
To Individual Subscribers
For those who are not currently enrolled in school but would like to take advantage of our library, we are now offering an individual membership deal. Get $20 off a yearly membership (was $189 now $169) using promo code NEWS21Y. Offers expire 12/31/20
Did you know that we have a very informative weekly blog covering relevant fashion topics? And, stay connected with us via our lively social media presence: Instagram- @uoffashion and Facebook – University of Fashion.
This is a new deal just offered by our UK-based publisher.
Our Video & Book Combination – Get 40% each book using discount code FRIENDS40 (offer expires 5/31/20)
Once you click one of the book links, above, you’ll see the book you selected in the middle of the screen. Click the shopping cart icon in the upper right of the same page then, on the order form provided, enter the discount code: FRIENDS40, and then click “Apply discount.” Then click “Proceed to checkout.”
Helen Ronan & Anastasia Scott (Laurence King Publishing), Francesca Sterlacci (University of Fashion), Dr. Jennifer Harmon (winner) and Jane Hegland (ITAA President)
In the fashion industry, so many of us can get swept up in the shiny end result presented on the runway during fashion week or the most viewed Instagram story of the day or perhaps, the must-have It Bag of the season.
And sometimes, the work of the dedicated, behind-the-scenes professionals who make It Bags and Instagram-worthy content possible in the first place, can go unnoticed. In this post, I’m not talking about hard-working designers, pattern makers and sewers—I’m going one step further behind the scenes to feature someone who works tirelessly to support designers in every which way she can—University of Fashion founder, Francesca Sterlacci. Read More
At a time in history when the Time’s Up movement is taking center stage during awards season, blogging about best-and worst-dressed celebs at the Grammys seems…well…an antiquated approach to covering one of fashion’s biggest nights.
We acknowledge that a white rose was the most-worth-talking-about accessory on the red carpet at the Grammys. Read More
Happy 2018, U of F designers! 2017 has wrapped, and our hope for you in 2018 is that you take a moment to look back and recognize your accomplishments over the past year with as much excitement as you look forward to your new goals.
So, what are your top 3 proudest moments of 2017?
And your top 3 plans for 2018?
We’re asking ourselves the same questions. Read More
The stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve signals a new beginning, a chance to commit to new goals and for us, it means introducing you to new ways to drape. We’ve been looking forward to launching our newest videos featuring creative draping techniques for you to add to your design back pocket. Read More
The craftmanship of couture collections never ceases to amaze, and this season was no different. One look at Viktor and Rolf’s Cubist-inspired concoctions reminds us that there is but a blurry line that separates fashion and art. However, this season, we couldn’t help but notice the importance of foundation garments as the sheerest of the sheer frocks walked the runways. Read More
Awards season is right around the corner in addition to red carpet gowns and inspiration galore. This year, as you select your best and worst dressed lists, we have an added challenge. Be on the lookout for construction details. This week we’ve launched an extension video to our video on Draping a Bustier Bodice. Take a look at the images in the header – whether it’s Allison Williams in Armani Privé or Halle Berry in Nina Ricci – what you see on the red carpet is the result intricate construction underneath.
In honor of Thanksgiving right around the corner, we are giving thanks for our designers, students, followers and business partners who are contributing to the preservation of the art and craft of fashion design. You may have noticed our website is going through a bit of a face lift as we have added both CAD and Knit sections. We continue to add new videos in all of the U of F disciplines, and this week is no different. Read More