Drawing Design Details: Side Pleats, Ruffle Pleats and Smocking

Saint Laurent, Rodarte and Christopher Kane are just a few design houses that make good use of the design details (as seen above) we are featuring this week in our newest Fashion Art videos.  In our latest round of illustration videos with Roberto Calasanz, we show you how to map and shade Side Pleats, Ruffle Pleats and Smocking.  Coincidentally, we found all three of these design details in Karen Walker’s 2015 Resort collection.  The following examples illustrate how learning Fashion Art skills with the University of Fashion’s videos can be translated into unique designs. Read More

Couture: No More? Or Changing the Score?

- - Fashion Shows

In a time when fashion is so fast, it is hard (as a designer) to imagine having the luxury of working on a collection, piece by piece, detail by painstaking detail – knowing that my one of a kind creations will most likely adorn elite clientele from China, Dubai or the like. This season, more so than others, the conversation questioning the modernity of Couture has been on the tip of every fashion journalist’s tongue as the line between Ready-to-Wear collections and Haute Couture collections blurs. The Couture client has changed. Her lifestyle has changed. Her income and desire for exclusivity has remained the same. In an effort to give their Couture clients options for every event in their jet setting lives, we see a shift in the Couture designers’ FW 2014 collections.

In Nicole Phelps review of Raf Simons latest Couture collection for Christian Dior, she states, the “thing that keeps Simons out ahead is his assertion that Couture need not be for special occasions. True luxury is spending five or six figures and wearing something not once or twice, but incorporating it into your daily wardrobe.”  From gowns to jumpsuits, Simons seemed to cover dressing for every occasion in his clients’ lives in his 62-look collection.

Leave it to Karl Lagerfeld to design an exquisite skirt and short combination perfect for the  NYC Couture client who wants to ride a Citibike through Central Park.  And it seems that Lagerfeld has thought of all stages in the lives of his clients as he sent a 7-month pregnant Ashleigh Good down his Couture runway in a stunningly shaped bridal gown.  Tim Blanks asserted of the most recent Chanel Couture collection, “That twistedness was the key to the collection. The word couture implies cutting and seaming. There was none of that here. Everything was molded rather than seamed.”  And even Lagerfeld himself mentioned (albeit with tongue in cheek), “It’s Haute Couture without the Couture.”

Despite trends and discussions surrounding Couture, I cannot help but be reminded of the art and craft of fashion design as I flip through each Couture show (and especially the detailed photographs).  The hand-stitching, the beading and the intricate embroidery make me long for a slower time in fashion.  In a recent article for the Business of Fashion, Angelo Flaccavento asserts that “couture should be treated as a creative laboratory for beauty.”  I agree, and believe that in today’s changing society, that beauty can be expressed for the purpose of play OR a once in a lifetime occasion in the Couture atelier.  We encourage you to turn your home into a creative laboratory using the University of Fashion’s video library to guide your Couture vision.  Slow fashion, anyone?

The University of Fashion Celebrates First Birthday

Happy 1st birthday to the University of Fashion!  The U of F turned one on July 4th, and we would like to take this opportunity to look back on our first year as your online destination for fashion design instruction.  With 20,000 subscribers over the past year alone, we are as excited to look back as we are forward.  We are so grateful for you, our subscribers, as well as our talented teachers who have so generously shared their skills and knowledge following the mission of keeping the art and craft of fashion design alive! Read More

Drawing Design Details: Ruffles, Pleats and Panniers

Popping up on recent runways and sure to be a staple for Fall 2014, ruffles and pleats are having quite a fashion moment.  Just in trend-driven time, the University of Fashion brings you a new series of Fashion Art videos dedicated to drawing design details.  In the first of our new Fashion Art videos, we show you how to illustrate a Cascade Neck Ruffle, a Cascade Skirt Ruffle,  Accordion Pleats and a Draped Pannier-Cowl.
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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Knits

Ever wonder how Missoni achieves an immaculate fit in knit?  Do you stand in front of the knit fabric section in Mood wondering what makes a jersey knit different from a rib knit?  Do you shy away from designing with knit fabrics because you have questions about stretch, weight and the content of knit fabric?  We have answers to these and many other knit-related questions in our newest video series dedicated to working with knit fabrics. Read More

Celebrating FIT and Parsons 2014 Graduates

From color and quirk to neutrals and knits, this year’s graduate runways have it all.  As an educational resource for the Fashion Institute of Technology as well as Parsons The New School for Design, we can’t help but feature their graduates’ work and feel proud that the University of Fashion offers an online video library to assist these talented graduates in reaching their goals. Read More