University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "SPOTLIGHT"

Felice DaCosta – Meet Our Instructors

Meet Felice DaCosta

Felice DaCosta is a fashion industry professional with over 35 years of experience as an art director and freelance illustrator. She is currently an Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design, teaching fashion design and drawing for the last 25 years.

As a founding member of Fashion Art Source, Felice is active in promoting the visibility of fashion illustration. She was also co-owner of THE FASHION ART BANK, a fashion art and licensing company.

Felice is co-author of the textbook entitled, Fashion Flats and Technical Drawing released December 2016.

Her love of teaching extends to the discipline of ESOL, which she has taught for the past 8 years. She has received teaching certificates in art K-12 from Parsons/Bank Street and in TESOL from the New School. Felice holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design.

We recently asked Felice for some words of wisdom for future fashion designers and here’s what she said about designing fashion in the age of Covid-19:

“We are all living in deeply speculative times. This pandemic has forced us to think about the future with a heavy dose of uncertainty. We feel a spectrum of emotions from sadness, lethargy, anger, to fear. I’m sure, as future fashion designers, you may be questioning your commitment to this craft. With many retail doors shuttered, you may be wondering if there will be a market in place to sell your products. Will there be customers willing to shop? It’s hard to find bouts of creativity in this environment.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “if I have to make one more mask, I’m going to go bonkers!” As altruistic as that may be, I don’t think you planned to start your career making masks. You really want to make a living at this. Well I’m here to tell you, “it’s not over.”

Fashion consumption is going through a transformation and a welcome one at that, in my humble opinion. Well, guess what? You get to be instrumental in the shaping of what fashion will look like in the future. You have the opportunity to embrace sustainability practices or redefine luxury and how it’s produced. This is an auspicious time to turn the ideas you have about fashion on their heads and become leaders. Do your research and decide what intentions you have. Is it going to be the same ole, same ole or something new?

So, while you are polishing your skills drawing, draping and drafting, prepare to adjust your torso centered view of fashion. We won’t be indoors forever. One day we all be released from our spaces and we’re going to need pants.”

Here’s what Felice teaches at UoF

At University of Fashion, Felice shares her very own technique for drawing the fashion croquis, which she developed while teaching at Parsons with great success. In her Advanced Illustration Techniques lesson, Felice critiques the work of various fashion designers’ illustrations and explains what makes their work special.

See for yourself with this free lesson. Felice demos how to draw a female contrapposto front pose.


Catch more of Felice’s lessons by clicking on the previews below to get a taste (and subscribing to UoF to see the full lesson). Once you subscribe to University of Fashion, you’ll get full access to ALL of our lessons (500 to be exact) in 13 different discipline like: Draping, Pattern Making, Sewing, Fashion Art, Childrenswear, Menswear, Knits, Product Development, CAD Fashion Art, CAD Pattern Making, Accessories, Fashion Business and Fashion Lectures covering topics like color theory, textiles, trend forecasting, costume history and lots more.

Drawing Female Frontal Figure Template


Drawing Female Contrapposto Back Pose


Drawing Female: Head, Front & Profile


Advanced Illustration Techniques


- - Fashion School

Menswear designer/bespokesman Rishabh Manocha (Photo credit: Mitchell Helson)


I call myself a “bespokesman,” and am a protege of fifth-generation Savile Row master tailor, Rory Duffy. Together we create handcrafted menswear. I am also a contributing menswear instructor at University of Fashion. In this blog post, I would like to take the opportunity to share my passion for merging old-world techniques with modern day design.



The term “bespoke” means something that is ‘spoken for you.’ In fashion, the cloth, the cut, and the craftsmanship are cohesively tied together to create a garment that not only lasts a lifetime but also embodies the true character of the wearer.

A detailed measurement chart, followed by observations of the eye that neither the Perkins devices nor the inch tape can fully capture, are taken of every client to ensure optimal fit and comfort. After a few fittings in toile and then shell fabric, the garment is rendered complete.

A fully handcrafted suit takes anywhere from sixty to eighty hours to construct with at least 3,000 hand stitches.

Perkins measuring tools (Photo credit:



What makes us singular is our approach to the design process. Think of walking into an Armani store and having Mr. Armani create something for you on the spot. The entire commission is both driven by craft and a sublime understanding of design, which afford garments freshness and timelessness.

Left: Bespoke velvet sailor pants with silk blouse paired with a midnight blue dinner jacket. Right: Bespoke dinner suit with pony hair lapels, paired with a handcrafted velvet bow tie and sea island cotton dinner shirt.
(Photo credit: Mitchell Helson)

In educator/author Joanne Endwistle’s words, “Manocha endeavours to deliver clothing as a situated bodily practice. And, it cannot be done without the marriage of age-old tailoring and contemporary design.”

Classic bespoke velvet dinner suit with duchess satin facing and braiding. (Photo credit: Mitchell Helson)

The virtues of the method don’t stop there. Through the deployment of the process, we save on cloth, trims and sample runs. The carbon footprint of the garment is thus minimal. The close-knit supply chain ensures judicious usage of resources. And, the product, shaped and finished by hand, lasts exponentially longer than one off the rack.

Also, we offer our clients the option to use deadstock fabric from heritage mills to minimize wastage. This way, an entire supply chain thrives with a focus on craft, design and circular systems-based thinking.

Classic two-piece midnight suit with grosgrain bow tie. (Photo credit: Mitchell Helson)

For University of Fashion, I have created 12 menswear lessons (more to follow in the future) that range from learning about men’s body measuring points to drafting a full set of slopers, including upper body, sleeve and trousers, as well as how to draft a jacket, a shirt and a hoodie.

To learn more about Rishabh and his work check: Instagram: rmanochabespoke or visit

Let us know if you have any questions about bespoke tailoring!


(Designer Halleh Atri)

In December 2019, UoF did a social media blast offering our subscribers the opportunity to have their work featured on our Instagram and Facebook channels. We proudly posted each entrant’s designs and then picked one designer to be the recipient of a free one year all access subscription to UoF. The lucky winner was Halleh Atri, a 33-year old designer based in Iran. Here’s her story:

Halleh did part of her studies in Australia as a textile engineer, fiber scientist and researcher. Her enthusiasm for fashion started only four years ago when plans to complete her doctorate fell through. To overcome the disappointment of not completing her doctorate, she began taking part in fashion design courses and immediately fell in love with everything related to it. She did a few online courses and during her research discovered University of Fashion.

In Halleh’s own words:

I found University of Fashion the most comprehensive online source for learning. My plan is to keep learning as much as I can…and this subscription is going to help me with that a lot, especially because I am about to start another fashion course in Europe.  Yeah why not? I mean we often think our dreams never change, well I am a living proof that sometimes the only thing that we need is new dreams and mine is creating aesthetically beautiful outfits which bring joy and smile to wearer faces even for a short time.”

(Halleh Atri Sketches)

Halleh’s aunt is a professional dressmaker and also a certified Somebana flower maker (a very old Japanese technique to make flowers usually from very expensive fabrics). She used to watch her aunt working when she was a child and her aunt has certainly been her first inspiration.

(Halleh Atri- Somebana Handmade Flower)

Halleh’s future plans include starting her own business. In the meantime, she is designing, sewing, styling and even flower-making all the time. According to Halleh:

The entire process of creating a look to me is like writing a story and I am still a researcher but here, instead of researching scientific topics, I research fashion. As an engineer the first thing that we must learn is coming up with a solution, as someone who practiced PhD, the most important thing that I learned is never giving up until I find a way out…During creating an outfit, especially the pattern making and sewing process, I sometimes find myself incapable of working out the problem and this is when my past experiences help me and miraculously I find a way out! University of Fashion tutorials help me a lot during these situations. And, now that I have a one-year subscription I am planning to go through draping tutorials and lectures first. I may refresh my drawing skills too. ”

(Halleh Atri-Sketch)

(Halleh Atri – Sketch)

According to Halleh, “Unfortunately we live in an era of climate change and fashion/textile is the second most polluting industry, therefore the future belongs to those who practice sustainable fashion.” We applaud Halleh for her talent and for her commitment to sustainable design.

Join us in wishing Halleh lots of success in her future career as a fashion designer!