When I went to study fashion I didn’t really know what to expect exactly. But I didn’t expect it to be how it turned out. I wanted to learn the in’s and out’s of designing, but instead I learnt that fashion design is too cheap for my liking, and I’ll tell you why.
In the back of my mind my biggest goal was to learn how to make clothes, after all, no good designer can really be a good designer without this knowledge. This idea was reiterated throughout my time studying, yet wasn’t really put into effect. During my studies we spent more time doing paperwork as well as learning irrelevant (although interesting) things, and researching a whole load of trends. Seasonal trends are used to design millions of garments for today’s fast fashion industry. I feel our time would have been more useful if it were spent in the studios being taught how to make garments to a high standard. Instead we became victims of designing lots of cheap, poorly made clothing.
Don’t get me wrong, many fashion portfolios look amazing with fancy layouts, computer technology and hundreds of quirky designs. Yet it was obvious that each stage of the design process was rushed with a focus on quantity. It’s amazing how much there is to clothing and how many essential aspects are not taught thoroughly. I became extremely interested in the fabrics of clothing and how much they affect garments. Equally as important is every construction element from components such as buttons and zips to seaming, darts, finishing and more. If you do not know what fabric, colour and construction method is to be used then you cannot truly design a garment; it just becomes a pretty drawing. But at the end of the day, fashion is a word associated with the latest trend of clothing. This creates a frenzy of fast fashion, meaning that the need for quantity is inevitable.
So when choosing to study fashion, consider what you want to get out of it and the best route to take for you to do this. Look into various courses as some fashion design courses require more academic approaches whereas others are more practical, or it may be better to take a pattern cutting course instead. Another alternative is to work with a fashion brand through an apprenticeship where you will get to learn on the job, although these are often expensively situated in London.