Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Turn Fashion Week Dreams into a Reality!

College Couturier
by guest blogger @lindsayleboyer, Lindsay LeBoyer
Watercolor painting by Miriam Schulman
depicting a look by CSM alumni,
Alexander McQueen
Fashion is always changing and with change comes tremendous opportunities for young people dreaming of careers in the fashion industry. Whether you want to be the next haute couturier in Paris, or design the most coveted "it" bags, there's a fashion school out there that can help turn your dreams into reality.

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Nina Garcia and Michael Kors,
Project Runway Judges and FIT alumni
Located in Chelsea, Manhattan, FIT teaches everything from textile design to visual presentation. The highly regarded School of Art and Design is one of the most competitive programs in the country. In addition, the Fashion Merchandising Management program focuses on the business and sales side of fashion. Students have access to the FIT Library, which contains thousands of fashion books, designer files, and fashion history archives. Many famous designers and industry leaders can often be seen searching here for inspiration. Noted alumni include fashion designers Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, Nanette Lepore, and Michael Kors. Nina Garcia, fashion director of Marie Claire magazine and Project Runway judge, is also an alumnus.

Parsons The New School for Design 
Parson's alumni Marc Jacobs
at his f/w 11 show
Speaking of Project Runway, Parsons is used as the central set on the popular reality show sparking fantasies of potential designers everywhere. Located in the garment center, the heart of the New York fashion industry, Parsons is often regarded as the best design school in the country for a reason. Many graduates go on to work for the top design houses, such as Marc Jacobs, head designer for Louis Vuitton, as well as his own very successful namesake label, and Tom Ford, who served as creative director of Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and now his own company. In the Fashion Design BFA program, students learn everything they need to know to become a successful designer in the industry from silhouettes to textiles and production. They get the chance to intern with leading industry professionals, study abroad, and produce collections during junior and senior years. Other distinguished alumni include Donna Karan, Alexander Wang, Anna Sui, and Jenna Lysons of J. Crew.

Central Saint Martin's College of Art 
Central Saint Martin's is located in London another international fashion capital. Students working towards a BA in Fashion focus on their choice of Womenswear, Menswear, Knitwear, Fashion Communications, Fashion History, and or other related areas. Sponsors of the program include L'Oreal, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Central Saint Martin's boasts a number of successful alumni, including fashion designers Zac Posen, Stella McCartney, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM)
A Juicy Couture store, founded by
FIDM alumni Palema Skaist-Levy
FIDM is located in California, with campuses in Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Sand Diego, and Orange County. Students in the fashion design program learn hands-on, technical skills such as fashion sketching, creative design, draping, and pattern drafting. They leave with the skills, knowledge, and industry contacts to pursue a successful design career. Graduates of the program are hired by companies such as Forever 21, Nordstrom, Target, Old Navy, Gap Inc., BCBG, Bebe, Quiksilver, Pacific Sunwear, and Volcom. Alumni include Pamela Skaist-Levy, co founder of Juicy Couture, as well as several Project Runway contestants.

Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, Drexel Univeristy  
an overhead view of Drexel's campus
Drexel's Fashion Design program is one of the best on the east coast and in the country and offers an attractive alternative to New York City. Major retailers such as Free People, Urban Outfitters, and Anthropology are based near the Philadelphia campus. The Fashion Design program is part of the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design. Courses cover womenswear, menswear, childrenswear, swimwear, and couture. Students endure a rigorous curriculum which includes a 6-month co-op, where they work in the industry and gain real world experience. In addition, students enter major design competitions each year, and study abroad during their sophomore year at the pretigious London College of Fashion where they gain an international perspective of fashion.

Can't get enough of Alexander McQueen? 
Check out these fashion illustrations by Miriam Schulman
Fashion Illustration
Runway show Sarabande
McQueen's Highland

Back to School Must Haves for Fashionistas:

Blogger Lindsay LeBoyer is interning at Schulman Art for the Summer 2011 season. She writes a fashion blog called The Style Child.

In Fashion: From Runway to Retail, Everything You Need to Know to Break Into the Fashion Industry Annemarie Iverson, Crown Publishing Group, c. 2010