Take it from a former BSc Biology student who dramatically switched careers to follow her passion, fashion, fashion school is not always rainbows and butterflies. But like every other dream you want to follow, this one comes with its highest of highs and lowest of lows as well.
I am your average 24-year-old fashion student, living in Istanbul & squeezing my way into the fashion world. Having absolutely zero experience and knowledge (but tonnes of love) of the intricates of Fashion Design itself, I went for it nose down. I found myself drowned in hours of hours of fashion documentaries, runways, vintage catalogues, analysing (and obsessing over) every single designer collaboration with H&M, and MET gala photos. Not because it all felt so shiny and exciting, but because I wanted to experience the process of how all of it comes to life.
I believe working with fashion is such a personal and intimate experience as it allows me to release my creativity and passion for fashion in a variety of outlets. Whether my goal is to design dresses or edit a fashion spread for the next season’s latest trends, a career in fashion can be an exciting, glamorous job.
Is Fashion School as glamorous as we see in movies/tv shows?
This is something that a lot of people have asked me since I started my Fashion Design program at LaSalle College. What even is “glamorous”, by definition? I have been in Fashion School for over a year, and it was just recently when I realized you can glamorize everything in this world if you love it enough. It’s not a lot, or at all if you will, of dressing up, waking up well before class to look your best self or having your nails always done. It is most definitely not styling super models and doing PR for celebrities either (sorry Gossip Girl, I may have exposed you here). It is a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of learning and a great deal of polishing your skills every second of every day. So, my answer to that would always be YES. Learning everything about Haute Couture is as glamorous as it sounds.
LaSalle College was founded in 1959 by Jean-Paul Morin and is Canada’s largest Fashion School. It is a creative ecosystem for those who are passionate about learning the ins and outs of all things fashion. They have campuses all around the world, including one in Istanbul, with exceptionally experienced professors who are truly so dedicated towards their protégés.
What is “designing”?
To give you a small summary of how a designer Jacket ends up in our closets, there are 3 main steps:1.Pattern making: an extremely precise art of constructing 12 different components of a Jacket, on a piece of paper, that borderline looks like an architectural assignment for the most part. This is the designing part that not most of us know of. This determines the size, the trimmings and finishing, and how you want your product to look like.2.Draping: in some cases, your piece might require you to assemble it over a mannequin to make sure all the components, of a jacket in our case, align perfectly. This is the last step to correct any mistakes you may have made in your pattern. 3.Sewing/Constructing: from personal experience, this sounded like the easiest task before I even started fashion school. Looking at how every household owns a sewing machine, this shouldn’t be all that challenging, right? WRONG. Assembling a garment requires patience and time. In most cases, you tend to ignore your miniscule mistakes and get it over it. These mistakes do not sit well with quality control and FUN FACT: end up in the rejected piles which are then found in Outlet stores at discounted prices.
For future fashion students:
To give you some relief, the sewing part is NOT something you need to worry about if you are thinking of pursuing fashion design as your career path. Your job ends at step 2 (draping) and the rest is handled by a seamstress/tailor. However, having sewing skills will not only make your job easier, but it is also a great skill set to have in the case that your point is not coming across to the concerned party i.e., your tailor.
Do I have to stick to designing after completing my Fashion Design program?
Absolutely not. That is the beauty of Fashion School; a massive range of career options. From Fashion Marketing/PR to Fashion Styling, the world is your oyster. They train you for every imaginable Fashion opportunity there is prior to completing your program, leaving you 100% ready for the real world out there. If you ask me, as much as I love designing, I do not see myself designing full time. I think being successful in this industry requires a lot of networking and so to achieve that goal, your best bet is to start your career
with Fashion PR as it gives you a peek into the business side of the fashion world and you automatically work very closely with designers- making it impossible to get out of touch with ‘physical’ fashion and trends. Win-Win situation? I think so!
All in all, if you’re considering going to Fashion School and living your best life, I’d say “Trust the process, and go for it”.
Crew neck shirt: Garage Canada
Leggings: Garage Canada
Trench coat: Zara
Clutch: Giambattista Valli x H&M collaboration