My latest article for FashionUnited.com: To sew or not to sew?
It’s that time again when fashion students a few months shy of graduating struggle to divide their time between the creative task of assembling their final portfolio and the practical one of sewing their final collection. Without either, they cannot graduate.
In some schools, a percentage of the collection can be sewn by an outside professional provided the student can afford the extra expense, while other institutions prohibit any outsourcing whatsoever.
A final collection can be anything from six to ten looks, some looks may be three or four garments. That’s an average of 24 garments. A final portfolio is a book of work that represents the student’s ideas, artwork and illustrations, photographs of completed garments, experiments with textiles, and any publicity they may have received.
‘In the fashion industry, a student’s qualifications will not gain them a job’
In the fashion industry, a student’s qualifications will not gain them a job. Graduating with a First Class Honours will not dazzle a future employer like it might for graduates in other fields. Furthermore, design students will not be hired on the strength of their sewing. They are hired primarily on the strength of the graduate portfolio. Companies generally look for entry level designers to function as mini ideas factories who also demonstrate proficiency in technical flat sketching. It is not inconceivable that a student graduates with a poor grade, is prohibited from presenting with their peers in the final year fashion show, yet gets hired shortly after solely on the contents of their book.
The Fashion School at Kent State, Ohio, is a Midwestern centre of excellence with satellite campuses in New York and Florence, and partnership study abroad programmes in Paris, Hong Kong and London. When I asked its director JR Campbell if the Bachelor students are able to seek outside help when sewing their final collections, he responded, “No. Not by any means for any element of their final collections… please continue reading HERE