Fashion design is a form of art dedicated to the creation of clothing and other lifestyle accessories. Modern fashion design is divided into two basic categories: haute couture and ready-to-wear. The haute couture collection is dedicated to certain customers and is custom sized to fit these customers exactly. In order to qualify as a haute couture house, a designer has to be part of the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture and show a new collection twice a year presenting a minimum of 35 different outfits each time.
Ready-to-wear collections are standard sized, not custom made, so they are more suitable for large production runs. They are also split into two categories: designer/createur and confection collections. Designer collections have a higher quality and finish as well as an unique design. They often represent a certain philosophy and are created to make a statement rather than for sale. Both ready-to-wear and haute-couture collections are presented on international catwalks.
Who Invented It?
The first fashion designer who was more than a simple seamster was Charles Frederick Worth, in the 19th century. Before he set up his fashion design house in Paris, clothing was made by anonymous dressmakers and fashion standards were derived from the styles worn by royalty. Worth was the first designer to actually dictate to his customers what to wear rather than following their demands.
His fashion house became so famous that people were able to attach a face and a name to designs when they knew they were from the House of Worth. This was the beginning of the tradition to have a designer of a house not only create clothing, but also represent the symbol of the brand.
What Does It Take To Be A Fashion Designer?
Fashion design is a form of art. To work as a designer, you should have an artistic and creative personality. You also have to be good at drawing and able to express your ideas in sketches. You don't necessarily have to be a great artist, but you must have some special skills for combining colors, tones and shades. You also have to be able to work with fabric and use textiles in a creative and original manner. Fashion designers have a good visual imagination and are able to think in three-dimensions and put their ideas into garments.
Fashion designers have to be aware of the fashion market requirements. They have to be very interested in learning new things and read magazines, journals and books on fashion design history and new trends. They also have to be interested in art, visit art galleries and interact with all kinds of artists whenever they have the opportunity. A designer should also have some knowledge and experience of tailoring (cutting, draping, sewing etc.) and be able to tell the difference between different fabric quality levels.
A good understanding of the audience's lifestyle and customer needs and requirements is also needed in fashion design. Designers should have good communication skills and be able to express their ideas clearly. But most important, they have to be very original and have fresh, innovative ideas.