How to fashion a career in fashion?
Beneath the sparkling tinsels, the glitter and glamour lies a multi-billion dollar industry. Only the best may walk through its hallowed gates; only the most dedicated visionary may reap the harvest of new, bold ideas. The spectacular pageantry of the fashion world is tempered with cut-throat competition. Not unlike the more staid academic disciplines, an interest in fashion must be complemented by the strictest adherence to method and a penchant for norm-defying creativity. While the glamour world looks dazzling and easy, it can be as intellectually taxing as some of the more orthodox courses. It is hard work; you may have passion, but so do countless other aspirants from all the known and unknown corners of the world. It is always wise to ask your overseas education consultant for in depth guidance before you take deep dives.
Have you started your preparations?
When it comes to a career in fashion, or in any creative industry for that matter, there’s no such thing as a prescribed syllabus. You need an open mind, and wide open eyes. Preparations ought to start as early as high school; be open to taking classes on home economics, not to mention design software like Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, CorelDraw, Xara etc. Wisdom can come from the most unexpected quarters. That’s why you need to expand your reading prospects from books to quarterlies, fashion magazines, blogs and newsletters. It’s not all ramp walk and photo ops. As a fashion designer, you will be expected to not only conceive design ideas but to also have the metier to commit your ideas to paper. You need to have a certain amount of dexterity in tailoring, patching unlikely textures to create new aesthetic expressions, and a fair knowledge of the textile industry. In a way, a student of design is an amalgam of both the sciences and the arts. Ask your overseas education consultant in Kolkata for detailed prospects.
Which institutes are trending?
When it comes to fashion design and technology, you have the whole wide world to choose from. Almost every country abroad has a reputable fashion design programme. While France and Italy are considered to be the mecca of design thinking, there are several colleges in the UK and USA that offer well-rounded training. China, Israel, South Africa and Brazil are growing hubs of design technology and thinking. These countries are melting pots of aesthetic shades and nuanced cultural registers. With the right kind of training and perseverance, you can easily make a career in retail management, fashion journalism, textile design et al. But before you make your big leap, make sure you have been counselled by your overseas education consultants.
Be that as it may, here is a list of fashion schools that many dream of, but a few get a chance to visit:
• Central Saint Martin, London
Here’s where you get to bask in the glory of Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Phoebe Philo. They were all alumni of this prestigious institution. Who’s to say your name won’t be included in that hallowed list? Central Saint Martin offers programmes on fashion, textile and jewellery design.
• Parsons, The New School for Design, New York
Become a part of a tradition that has broken barriers in the shape of Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Alexander Wang and Prabal Gurung. At Parsons, you will learn the craft of creating legends with insuperable legends.
• Bunka Fashion College, Tokyo
Kenzo Takada, Junya Watanabe, Hiroko Koshino and Yohji Yamamoto are a few of the dazzling stars in a dense constellation of predecessors. Established in 1919, this institution is a vessel of glory, a celebrated womb of the Japanese avant-garde.
• Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Belgium
Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene – these are only a handful of names that pass through the lips of the fashion conscious. All of them have been students of Antwerp. Tread with caution; the rigours of this institution are not for the faint hearted. Many students drop out, owing to the herculean labour expected of its wards. But if you make it through the hard work, you will make a name for yourself in the industry. No two ways about it.
• Istituto Marangoni, Milan
An Italian design school with a 90% placement rate, Istituto was home to the incomparable Domenico Dolce and Franco Moschino. They offer courses on fashion design, fashion business, fashion buying, brand management and fashion promotion. What’s more, they have campuses in two other major fashion capitals of the world.