Fashion Design: Cinch or Struggle?
Much like the entertainment industry, the fashion industry is often glorified as being a dreamland, a place where only the most talented designers exist. The seasonal collections, draped over stoic models walking across illuminated runways, come out in such regular intervals that the labour behind their creations are somewhat forgotten. It is easy for anyone who is not a designer to overlook the actual level of creative input that is necessary to produce that amount of constant output.
Despite the ridiculous depictions you see on TV, designers do not spend 24 hours a day draped in black from head to toe and screaming ridiculous demands in a foreign language. Designers are, above all else, artists. And like any artist, especially those who have gained substantial praise, a fashion designer is under a lot of pressure to perfect his or her craft.
For all of those who thought that being a fashion designer would be a piece of cake, think again. A career in fashion is more akin to the life led by Sisyphus. It is not only incessantly difficult, demanding, and stressful, but it is also quite isolating. At the risk of sounding too existential, designers need to escape time and place in order to tap into their creative fuses.
But (and there is a but) the ability to create something from start to finish is undoubtedly a reward in itself. In order to really become masters of their own craft, designers need to perfect every single aspect of the clothes-creating process, from the initial pencil sketch to sewing on the tag. To give you an idea of what is expected from a designer, here is a list of courses in a continuing education Fashion Design Certificate program:
– Pattern Design and Drafting – Intermediate
– Dress Design – Advanced
– Fitting Analysis Workshop
– Designing Workshop
– Fashion Drawing
– Colour Study for Fashion
– Costume Influencing
– Fabric Awareness
– How to Start a Small Business
– Silk Screen Printing
It is obvious now just how large their scope of knowledge is. Also, fashion design involves the development of so many manual skills that most colleges or universities will offer classes on-site rather than through distance education.
From an outside perspective, fashion design seems like one of those extreme end businesses: either you make it big or you do not make it all. This is obviously untrue, but either way, whether fashion functions on fame or craft, designers are in for a life of creative struggle. But, in the words of Albert Camus, “The struggle itself [… ] is enough to fill a man’s heart.”