Fashion Career Specializations – A Breakdown

Coming straight from fashion school, you might be thinking that as a fashion designer; you’ll have the opportunity to work with all types of clothing. What you may not know is that generally, the fashion industry is split into categories, and then categories within categories. Basically, the fashion industry is very specialized. The breakdown begins with price (which usually corresponds with quality). The lowest classification is Discount, and at the height of fashion is Haute Couture:

  • Discount: These stores sell merchandise that retails at a discounted price from what other stores charge. Outlet malls or stores like Ross, Wal-Mart, Target, or Conway are example of discount retailers that sell discount labels.
  • Budget / Mass Market: Knock-offs of higher priced designer items that are sold at low competitive prices to the masses. Old Navy, Forever 21, and Charlotte Russe are a few popular budget labels. Department stores in this category include JC Penney, and Kohls. This market usually retails for less than $100.
  • Moderate: These include nationally advertised apparel brands such as Nine West, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express, and Zara are all in the moderate range. Examples of moderate department stores are Macy’s and Dillards. These brands typically retail for less than $300.
  • Contemporary: More than just a specific price point, this classification is a fashion-forward image often aimed at women in their ’20s and early ’30s looking for trendy fashions priced more affordably than Designer pieces. BCBG, Betsey Johnson, Bebe, and Rebecca Taylor fall into the Contemporary category, which usually retails for under $500.
  • Better: Also selling for less than $500, these collections use better quality fabric and styling than lower-priced brands. Armani Exchange, Jones New York and Anne Klein are two examples of a better-priced line.
  • Bridge: Priced under $1000, these lines serve as a “bridge” between better and designer categories. And includes
    names like Ellen Tracy, Dana Buchman, DKNY, Emporio Armani, and Lauren by Ralph Lauren.
  • Designer: True designer collections typically sell for more than $1000 per item. The fabrics, fit, details, and trims are superior to other ready-to-wear items. Some examples of designer labels are Gucci, Prada, Versace, Armani, and Chanel.
  • Haute Couture/ Avant-garde: Also know as couture, these terms have been commonly misused by ready-to-wear brands. Haute Couture, or simply “couture” designers sell custom, made-to-measure pieces cost tens of thousands of dollars and are affordable only to a select few. Technically speaking, there are only ten official Haute Couture Houses including: Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and Givenchy. Avant-garde designers produce high quality, one-of-a-kind garments that experiment with new design concepts and push the envelope of popular fashion.

Even within the categories listed above, each market is broken down into more specific specializations. First, design companies are broken down by customer: men’s, women’s, children’s etc. Then are further divided by type of clothing: sportswear, evening wear (special occasion), sleepwear etc. And then design teams are designated to specific areas like Wovens, Knits, Sweaters, Tops, Bottoms, Dresses, Outerwear and so on.

On an unfortunate note, …

The Power of Nudity and Fashion in Women

Let me start by defining nudity as it is expressed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary as being devoid of a natural or conventional covering especially not covered by clothing. The act of going nude is born out of fashion. At this point I would like to bring to the fore certain shifts from fashion to nudism. The reader before this generation entered both the jet and information age, women have been seen with creatively sown clothing of all types.

Some of which are so interesting and appealing to behold; on the other hand acceptable. It is a truism to state without equivocation that it is crave for fashion that led women to dress and appear nude. Nudism which is practiced by the female folk all over the world existed through the evolution of fashion. It is against this backdrop that intellectuals captured it as the practice of going nude especially in sexually mixed groups. The so called evolutionary trend in fashion industry now led to go almost naked is something to be contended with.

Today, it has become a norm and socially accepted to dress anyway you like. It has been adopted without asking what the implications are. What are the effects to the society? The focus of this write-up revolves around the above questions and how to go about resolving this societal madness. Our women new fashion glamour is only intended for distraction to the opposite sex. In the days past women concentrate on whatever she lays her hand on. But today on seeing rudely dressed lady, her focus shifts to thinking on how to be the one wearing such bombshell called mini-skirt, body hug, tight jeans etc.

Consequently, this has brought in its wake girl-child rape, extensive spread of the almighty virus termed Human Immune Virus (HIV). Our society witnesses high rate of armed robbery, get rich quick syndrome, ritual killings to mention but a few. It is not only the issue of economic down-turn that makes the masses to suffer but on the contrary we have refused to put our priority right. The builders of our homes insist on joining the bandwagon of latest clothing seen in the market today. They have crossed the Rubicon as it concerns dressing modestly. In the female world, it is either you dress showing your private part or you are not in tune with modernity craze for nakedness of evil intention.

Source Article

Kids Clothing 101: Fashion Trends in Kid Clothes

The importance of kids clothing is on the rise. Now more than ever, a child’s creativity is showcased in his or her wardrobe, and whether your child makes all their own outfit decisions or you as a parents just want to see your son or daughter looking their best, this year there is plenty of inspiration to go around.

Designers are now apprehending the growing demand for kids clothing lines after a number of sons and daughters of celebrities were spotted in brand-name threads. The economy-minded styles of last year are being replaced by pricier takes on kids clothes. Copycats will look to luxury fabrics to imply the expensive label look.

The coming autumn chill will inevitably give rise to a myriad of winter wear, and this year we can look forward to clothes like velvet coats, suede boots, fur (or faux) lining, silk sweaters and kimonos, and knit dresses. Last year’s big trend in cutesy ‘kawaii’ Japanese-inspired clothing is giving way to a more historical inspiration: geisha robes and dolly shoes. If, like most parents, your budget doesn’t have much room to swath your child in lavish fabrics, there are a number of ways to stay on the cutting-edge of fashionable kids clothes without compromising your wallet.

Sticking to a more classic style of clothes for kids is a great way to stay out of the high-demand and high-price items while still looking great. With a growing child, frequent trips to the mall is not only costly, it can also be hard on the planet. Eco-friendly clothing for kids is on the rise; sustainable materials such as hemp, bamboo, and organic cotton fabrics satisfy the environmentally conscious parent.

Often these green fabrics specialize in tried-and-true kids clothing styles. Earthy looks such as utility jackets, dark denims, knits, and leggings for kids are always in for the smart and trendy shopper. Scandinavian knits and stripes continue to be a staple in winter kids clothes. Pattern mixing, the modern hallmark of a developing and experimental style, is one trend still going strong in kids clothing, and it’s also a cost-effective way to create new outfits. Striped tights, flowered dresses, and plaid shirts will be seen often, and often together! Sprinkle in a new burst of popularity in 80s accessories like sequins, bobbers, hair bands, and plastic bracelets–perfect for the tactile and trendy child, safe enough to satisfy mom–and you’ll have a child even chic grownups will be looking to for fashion inspiration.

Source Article

Potential Reasons For Fashion Designer Bags

Anywhere you go is a good reason to have one of the fashion designer bags, if only to know that you have one. Designer fashions are always a statement about who you are and what you are all about, and showing up with one under your arm simply tells it like it is.

Some of your friends suggest going out of town for the weekend, and being ready for some relaxation time you're in for it. Of course, this means a wardrobe adjustment that will require a nice hand bag to go with a special outfit. Not a problem. Just get a good designer bag.

You get an invitation in the mail from old dear friend whose baby sister is getting married and you have been invited. There is no discussion about whether or not you will go. Of course you will. And, the best part of all is that you will have to get a new outfit, which means another designer original.

The phone rings during your lunch break and you answer to find out it is a childhood friend from your old hometown. After much excited talk and catching up on the years since your last saw each other, you get invited to come home for a visit. This sounds really good to you, and the first thing you know is needed, is a fashion statement. An original designer bag.

While running errands you step around a corner and nearly get knocked down by a person who looks vaguely familiar. The two of you stand there for a minute and then realize you used to work at the same building together. A few more exchanges of conversation and you are invited to a nice dinner out. You got it. Time to buy another one of those beautiful fashion designer bags.

Source Article

Fashion History – Clothing of the Middle Ages in Western Europe

The Middle Ages encompasses the time from the Fall of the Roman Empire in 400 CE until the beginning of the Renaissance, around 1500 CE.

Clothing of the Early Middle Ages, or Dark Ages, was basically a tunic and under tunic, both sewn from a cross shaped piece of fabric that was folded and hand stitched. Later, the tunic was cut in two pieces, then four piece for a better fit.

Peasants and serfs made their clothes at home of wool and hemp. The shearing, and cleaning of the wool; the spinning, and weaving was a long drawn out chore before the invention of the spinning wheel and the horizontal loom. But the garment were durable and long lasting. One garment could last a life time.

While the upper classes and aristocracy wore basically the same type of clothing, their under tunics were made of linen which was made for them by workers. Upper class women sewed tunics at home and some were made by professional tailors.

Due to the loss of trade that followed the end of the Roman Empire, trade was minimal, so the importation of fine fabrics was expensive and rare. But finer weaves, borders, and embellishments made for better clothing for the elite.

After the invention of the horizontal loom and spinning wheel, the manufacture of clothing became easier. These technological improvements made finer clothing more available and affordable. The Crusades introduced silk, damask, and other luxurious fabrics and designs into Europe. And when Marco Polo's adventures heralded a new interest in the Far East, trade increased, creating greater availability of textiles, design ideas, and new patterned fabric to Europe.

Clothing worn by the nobility and merchants began to change, introducing the concept of fashion. While the Church dictated certain aspects of dress for modesty, such as veils for women, alterations in the in the types of fabrics used varied the styles that became popular. Women wore veils made of sheer muslin, interwoven with golden threads. Gowns became more ornate with variations in the neckline, sleeves, and hem lengths.

The establishment of guilds and improvements in the manufacture of clothing created an upwardly mobile middle class able to emulate the clothing styles of the upper class. New styles emerged including the elaborate head dresses of the later Middle Ages. The head dresses that looked like horns were wildly popular for a generation, as was the classic fairy tale princess style of hat called a hennin. A hennin was a tall, conical hat worn with a veil, a style much identified with the Middle Ages.

The later Middle Ages saw women's gowns grow trains, and sleeves elongated so that long flaps reached the ground.

The changing of style and middle class interest in emulating the clothing styles of the elite created what we think of today as fashion.

Source Article

How Long Does It Take to Become a Fashion Designer?

The question many aspiring young artists with a flair for fashion often ask is, “How long does it take to become a fashion designer?” The answer differs according to the individual, but there are some standards that can be set so that anyone who wishes to enter the industry and become successful in it can have some idea of what to do and how long to wait before he or she can launch a clothing line and start getting public attention.

Starting as Early as Possible

Students in high school should already have some idea of what they want to do in life, so if an interest in fashion is already apparent as early as fourteen years old, students can already start taking classes to get a jump start on training. There are art and design classes, home economics, sewing and tailoring, pattern-making and other fashion-related classes that high schools offer. If not, community colleges and other institutions are always open for students who are interested in taking classes like these.

After high school, how long does it take to become a fashion designer in the professional sense? Tertiary education is the next step in order for anyone to truly earn a niche in fashion. Four year bachelor courses in fashion design are offered in major colleges and universities, so are two year associate degrees. More prestige means a bachelor’s degree, but those who wish to finish their education in a shorter time may still enroll in associate courses. These courses give students the necessary background and knowledge and hone their skills in order for them to progress.

Getting into the Industry

After graduation, the logical step to answer the question how long does it take to become a fashion designer is to enter the industry. This can be done either through an internship or by getting employed as an assistant or any entry-level job, preferably with a big company or well-known fashion name. This way, a student can maximize the experience and learn a lot that can later be applied. Depending on how long the contract is, or how well a person does, this can take anywhere from two years to until the aspiring designer reaches middle age. New fashion designers can even opt to enter amateur contests in order to show the world what they can do.

For those who are just beginning, starting as soon as high school may knock a few years off the training process, so that it is possible to have gained the necessary education and experience in the early to mid-twenties. For those who found their passion later in life, it can take as little as five years if the person is really determined and has the proper drive to succeed, and as much as ten years if the individual stays longer with a fashion company or label. In the end, the only person who can tell how long does it take to become a fashion designer is himself or herself, as success …

Men’s Fashion – 5 Steps to Painless Shopping for Business Attire

Are you a guy who loves to shop? Or would you rather do anything than spend an afternoon buying business clothing?

If you avoid the mall like the plague, this article gives you 5 steps to shopping for a smart looking business wardrobe.

1. Survey your closet. Instead of making haphazard purchases, go through your closet to see what you need. If you are like most men, you hate the thought of doing this. Here’s how to do it quickly and easily. Enlist the help of a sympathetic female – your girlfriend, wife, friend, sister or cousin. Make sure this woman has a good eye for fashion, and can help you decide what looks good on you, and what is detracting from a professional business image.

2. Make a plan. Decide what items are highest on your priority list. These may be items you don’t currently have, such as a suit or dress shirt for a job interview. Or they may be items that are outdated, that don’t fit you well, or that don’t meet your work needs. For example, if you’ve changed jobs and now work in a more conservative environment, you may need a new jacket or two. But if your company has a new business casual policy, a few sweaters or polo shirts can update your business wardrobe.

3. Do your market research. Scout out a few stores to find out what kind of men’s wear they carry. It is mainly suits? More casual wear? What is the price range? Do they accept all the major credit cards, or only their store cards? If you are on a budget, it’s important to find this out before you fall in love with a designer suit that’s way out of your range.

4. Know your finances. Decide on your priorities, and how much money you can spend before you go shopping. Even if money is not a problem, when you buy clothes, especially suits, the price can rise quickly when you add the shirts, ties and accessories to match. Deciding ahead of time what you are looking for can help you resist sales pressure once you’re in the store.

5. Know your body type. If you aren’t sure, ask a good sales person, or your female shopping companion, to help you discover what looks good on you. Even small changes in style can make a huge difference in how the clothes fit you, and the impression you make.

Source Article

Top Ten Fashion Trends From the 1940’s

Rationing:

World War II impacted virtually every aspect of American life and fashion was no exception. In 1942, the United States imposed a rationing system similar to the one Great Britain had implemented the previous year, limiting, among other things, the amount of fabric that could be used in a single garment. Materials including wool, silk, leather and a fledgling DuPont Corp. invention called nylon were diverted for use in uniforms, parachutes, shoelaces and even bomber noses.

Jackets could be no more than 25 inches in length, pants no more than 19 inches in circumference at the hem, belts no more than two inches wide and heels no more than an inch in height. Hemlines rose to the knee in an effort to conserve fabric. Buttons, cuffs, pockets and decorative details like ruffles and lace were used sparingly. Women wore shorter, boxy jackets for a V-shaped silhouette reminiscent of military uniforms. Even Hollywood traded elaborate costumes for simplified designs, a move many claimed lent movies a new air of realism.

Nylon:

As soon as it was introduced in 1938, women embraced synthetic nylon as a replacement for silk stockings. In the early 1940s, however, with silk already diverted to the war effort, the government recognized similar uses for nylon and commandeered it as well. Women responded by coating their legs in tan makeup and drawing lines up the backs of their calves to mimic seams. By the time the war ended and stockings returned to store shelves, nylon had become a generic term for hosiery.

Swing skirts.

The swing skirt had a round cut designed to look best in full jitterbug twirl. Swing skirts were a common sight on USO dance floors as young women danced with uniformed men to the jazzy horns that characterized the Big Band Era. Housewives were known to wear a more conservative version of the swing dress, sometimes in polka-dot or tiny floral prints.

Hats:

Hats became one of the few ways to express individual style with minimal resources. They were worn in a wide range of styles and personalized with scraps of foil, sequins, netting, paper and string.

Hair and makeup:

Hairstyles became more elaborate as women sought ways to contrast their dull wardrobes. Shoulder length or longer hair was rolled into complex shapes and secured with bobby pins. Screen sirens like Lauren Bacall, Veronica Lake and Rita Hayworth popularized side parts and finger waves. Makeup was dramatic, characterized by matte foundation, powder, heavy brows and bright scarlet lips.

Platform pumps:

The wartime shortage of leather and steel forced shoe designers to get more creative and, as a result, shoes were cobbled from materials ranging from crocodile hide to cork. Shoes were more utilitarian than stylish, with low heels and limited color choices. By the mid to late 1940s, platform pumps with high heels in T-straps, ankle straps or open toes had replaced the dowdy wedgie with its flat shape and thick cork soles.

Menswear as womens wear:

A number of men may have …

What is Your Fashion Style?

When it comes to clothing do you usually stick to one particular style or should you be called a fashion scientist due to the tremendous amount of attention you pay to trends. It can also be possible that you are not aware of your personal style. Whether you are aware of your style or not read this guide to learn a little bit more about it and what changes you can make (if desire).

1. Sexy Lexis- Lexis is all about wearing clothes that reveal skin such as cleavage and fit extra tight. She may feel that conservative or unrevealing clothing are only for older people. Lexis might need to learn when to tone down her sexy image. For example: She should avoid walking in to church wearing a blouse with a plunging neckline. Unless, she is ready to receive a few dirty looks.

2. Care-Lesley- She wonders: What is Fashion? Can I eat with cheese? She really does not know what the latest trend is and frankly can care less. Lesley should try something new once in a while just for fun and avoid getting stuck on a specific style.

3. Rebellious Chica-She makes her own rules when it comes to fashion. Avoids to all extends looking like everyone else. Just like sexy lexis some circumstances will require toning down her personal style. On a job interview she should conform to the expected attire standards. At least until she lands the job.

4. Fashion Diva-Her middle name is style. Always on top of her image and hates to be seen more than once wearing an outfit. Keeping up with fashion trends can get quite expensive. She needs to watch her finances closely in order to avoid overspending.

5. Sporty Lady- She loves her jeans and sneakers and will not go anywhere with out them. She should play dress up once in a while. This will help her look and feel better, even if the changes are temporary.

6. Comfy Carmen-Carmen is all about comfort. She chooses her attire based on the way it feels. She should steer away from bulky looking shoes that will make her feet look wider or bigger and clothing that fit too loosely. Clothes that are too big will make anyone look heavier and older.

7. Elegant Elenin- Elenin is always dress to impress. She will not allow anyone to see her dressed down. However, it will be beneficial for her to loosen up or dress comfortably once in a while. People can not look perfect all the time.

8. Stuck in time- This type of person does not remember the last time she bought a piece of clothing. She will not stop wearing her clothes until it has a hole in it. She should avoid using the same clothing for too many years until it comes back in style (20 years later).

9. Balanced Brianna- She probably has one of the other personal styles mentioned in this guide but, understands clearly the certain situations …

A Fashion Designer’s Job

A fashion designer thinks up combinations of line, proportion, color, and texture for intended garments. They may have no sewing or pattern making skills whatsoever, and may only sketch or conceptualize garments. A seamstress is someone who sews seams, or in other words, a machine operator in a factory who may not have the skills to make garments from scratch or to fit them on a real body. A custom clothier makes custom garments one at a time, to order, to meet an individual customer’s needs and preferences. An alterations specialist (alterationist) adjusts the fit of completed garments, usually ready-to-wear, or restyles them.

Designers

Designers have the flair for creating with fabric and know how to use textiles effectively. However, Milan is seen as the fashion capital of Italy because many well-known designers are based there and it is the venue for the Italian designer collections. Most textile designers start out by applying for courses either in fashion design or textiles. A stylist is either a person who co-ordinates the clothes, jewelry, and accessories used in fashion photographs and catwalk shows or a kind of designer whose designs are based on existing things, trends, and designers collections.

Job competition is expected to be keen as many designers are attracted to the creativity and glamour associated with the occupation, while relatively few job openings arise. Footwear designers help create and produce different styles of shoes and boots. Accessory designers help create and produce items that add the finishing touches to an outfit, such as handbags, belts, scarves, hats, hosiery, and eyewear. Some designers conduct their own research, while others rely on trend reports published by fashion industry trade groups.

Textile manufacturers use these trend reports to begin designing fabrics and patterns while fashion designers begin to sketch preliminary designs. During this time, designers usually will narrow down their choices of which designs to offer for sale. While most designers initially sketch designs by hand, a growing number also translate these hand sketches to the computer. CAD allows designers to view designs of clothing on virtual models and in various colors and shapes, thus saving time by requiring fewer adjustments of prototypes and samples later.

Department

Experienced designers may advance to chief designer, design department head, or other supervisory position. The best job opportunities will be in design firms that design mass market clothing sold in department stores and retail chain stores, such as apparel wholesale firms. Elizabeth Arden, wanting to be the first to bring Paris fashion to New York, persuaded Castillo to work in the haute couture department of her New York salon in 1945. US department stores produce their own less expensive private labels, which are heavily based on top designers.

Designers need to have visual imagination and the ability to think in three-dimension to translate into garments what they visualize. Designers must be good communicator and very clear with their ideas which is reflected in the presentation of fashion shows. Designers use the web in many functional mixtures. …