My intentions for this blog in 2019: what is Fashion Tech support supposed to be?
While I am taking baby steps with the whole blogging and other digital marketing things, I really wanted to write the first post of the year on the right note and publish it while the New year, new you vibe is still out there.
I'm a firm believer in learning by doing, and I'm glad I've at least started writing and posting on Pinterest and Instagram more or less regularly because from the responses I'm getting, it's clear that people connect a lot better with the craft side of my work, more than they want free flat sketches or free tech pack templates.
So is Fashion Tech support still an appropriate name for my website? Hell yeah.
In this Digital Age, it's easy to equate Tech with technology, technological breakthroughs or just the next shiny thing, and forget about the fundamental technical skills needed in different professions or in daily life: sloppy technique always come back to bite us in the derrière, whether it's a poorly done surgery, a poorly done building or a poorly done recipe (have you ever screwed up a cake recipe? It's sad…).
In the case of Fashion and Apparel, with all the manufacturers out there so eager to take any production order and advertising that you just need to e-mail your design that they'll do the rest, many people planning to start their clothing line are equating design with drawing and tech pack with flat sketches done on Adobe Illustrator, completely oblivious to all the technical knowledge that goes behind the work of a Fashion Designer.
I'm not saying technique is everything, though.
Technical skills are tools: use them to develop a process
As a book smart kind of kid, I got into Fashion because I loved to read and study the craft behind interesting clothes by Cristóbal Balenciaga and Comme des Garçons, and I wanted to learn how to make interesting clothes myself. But I spent far too much money on textbooks and making bad clothes with expensive fabrics - and getting frustrated every time - before I realised that being too technically-minded was hindering me creatively, because I was always trying to get more and more knowledge without much execution.
Yes, failing leaves a bad taste in the mouth, but we also never know all the steps exactly when we start something new. You have to trust the process of trials and errors without wasting too much time and money, and also knowing when it's time to ask for help. With that in mind:
My goal for this blog is to create content that will help you develop your own creative process, by giving you enough tools to start taking action and hopefully avoiding the information overload that happens when learning a new subject.
I want to cover a variety of topics that I've seen in two different Fashion schools, one technical and one very artistic, so you can try different drawing techniques, get off Pinterest and find better sources to do your research, learn new finishings and basic pattern cutting using vintage references…
And whenever it's time to ask for help, get in touch and we'll come up with a plan to get you unstuck :)
Topics I have in mind for this year:
How to draft the patterns and then make the vintage pieces I show on the blog and on my Instagram feed.
I went to technical school for 2 years to learn how to cut and make clothes, and I've only taught one-on-one lessons, so this will be an experiment on how to create an online course on a handicraft.
Should you go to a famous Fashion school? My experience at Bunka Fashion College
Bunka Fashion College used to rank second or third on both lists (going down every year, it seems), it's where important Japanese designers such as Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto have studied, plus it's located in Tokyo, which is a really cool city.
It's also not that expensive compared to the top schools in the US and the UK, it will teach you pattern cutting properly and phenomenal sewing techniques…but will give you basically zero in terms of creativity.
Oh! Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Japanese is mandatory.
All things considered, is it worth dreaming of a place at Bunka Fashion College?
Illustrator and Photoshop are tools, not crutches.
It seems that no Fashion Design course has a decent class on Illustrator and Photoshop, both highly demanded skills for entry-level designer or Product developer jobs.
On the other hand, an elaborate drawing or a good-looking Photoshop collage does not equal good design if you have no clue about how to make it.
And filling out tech packs is usually a dead-end for a designer's career in a company.
How much do you need to know of these two softwares if you want a career in Fashion Design, and not Graphic Design or merchandising?
Sewing tutorials, show-and-tell videos of my portfolio books, videos of me drawing or explaining my creative process.