Coco Chanel on Fashion and Architecture

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

October 15, 2007

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"Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions," Coco Chanel famously quipped. What seems an off-the-cuff remark by a fashion design icon may contain a good lesson for those seeking careers in fashion.

Fashion Design and Proportion
One lesson that may be gleaned from the quote is the need to study and understand the human form. Other disciplines, such as sculpture and painting, can teach you how to more intimately understand male and female shapes, (dapper fashion guru Tim Gunn, for example, is also a sculptor). Many fashion designers are also accomplished in other artistic disciplines.

You can also learn more about human proportion by studying art. Good design is good design, whether it appears in fashion, interior, graphic, or architectural design. Visit museums, build a collection of art books you can turn to regularly for inspiration, or take take an art or art history class (available through campus and online colleges).

Fashion School: Your Foundation in Proportions
In design school, you'll frequently be confronted with concepts that deal entirely with proportion. Every time you consider a design, you'll look at line, texture, color, and cut to determine how proportions will affect the overall look of a garment.

Fashion school can also give you an opportunity to develop an eye for proportion. Even if you already have a good eye for human proportion, fashion school can help you refine what you have, allowing you to explore more sophisticated ideas and bring your existing talent to new heights.

Move your career in fashion forward by following the advice of the legendary Coco Chanel. It could be the words that open up a range of opportunities to explore and develop your own sense of symmetry, volume and space.

About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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