Finding Perspective in Fashion School

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

April 9, 2007

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Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Sure, fashion school provides an opportunity to learn about sketching and stitching. But tit's more than that. The fashion classroom provides a safe place in which to uncover your fashion voice, your unique design philosophy.

Find Your Inner Fashion Designer
It may sound a tad lofty, but finding your perspective is a big part of your development as a fashion designer. Having something to say about fashion through your designs is a central characteristic of the fashion school student who has graduated and acquired the status of professional fashion designer.

Nurturing the development required for a career in fashion requires constant work. You'll have to take risks and step away from popular culture's persistent din to find something within you that is thoroughly unique and authentic. So turn off the television, break away from celebrity gossip, and make room for creative thinking. Find places that inspire you like lively ethnic neighborhoods, artist gatherings, craggy mountain ranges, foggy coasts, and isolated forests.

Fashion School Collaborators
You can start doing all this by finding others within your fashion design program who aren't afraid to explore their individuality--people who take risks in their designs, even if it means being vulnerable to criticism or ridicule. The greatest careers in fashion were made by those who weren't afraid to take such risks. Their clothes are often still worn today because they stood out and showed us something new about the culture and how we live.

But not all fashion school students find their voices during school. You might find your voice as your career in fashion takes off. You might find it during a formative design job, for example, or a fashion design internship. Many pathways to self discovery can be equally effective. What's important is that you don't let your desire to please an employer or client serve as an obstacle to your artistic growth.

Careers in fashion are made through education and exploration--so remember to indulge in the latter during your degree program.

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

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