Studying Silhouettes in Fashion School

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

October 11, 2006

Send Article to Friend Send to a friend | Printable Version

Pursue A
Fashion Degree
The Art Institutes

The Art Institute
Fashion School is the ideal place to embark on a journey toward an intimate, intuitive understanding of the human form. It's a critical area of study for those working toward a career in fashion.

A career in fashion can't take place before one gains a fluency in the language of clothing design. That language is inspired by the human form and the many silhouettes it can reflect.

How many silhouettes are there? More than the familiar hourglass and baby doll forms. Vogue recently featured silhouettes known as the "popsicle," "exclamation point," and "triangle," all of which have been making appearances on runways this fall featuring the work of top clothing designers.

Fashion School and the Human Form
With a creative career in fashion, you'll need to learn the silhouettes that flatter the greatest number of female forms. These are classic cuts like the hourglass, which are made up of full or straight skirts with cinched waists and bodices that tastefully reveal feminine curves.

Trendier clothing design tends to experiment with alternative silhouettes, such as the exclamation point, a look defined by skinny pants and fitted tops embellished with the occasional flouncy top outer layer. Most stylists, however, would caution those with short, athletic or curvy physiques against wearing such strict, body conscious lines. Such is the exclusive domain for the very tall and thin (or those of average height who add a couple of inches with high heels).

During fashion school, you'll likely have the opportunity to experiment with some of these silhouettes. During the process of sketching, cutting, fitting, and constructing, you'll get a sense of how various common and less common silhouettes take shape, and how they hang. You'll learn about proportion, knowledge that will help you gain the expertise in clothing design that everyone who seeks a career in fashion so greatly needs.

Another way to learn more about the human form is to study the work of masters of the form, like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. It gives you a great excuse to visit Paris, wander around the Louvre, and gain a renewed vigor for your career in fashion.

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

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads

  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.

See more facts about Full Sail University - Online

Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you're going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that's focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination. A collaborative education at The Art Institutes is all about the work, the students who create it, and the instructors who guide them.

See more facts about The Art Institutes system of schools

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

We want to help you get that degree. Consider:

1. Start Fast, Finish Fast: You can earn an Associate's degree in 20 months, and a Bachelor’s degree in 30 to 36 months.*

2. Save up to $5,000 on your college degree.You can afford college with our new Fresh Start Scholarships!

3. Tuition Assistance: Financial aid and grants are available to those who qualify.

4. No additional Fees, No Hassles: No parking fees, no long lines, no lab fees, no cost for books, no waiting for class availability.

5. Employment Assistance: We’ll help you find your new job when you graduate.

6. Career-focused Curriculum: You’ll receive practical instruction for work-related knowledge.

7. Convenience: Day, evening and online** classes are available to fit your schedule.

8. Accredited Institution: California College San Diego is an Accredited Member of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

9. Programs Approved for Veterans: Take full advantage of your military benefits to earn your degree.

10. A New Laptop Computer: Get it when you start and keep it when you graduate.***

You can get started toward a high-demand career in healthcare, business, information technology or graphic arts right now. Complete the form and see how you can qualify for a scholarship (not based on grades or exams!) and save up to $5,000 on your college degree.

We invest in you! California College San Diego® is a nonprofit institution and an accredited member, ACCSC.

Accelerated Degree Programs are compared to traditional colleges and universities. See National Center for Educational Statistics, table 4 (

Financial Aid is available for those who qualify.

See more facts about California College San Diego

Campus Locations:

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.

Liberty is, in every way, an exceptional university devoted to preparing the whole student for success.

See more facts about Liberty University

Campus Locations:

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment. Our school has been serving Southern California since 2000. Our programs will empower students to prepare for certifications for Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, CompTia and other leading vendors in the IT Job market.

See more facts about ABCO Technology

Campus Locations:
Matching School Ads