Getting into the fashion industry is undoubtedly just as difficult as cementing your place in music or film, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Although you can learn the mechanics of design, a natural artistic flare will always separate you from the masses.
There seems to be two directions in fashion: classy, timeless and largely wearable pieces from industry giants such as; Versace, Gucci and Chanel, or the beautifully chaotic, extravagant and artistic creations of; Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen.
Much like a musician signing to a major label, it seems a certain level of creativity is quashed when a budding designer is taken under the wing of a commercial giant, which bids the question, are you better off persevering as an individual or taming your rebellious streak and designing for somebody else?
The late Alexander McQueen is a perfect example of this, after jumping off the coattails of Givenchy, McQueen obliterated boundary’s and explored the deepest and darkest corners of his mind, what McQueen created was not just fashion, it was art.
McQueen created pieces for strong and powerful women stating “I want men to be afraid of the women I dress” – he was all about creating an impact, his shows were an experience, no matter how uncomfortable it made his spectators.
True fashion is about breaking boundaries in a calculated way, creating something quality, admirable and inspirational; not just trying to rival Lady Gaga’s meat dress for short-term shock value.
Whether it’s a part time course, or full time degree, training is important. College opens a lot of doors in the fashion industry; there are opportunities for internships, meet and greets and lectures from past alumni, this is your chance to ask as many questions as possible and make contacts.
Follow your instincts when designing; throw yourself into your creations and don’t be swayed by the opinions of others. Not everybody will like what you do, but if you’re serious about your ideas, support them with show-stopping confidence.
“It is important always to have really original talent. There are lots of good designers that make attractive clothes and make women look beautiful. But at the same time, one doesn’t want to lose the idea that there is someone out there, who can change the way we look at fashion.” – Anna Wintour OBE.