Fashion design courses: could you be the next Jean Paul Gaultier?

By Anne Sexton - Last update

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There are so many fashions and all of them are subject to change. Designers revise lengths, cuts, styles, stretch and colours almostevery season. The length of a skirt or the style of a shirt today may be totally different tomorrow. Keeping up with trends can be a full time job. In fact, it is for stylists! But there is one way to beat the crowds and stay ahead of the style curve create the trends yourself. Fashion is big business. Globally, the industry is estimated to be worth is $3 trillion. It also employs over 4 million people across the world. That includes people working in design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, retailing, advertising, communications, publishing and consulting. To succeed as a designer you need a love of fashion as well as creative flair. However you also need to be someone who pays attention to detail and is willing to work hard.

Why study fashion design?

Fashion designers can make a real mark on society. When we think of the 1960s we think of daring miniskirts; in the 1970s bellbottoms were all the rage. Yuppies ruled the 80s when the hair was big, and the shoulder pads were bigger. In the 1990s grunge and rave fashions prevailed. In the 21st century we have fallen in love with bandage dresses, leggings, distressed denim and vintage clothing. Constantly changing fashions means there is always opportunities for creative, clever designers. You may not dream of being the next Stella McCartney or Tom Ford, but learning to design and make clothes is a useful skill. You’ll always be stylish, you’ll have unique outfits and you ll save a ton of money too.

What does it involve?

Most of the fashion design courses offered in Ireland require at least a year’s study. Many courses are longer around 3 years. These are aimed at people who wish to work professionally as fashion designers. The Mallow College of Design and Tailoring in Cork, offers a 3 year part-time accredited course that covers all aspects of fashion design. They also offer year-long dressmaking, pattern drafting and millinery courses. The International Career Institute offers self-paced distance learning fashion design courses. These are available at certificate, diploma, and advanced diploma levels. There are also various hobby courses where one can learn skills without having to be a serious designer. These courses run for around 10 weeks. All you need is some flair and some free evenings! If you already know the fundamentals, there are advanced courses for anyone who wants to learn more.

At a glance

Fashion is big business and it moves all the time. Trends take off like wild fire only to be replaced by something new. A career in fashion means keeping up with the times but you will never say that it is not exciting. Could you be the next Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion design courses run from as little as 10 weeks to 3 years. Distance learning courses are also available.

Anne Sexton

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