This month’s student spotlight, Karen, recently accepted a job at Lucky in Love and we couldn’t be more proud! Read our interview with her below, and learn how she landed the job as well as her experience as a fashion student.
1. How long have you been a design student and what got you interested in fashion as a career?
I’ve been a fashion student for a little bit over 6 months. As a child, both of my parents had clothing factories. I grew up running next to the seamstress and designers for the company. I remember I used to take small pieces of fabric home so I could make dresses for my dolls.
2. How did you meet a contact from Lucky in Love and what are you doing there?
I went to an FGI event, where I met Maureen Cohen(pattern-maker for lucky in love), we spoke and exchanged information. She contacted me later that week, she needed help cutting the samples for the collections.
3. How has The Fashion Institute of South Florida prepared you in order to enter the fashion industry?
4. What are your plans after you finish your studies at the Fashion Institute of South Florida?
5. What advice do you have for students studying fashion design?
Spring is here, and we could not be more excited! This season’s trends are so full of color and exuberance you can’t help but smile. Since the weather here is warm year-long, the spring/summer season is when South Florida’s fashion truly shines. Here are the top 5 trends you can’t ignore even if you tried.
Shine bright like a diamond and embrace the sparkly trend this season. Sequins and sparkles graced the runways by the likes of Chanel and Tom Ford, and our eyes could not be happier. Let the sun bounces off your glitter garb as you keep your audience’s eyes dancing for days. To keep you look more down to earth and balanced, but still stand out from the crowd, pair your sparkly piece with a basic denim or something with a more subdued tone.
Bold Monochromatic Color
Spring and summer represent new life and a celebration of color back on the earth, and so should your wardrobe. Vibrant, bold hues from head to toe lit up the runways this S/S 18. Keep your accessories and makeup simple, and let your outfit do the talking.
For springtime, pastel colors can be a bit expected and perhaps a bit too pretty. However, wearing tailored, Easter egg hues are quite fresh and unexpected. This runway look from Beckham hits all notes as it is an updated tailored basic that is freshened up with pastel lilac.
Checks and Balances
Just in time for spring, the classic picnic blanket print is back. Check prints are a classic for a reason since they are so versatile–from voluminous coats to more feminine pieces as seen in Sonia Rykiel.
S/S 2018 declares that plastic is in fact fantastic. The trend is not new by any means if you can recall the days of Austin Powers and the Fembots. It seems as though April showers not only bring flowers but this PVC trend as well. We believe that plastic is here to stay and slowly becoming a classic, dare we say. Seen by the likes of Nicki Minaj, Chanel, Calvin Klein, and Fendi, you will likely see this trend in every shade and transparency.
This month’s student spotlight, Maria Alessandra Ponceleon, is a wife and mother of three. The passion for fashion design has always been with her since most of her family sews. Sometimes when life happens (like family and children) we tend to put our dreams on the back burner and save it for another time or leave it as a hobby. I think a lot of us can relate to that. Maria reminds us that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams. If you put enough hard work, dedication, and love into whatever you do, you can achieve exactly what you want to be.
Get inspired by our interview with Maria below.
- How long have you been a design student and what got you interested in fashion as a career? I have been studying fashion design since May this year and I chose it as my career because I believe fashion is my passion. I enjoy it a lot.
- What inspired you to make this beautiful dress for yourself and how did you do the pattern?Doing my homework without even thinking about it… it just happened. I was able to pull off making this dress by using the techniques I learned during the pattern making classes.
- How has The Fashion Institute of South Florida impacted you as a student and designer? Wow, in a huge way! I have learned a lot and my teachers have supported me a lot. They are very explicit in their knowledge, their vision is to teach and empower us to reach our dreams.
- What are your plans after you finish your studies at the Fashion Institute of South Florida?I have not yet chosen exactly what I’m going to do, but I know The Fashion Institute of South Florida will help me reach my dream in whatever I choose to do in fashion.
- What advice do you have for students studying fashion design? Don’t limit yourself, whatever you create is design.
Practice, practice, and practice!!!!!!
Investing in people and talent is a priority for the Maison Yves Saint Laurent. A pillar of the House’s strategy is, in particular, to preserve the transmission of Saint Laurent specific savoir-faire, and to generate innovative ideas for the future.
As part its global talents engagement approach, the Maison is launching the Saint Laurent Couture Institute (SLCI), in partnership with the two prestigious French fashion schools, Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) and Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (ECSCP).
Innovation and sustainability will be core topics of this training program.
This high-end six-month program on ready-to-wear will combine academic input from top faculty and experiential learning focused on craft and creativity, giving the participants the opportunity to enhance their skills and further develop their fashion culture.
The first course began in September 2017 and is composed of different modules, welcoming two types of audiences: Interns from the two schools and Saint Laurent staff.
“Preserving our heritage while evolving and being very relevant in our era is a pillar of our strategy, and investing in talents is an imperative condition to build on our success even further.” says Francesca Bellettini, President and CEO of Saint Laurent. “I am very proud of this partnership with such renowned and prestigious institutions as IFM and ECSCP, which will greatly contribute to the implementation of our strategy.”
Taking fashion students on a field trip to the garment factory is like taking kids to Disneyland!!
We met at 10.30am at the first factory in West Hialeah, a factory that has a full line of services, from sample making to small productions. There, the students asked questions, watched several machines working, interacted with the seamstresses, touched the fabrics and trims, and more importantly, learned closer the production process.
Feedback from our students:
This field trip was a complete eye opener for me. I had no idea there were clothing factories right here in our city. The factories we went to can do just about anything you ask for. From bathing suits, sportswear, uniforms, printing your own fabric, and the list goes on. After seeing these factories the possibilities are endless in the designs you want to create. – Luis Reyes
I am very grateful for the experience and opportunity to have gone to the local manufacturers in my community. It is difficult to find an affordable and reliable manufacturer when you don’t know where to look or what is available locally. Ms.Rucht was so kind to set up this field trip for us to expose us to our options for these services according to our budgets as startup designers. I support small businesses and the local economy and prefer to manufacture within my community. I am opposed to outsourcing abroad where there are unethical practices of manufacturing and exploitation of its workers. My brand is for a conscious consumer that supports “Made in the USA.” As for me, it’s important to have as much control as possible in overseeing operations of my designs. I like being close enough to be there and make corrections if necessary and avoid multiple international shipping costs that can be expensive and increase overhead costs. I’m very excited and look forward to working with these manufacturers; this was the solution to my problem. I will no longer need to make everything by hand myself and I will be able to grow my business at a larger scale. Thank you for everything Ms.Rucht. – Joann Chan
When my professor told us we were going on a field trip, I immediately knew that this trip would fit perfectly on my clothing line journey. We first started at a factory that had amazing heavy duty sewing machines, and every seamstress has an assignment to accomplish. This was a big eye-opener to the world of manufacturing. We later visited a cutting warehouse, the incredible machines were able to cut layers of fabric and samples. My favorite warehouse was one that had a lot of different sewing machines that made a lot of beautiful and intricate trims and the best part was the sublimation YES! You can have your own print made on anything!! I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you Fashion Institute of South Florida for introducing me to the world of fashion manufacturing. – Sylvia H
Faux fur vests are a trending item this season and are perfect to throw on for a holiday party. They are effortless, sophisticated and surprisingly easy to sew.
If you are a beginner, a short-haired fabric is easier to sew together rather than some of the longer haired style fabrics for a few reasons. They drape better, are lightweight, and can be reversible. Follow this simple step-by-step tutorial to get the look in under two hours!
- 1 yard of double face faux fur of 60″ or wider (Here we used Sew Lush Fabric from Joann. At the end, we will show you other print options).
- 3 threads to match the color of the fabric (If you are using a serger machine.)
- 1 vest pattern. One size fits most order here.
- An overlock/serger or home sewing machine with a narrow zig-zag stitch setting.Follow along on our Youtube video.
Step 1: Place the pattern on the right side of the fabric making sure the center back is on the fold of the fabric. You can use weights to hold down the pattern for stability when cutting.
Step 2: Cut along the pattern all around very carefully.
It should look something like this.
Step 4: Cut a notch on the center back neckline on the fold line.
*Always take a piece of fabric to practice on first before continuing with your project.
*If you don’t have a serger, use a zig-zag stitch on your home sewing machine to finish the edges, then sew.
Step 5: Time to sew! First, join the collar seams together.
Step 6: Next, join the shoulder seams together.
Step 7: Attach the collar to the neckline. Match the notch you made earlier on the neckline to the center back neckline and match with the seam of the collar, as shown.
Final Step: Almost done! Clean up all the edges with a serger in a narrow stitch setting or baby merrow stitch. Alternatively, you can finish the edges with a zig-zag stitch on your home sewing machine.
*When doing a circular shape like an armhole, start on the shoulder tip to use as a visual guide for starting and ending.
*Here are some examples of different options to finish an edge.
Pictured from left to right: Zig-zag stitch, baby merrow (small serger stitch), larger serger stitch.
Finito! Now run to that party and brag about your immense talent. 😉
Other faux fur fabric ideas:
Don’t forget to post your pictures on Instagram and tag @thefashioninstituteofsfl!
I’m looking forward to taking some of the students from The Fashion Institute of South Florida to next year’s competition. Below are some pictures of the event. You can find a lot more by following the school on Instagram and Facebook.
The french seam is a luxe way to finish seams and is usually seen in high fashion clothing. This kind of seam is good for lightweight and fine fabrics such as organza, silk, chiffon, see-through, or any other fabric if you don’t have a serger/overlock sewing machine. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to sew a perfect french seam.
Step 1: Place your two pieces of fabric right sides together. This step is counterintuitive because typically you would do wrong sides together. You will see later why with french seams this step is different.
Step 2: Sew the fabric with right sides together as close to the edge as possible. If it’s too difficult to sew right on the edge, you can sew with as small as a seam allowance as you can and then cut off the excess fabric as you will see in the next step.
Step 3: Cut off excess fabric so that you only have 1/8 inch left.
Step 4: Spead the fabric out on an ironing board with right sides up. Then sew the seam to one side.
Step 5: Fold the fabric together with right sides touching each other and wrong sides facing out.
Step 6: Press the fabric with an iron so that it is easier sew for the next step.
Step 7: Now sew as close to the seam as possible without actually sewing the seam. The effect should be like a casing.
Step 8: Open the fabric and voila! Now you are one step closer to sewing couture.
Nathalie has been a student at the Fashion Institute of South Florida since May 2017. She told us how a hobby turned into a passion for the fashion industry. Read on to learn to learn more about her story and advice to fashion students on how to stay dedicated.
How long have you been a design student and what got you interested in fashion as a career?
I’ve been a student at the Fashion Institute of South Florida since May 2017. My story is very interesting as to how I got into the fashion world. First, it started when I received a sewing machine as a gift for Christmas back in 2014. I always liked fashion but I never imagined that I would have the patience and ability to operate a sewing machine, but I love challenges and what would be better than sewing. I then started buying patterns from the fabric store and teaching myself about pattern making and sewing. Also, I searched on Youtube for tutorial videos about making dresses and blouses. At that point, I began to get more and more interested in making my own clothes. The first design I made was a royal blue dress. When I wore it, I received many compliments which made me feel good. That was my turning point as to how I became interested in fashion as a career.
What inspired you to make this gorgeous dress for yourself and how you did the pattern?
Going to the fabric store and seeing different kinds of fabric prints and textures inspires me to make my next design. The fabric I used for this dress really spoke to my creative side. Seeing that orchid print and color inspired me to name the dress “The Orchid Blossom Dress.” I decided to make this dress simple but sexy by adding a low Sweetheart neckline, so it was simple to create the pattern and make the dress.
How has the Fashion Institute of South Florida impacted you as a student and designer?
It has impacted me tremendously. Not only do I have the privilege to have outstanding teachers who push me to the next level to succeed, I also had the opportunity to attend Miami Fashion Week and Miami Swimwear Week and volunteer backstage while interacting with designers, photographers, and stylists. Those experiences showed me that the behind the scenes backstage area is a totally different environment. All models must have hair and makeup done and all garments must be assigned to a particular model, helping them change their garments as the time gets closer for the fashion show to begin. Also, watching the designers do their last-minute preparations made me realize that this is not just what you see on the runway, it is what is behind the scenes that make the difference for a fashion show to be a success. I have met a lot of people in within the fashion industry and it has tremendously opened my network circle.
What are your plans after you finish your studies?
My plans are to launch my first collection as an emerging fashion designer. It is something that I greatly desire, and eventually, have the clientele that would love to wear my designs. I also want to continue gaining more experience and sharpening my skills to learn more about the fashion industry. Fashion is a really fast-paced industry. You must constantly be reinventing your designs in order to be consistent in the fashion world.
What advice do you have for students studying fashion design?
If you truly want to become a fashion designer, don’t look at the glamorous lifestyle as a reward. Let your accomplishments be your reward and be willing to work hard and go the extra mile to be the best. Attend fashion shows and volunteer backstage as well as seminars and other events. This will help you expand your network and knowledge to succeed as a fashion designer.
This month, we are featuring the lovely Gabriela Lopez. She is part of our class of 2017-2018 and a mother to this beautiful mini-me below. Continue reading about this mother and daughter pair in our interview with her, and learn how the beach and motherhood influence her design.
How long have you been a design student and what got you interested in fashion as a career?
I’ve been a fashion student since January 2017. I’ve always been a fashion lover, and have always been curious about the fashion industry for many years. I’ve finally found the right place to get involved, learn about it, and pursue a career in fashion.
Your mother/daughter swimsuit twinning is so precious! How does being a mother influence your design?
We are beach lovers and since we spend almost every weekend at the beach, for me it’s very important to protect ourselves from the UV rays while also being comfortable and cute. As a mom, there’s nothing cuter than twinning with your little one. 🙂
How has the Fashion Institute impacted you as a student and designer?
When I met Ms. Rucht, I immediately knew that I could learn a lot from her experience, extensive knowledge, dedication, attention to every detail and love. All of these attributes make the Fashion Institute an amazing journey for every student.
What are your plans after you finish your studies at the Fashion Institute?
I feel like I still have a lot to learn. Every class is a new experience, so I haven’t decided the exact direction where I’m going yet. But since we live in this amazing Sunshine State and I’m a beach lover, I’m definitely thinking about designing swimwear… stay tuned! 😉
What advice do you have for students studying fashion design?
Love what you do, do what you love and stay focused!