Thursday, January 24, 2013

Couture Design... and Beyond?

Today marks the first day of my fourth class in the Fashion Design graduate certificate program at Mass Art in Boston. It was a little over a year ago when I sort of broke down in tears to the man about pursuing my dream, something I had wanted to do as long as I can remember… becoming a fashion designer. Tonight I start my Couture Design studio class which promises to teach me lots of interesting techniques doing things that I am naturally interested in such as hand beading, smocking, applying appliqu├ęs and the like. While the class is sure to be fun and challenging, I am sitting here questioning what my end goal is in completing this program.


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I am sure if you have been following my escapades, you’ll know that my last class, Pattern Drafting, wasn’t exactly a cinch. Perhaps that there was math mixed in or the sheer amount of work involved that I struggled with it while working full time and planning that big party. I easily (or so it felt to me) pulled A-’s in my Intro to Creative Fashion Design and Fashion Illustration classes but with Pattern Drafting, I worked tirelessly (I exaggerate not) for hours and hours and hours… and hours and … got a B+. The man said that with the amount of time and effort that I put into the class, and the actual level of difficulty of the material, that I should be super proud of myself. While I know he is right, I can’t help but feel like I didn’t live up to my own standards. I was bumming about getting a pretty decent grade in a pretty time consuming and what I felt was an accelerated class.

Fast forward to post registration for the Spring 2013 semester. My advisor recommended that I start doubling up on the classes based on my schedule opening up more but I just couldn’t bring myself to register for more than one. I chose to register for Couture Design based off of my interest and that my advisor (and PD prof) is running the course. I figured Fashion and Art could wait, even though it is a requirement and only available in the Spring… because lately, I am starting to question if this program is what will ultimately help me reach my end goals. While in PD, a fellow evening student was telling us how she was accepted into the day program and how nothing from the evening classes would transfer down. She had to take a lot of her courses over again, though my professor was going to try to help her transfer pattern drafting. I began to think, if these courses that I am taking, that have recently been causing me stress, wouldn’t even go towards a bachelors degree, do I really want to be spending thousands of dollars on them? Or more importantly, valuable time on them when I could be cultivating my creativity differently?

Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking “Amanda, you are learning about all the valuable things you want to learn about, right?” Well, yeah, I am. I am excited about Couture Design because I think it is something I will do well in and more importantly, enjoy the process of completing. The thought of taking a theory course, with no bearing on my life to complete a program that sadly, I am starting to think won’t help me compete with all those day students, is becoming less and less desirable. It’s not just the cost of the courses; it’s that if I am being completely honest with myself, the things I want to do and achieve really have no stipulations on whether I complete a fashion design program at an accredited university. It has to do with my end goals (which are still in the development stages) and the lessons that will help me reach those goals. For instance, I think that there are two more courses that have my name written all over them, Millenary (hat making) and some manor of textile design, preferably by hand as opposed to digital. These are tools that I want in my tool box… those are things I want to use as a foundation to create things that are beautiful and from me… the others? I don’t know if I need them or even want them. For now I am on to Couture Design and plan to make the most of it and will try to get a good grade. If I don’t? I am not going to stress because ultimately, what I am learning is only to help me creatively. There aren’t really grades on that.

Note: My goals have been ever developing. I used to think I wanted to work as a contract fashion designer at one the local companies (J. Jill, TJX, Puma etc) but now think I want to create my own business, handmade with love including, most recently, hats and veils. Both the man and the girls at lunch agree that I really need to hunker down and get my direction and goals in line.

Words of Wisdom anyone?

5 comments:

  1. Wow, impressive! Keep us updated...I want to know more!!

    http://jezzdallasmakeup.blogspot.com/

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  2. I feel the same way about my art program. I'm only finishing because I need the degree to teach o the college level eventually. But teaching is not my main goal. I often find myself thinking that this is all useless, what matters is my body of work, not finishing a program full of classes that are teaching me things I already know.
    My situation is a little different from yours, but I can definitely understand it.

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  3. I feel the same way about my art program. I'm only finishing because I need the degree to teach o the college level eventually. But teaching is not my main goal. I often find myself thinking that this is all useless, what matters is my body of work, not finishing a program full of classes that are teaching me things I already know.
    My situation is a little different from yours, but I can definitely understand it.

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  4. I think that couture design would be right up my alley as well...and that I'd also have a hard time getting motivated for the more theoretical classes.
    I liked your statement about certain courses being tools that you want to have in your toolbox...perhaps tackling those first and spending time brainstorming on the entrepreneurial route will help make the decision on the theory courses/continuing the certificate easier.
    Depending on your background, maybe building this toolkit, and then taking courses related to entrepreneurship/small business would help you build your foundation for future endeavours?


    Devon
    www.InformedStyle.com

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