Fashion design is the art & application of design and
aesthetics to clothing, footwear and accessories. Fashion design
elements are often influenced by cultural and social attitudes. Fashion
designers, illustrators, merchandisers, and artists work in a number of
ways in designing clothing and accessories. Because of the time required
to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate
changes to consumer tastes. In other words, they often need to
Some clothes are made specifically for an individual, as in the case
of haute couture or bespoke tailoring. However, the majority of the
worlds apparel is designed for the mass market. Therefore fashion
design is important to both high end as well as casual and every-day
wear which can be referenced as ready to wear (pret-a-porter).
Fashion designers work in many different ways. Some sketch their
ideas on paper, while others use modern CAD software for the entire
design process. Some designers will simply drape fabric on a dress
form rather than sketch at all. The scope of fashion design goes
beyond simply creating illustrations on paper on or a computer.
The process will also include pattern making, fit testing, sample
making, and more.
Professional designers will typically consult a professional pattern
maker who then makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of
card or via a computerized system. The pattern maker's job is very
precise and painstaking. The fit of the finished garment depends on
their accuracy. Finally, a sample garment is made up and tested on a
model to make sure it is an operational outfit.
There are a number of specialized art schools and design schools
worldwide that offer degrees in fashion design and fashion design
technology. Some colleges also offer Masters of Fashion courses.
Learn about fashion design
schools in our education section.
You may also have interest in viewing the following pages: