By Elizabeth Morgan
Fashion design is the practical art devoted to the design of garments, fashion wear, clothes in general and lifestyle accessories.
Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895) was the first fashion 'designer' and not merely a dressmaker. He was the first to put up a 'fashion house' in Paris, where many young designers trained under him and were taught the skill and creativity that Frederick had with fabric.
Modern fashion design is generally divided into two broad categories -- 'haute couture' and 'ready-to-wear.' A designer's haute-couture collection is intended for private clientele and is custom made, cut and sewn. For a fashion house to be eligible to be an official 'haute couture' house, a designer or company must register with the Syndical Chamber for Haute Couture, a body of designers based in Paris and governed by the French Department of Fashion Industry that includes many international designers. An haute couture house is required to display their fashion collections twice a year with a minimum of 35 complete outfits in each show. They are often modeled on the catwalk and exhibited in private salons.
Ready-to-wear compilations are not custom made for private customers. They come in standard sizes, and this makes them more fitting for larger productions. Ready-to-wear collections can be further classified as designers' collections and confection collections. Designer collections have a premium finish and an exclusive cut and design. The designer's ready-to-wear collection is also modeled on catwalks all around the world. Confection collections are the clothes that we usually see in shops. These collections are designed by fashion artists. The brands that produce confection collections solely target the masses.
As fashion has become increasingly a large industry, fashion artists have also ventured into the designing of products that accompany clothes like perfume, handbags and foot wear.
By Elizabeth Morgan
The textile and Fashion industries are the second largest industrial sector in the world, second only to the food industry. As in any high volume sector, the textile and fashion industries include a large variety of sub sectors: from elite fashion designers in Europe and the United States to mass production sewing workshops in India and China, from exclusive car upholstery designers to bedding products manufacturers etc.
Given the fact that a mere 30% of textile and fashion designers and manufacturers use computer aided design (CAD) software for the design process, these sectors hold substantial market growth potential in coming years.
When you keep in mind that the other 70% still work in a completely manual process using scissors and cardboards, there is a great deal of operational and production effectiveness this industry still has to achieve in order to catch up to its complementary industries (car, aircraft, elite fashion etc.).
Given the fact that all these factories with non-computerized work processes do use different software solutions for other processes, a non-dependent software solution is necessary – if only for its hardware flexibility and the abilities to fit into any existing or newly acquired hardware.
There are a few fashion design software firms who have picked up that flag, and now make software solutions that are easier to implement. Hopefully this process in which fashion design software companies have made a step towards their clients, will make the switch to computer aided design in the fashion and textile industries an easier and faster one.
Online Fashion Schools teach students about the exciting world of Fashion Merchandising and Design, without traveling to a classroom. Through a distance learning course, individuals can study at home to become certified in all areas of current Fashion including clothing, hair, makeup, jewelry, accessories, and interior design.
Online classes prepare professionals for a career in Fashion without giving up current employment. They teach students how to incorporate the latest trends into their own custom designs, and to compete in a cutting-edge industry that is constantly evolving.
The online Fashion curriculum includes fabrics and textiles, drawing, CAD, costumes, draping and cutting, clothing construction, sewing and sewing machines, fashion history, planning and buying, merchandising, retailing, and store management.
A distance learning course can be completed in two years, resulting in an Associate of Arts degree specializing in Fashion Design, Interior Design or Fashion Merchandising. A four-year online course of study can result in a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis on Fashion. Post-graduate students may continue their college education to receive a Master's Degree in Fashion Merchandising.
There are numerous choices of Fashion careers available, including designer, cutter, draper, costumer, makeup artist, photographer, hairstylist, runway model, buyer, and merchandiser, to name a few. In the course of their careers, many professionals travel to some of the greatest Fashion capitals of the world, including New York, Miami, London, Paris, and Milan. Depending on the level of education and experience, earning potential in the Fashion industry is practically unlimited.
Find Online Fashion Schools and distance learning courses to "suit" you by searching the many options available at www.schoolsgalore.com.
By Josh Riverside
CAD fashion software includes different components such as pattern design, grading, detailing, marker layout, and CAD drafting which are ideal for home based as well as commercial applications. The software uses an innovative approach to pattern design that can be used to create original designs in different shapes and sizes. CAD fashion software users include different entities such as state universities, small specialty colleges, commercial fashion houses, home business operators, and individuals.
The software is designed according to actual apparel design process for designing made-to-measure or ?multiple size accurate grading? in seconds. Users just need to enter the measurement distance between two end points of the apparel design to automatically grade complex design curves.
The software eliminates the need for expensive digitizing table as users can photograph existing paper patterns and covert them into two or three dimensional digital images with the help of the software. It helps in creating accurate apparel patterns and adjusting pattern curves without puckering to manufacture professional looking garments. It allows users to work with different measurement systems such as imperial (inches) or metric (cm or mm) and is compatible with different operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Solaris, and SunOS.
Software tools provided with the software allow users to create or modify patters according to individual or client requirements. The software is extensively used in designing patterns used in lingerie, swim wear, sports apparel, casual uniforms, bridal wear, evening dresses, tailored suits, baby clothes, dolls, bags, and furniture. The software has hundreds of pre-designed pattern blocks, which can be used as it is or modified to create new innovative patterns.
The software also contains self paced tutorials developed over many years that enables new users to become proficient in fashion CAD designing in the shortest possible time. Amateur users can also join online fashion CAD design clubs for getting continuous technical support and software updates.
By Gaurav Doshi
The copying of fashion design originals - “knocking off” or “affordable interpretation,” depending on your point of view - is a practice that designers may have grudgingly accepted in the past, when less expensive copies took some time to reach stores and only those consumers who could afford the designer-label originals could be the first to follow a trend. This practice is costing designers greatly as more advanced technology makes it possible to see high-quality copies appear in stores before the original has even hit the market. While it has long been the practice of the American fashion industry to knock off European designs, American designers did not copy one another. They registered their original sketches with a trade group called the Fashion Originators Guild, an organization that urged retailers to prohibit styles known to be knockoffs.
In 1941, the Supreme Court held that the Guild was an unreasonable restraint-of-trade; the end of the Guild marked the beginning of the knocking off “free-for-all” that we are familiar with today began. It is now common for imitators to photograph the clothes in a designer’s runway show, send the photo to a factory to be copied, and have a sample ready within a couple of days for retail buyers to order. Since fashion collections are displayed in runway shows approximately four to five months before they are available to the public, this leaves the fashion impersonator plenty of time to get the copies to stores at the same time, if not earlier, than the originals. Designers assert that design piracy cuts into their longstanding franchise of uniqueness, lowers their sales volume, and ultimately removes incentives for creativity.
Sometimes the same department stores that carry the higher-priced version of a garment will also sell the lower-priced knockoff, often under the store’s private label. Knocking-off is widespread in the fashion industry and even those designers who fume over being copied are not above doing it themselves. Because of the speed with which designs can be recreated, it is not even always clear which designer created the original and which designer simply copied it. This discussion will explore how protection of fashion works fits – or does not fit – into the current intellectual property law framework in the United States. The overall organization of this discussion is a systematic consideration of possible protection for works of fashion under copyright, patent, and trade dress law. This discussion will encompass not only the current state of the law, but also proposals for reform, such as an amendment to the Copyright Act to protect fashion works.
The central question is whether fashion design is an art worthy of protection or a craft whose practitioners can freely copy one another. In an industry where many designers come out with similar looks each season - and where inspiration is said to be "in the air" - designers and the thriving knockoff industry are fiercely debating the issue.
Another key question: whether knockoffs actually benefit the industry as a whole. Copying, some argue, propels the fashion cycle forward by creating popular trends that encourage designers to move on to the next big idea. In what they call the "piracy paradox," law professors Kal Raustiala of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Christopher Sprigman of the University of Virginia argue that copying makes trends drench the market quickly, driving the fashion cognoscenti to search out newer looks. "If copying were illegal, the fashion cycle would occur very slowly, if at all," While they admit copying can harm individual designers, they say Congress should protect industries only when piracy stymies -- rather than encourages -- innovation.
Despite the apparent unsuitability of copyright protection to works of fashion, commentators are often confused by the anomalies in copyright law under which fashion accessories, works of architecture, and computer chip designs are eligible for copyright protection. Some argue that since copyright has already been extended to protect the aforementioned items, copyright may be the best legal tool that fashion designers have when fighting design piracy.
For example, Robert Denicola has argued that it would be more consistent with the legal principles of intellectual property law to draw the line of copyright with respect to arguably “useful articles” by shaping whether, in the process of creating the item, the designer focused primarily on aesthetic or utilitarian consideration. Such a test would to a great extent improve the odds that works of fashion would be granted copyright protection, as most fashion designers are concerned with the aesthetic rather than the functional aspects of their clothing.
The specific extension of copyright to fashion works would have many advantages for designers. First, a copyright owner may seek an injunctive remedy to prevent the impersonator of his or her design from making and selling copies of the original. Second, copyright law allows for the imposing and discarding of the infringing items. Third, the copyright owner can recover damages, either actual or statutory, and also profits. Finally, the copyright owner may be able to recover court costs and attorney’s fees. This last remedy is especially important in fashion design cases, as it allows small new designers to take on big manufacturers whose greater power and financial resources would otherwise be an intractable obstacle. Despite these advantages to fashion designers, an amendment to the Copyright Act for works of fashion is not likely to be passed soon. As one commentator concisely stated that the current situation of the legislators and courts has a great deal of trouble seeing past the utilitarian function of a piece of clothing. While industrial designs have been the subject of repeated bills, Congress has explicitly excluded fashion works from these bills. For example, while the Design Anti-Piracy Act of 1989 would have protected original designs of useful articles against unauthorized copying, the bill would have barred apparel designs composed of three-dimensional shapes and surfaces with respect to apparel. According to one commentator, this exclusion has no basis in any discernible principle. It was added to help still the vociferous opposition of retailers to the bill.” In this current climate of judicial and legislative hostility, copyright protection will probably not be extended to specifically protect fashion works.
Fashion seems to be an industry particularly ill-suited to legal restrictions against copying. Copying – or “borrowing” or “reinterpreting” – is prevalent at every level of the fashion industry. When a lower-priced designer knocks off a higher-priced designer’s clothing, the copy may be a huge success because it offers more value for the price. But it is the higher-priced designers who are copying each other.
Fashion designers labors over their finished product just like any other creator or inventor. It takes hours upon hours of careful effort until a dress with just the right cut or a purse with the perfect design is complete. Why should this hard work and effort not grant the person behind the creation some level of security, allowing them to collect the benefits of their labor?
As a matter of Public policy it is generally believed that copycats are good for the economy. The claim asserts that preventing copyright for fashion eliminates the possibility of a monopoly by providing the consumer with lower priced knockoffs. Furthermore it is contended that knockoffs really promote business for the designer by creating a market for a style of fashion. But do we believe this actually? And what’s wrong with having a monopoly on fashion? When a consumer spends thousands of dollars on a purse or a dress that others will recognise as a Louis Vuitton or Versace, they should be able to enjoy the exclusivity that comes with such a purchase. Knockoffs steal from the consumer of their exclusive right to enjoy a specific product.
There are policy based arguments behind the government’s resistance to providing a copyright for fashion; ranging from the dislike for creation of monopolies to improving the market.
If the designer believes another person infringed his copyright, he could sue those who sell or manufacture the design in any federal court. Those found guilty would face fines of 250,000 or $5 a copy, whichever is greater.
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