Clothing designers apply their knowledge of style, line, colour, proportion and fabrics to the task of designing clothing. The industry covers a broad spectrum of work and a designer may slot in at various levels of creativity.
Clothing design is a very competitive field and only a few designers become trend-setting fashion leaders. Factories manufacturing garments for the mass market employ most of the clothing designers.
Clothing designers create clothes that can be produced within a certain price range and in keeping with current styles and trends. They get ideas for styles by scanning trade publications, visiting stores and travelling and observing lifestyles. They develop and record their ideas by making sketches, draping dummies and making patterns.
They select colours, fabric and trimmings for their designs and then prepare samples or model garments, which are checked carefully for appearance, fit and quality of work. If accepted, the samples are included in their lines and presented to sales personnel or private clients.
Fashion styling falls into this field and entails the selection and adaptation of high-fashion garments for lower-budget production for the mass market. A designer may also specialise in certain types of clothing, such as footwear, hats, or sportswear.
Schooling & School Subjects
Diploma The three-year National Diploma: N.Dip: Fashion Design or Clothing Production is offered by NMMU, WSU, CPUT, CUT, TUT, UJ, DUT, VUT, and Maluti, Northlink, Port Elizabeth and Flavius Mareka TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges. DUT and TUT also offer a BTech in Fashion and Textile Design.
Private Colleges The following private colleges offer courses in Clothing or Fashion Design: Cape Town College of Fashion, ICESA, City Varsity, Intec and Lindiwe Kuzwayo Academy of Fashion Design. Linea Academy also offers training in Fashion Design and is currently following a validation path towards a BA degree in Fashion Design through Nottingham Trent University in the UK.
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