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Life of a Fashion Designer
Written by Kristen Cho | Published. 2020.10.19 16:54 | Count : 1148

Fashion is fascinating. It does not take the 2006 film Devil Wears Prada for one to be intrigued into the fascinating, yet mysterious world of fashion and want to make a career in the industry. However, besides the obvious allure, an aspiring future fashion designer often finds him/herself lost on how to actually get there. Whereas there is a medical school for becoming a doctor, and a law school for aspiring lawyers, there is no Harvard School of Fashion to ordain a designer. The path to becoming a fashion designer is so diverse; one would not know where to start.

[Blackpink Rosé wearing Consteller D.L.’s dress.
Picture Credit: Consteller D.L.] 

Consteller D.L., a visual creative director and a fashion designer with twenty plus years of experience in the profession, provided insight into becoming a fashion designer. Consteller D.L’s modern and trendy style had fascinated many audiences. Starting out with her own fashion show and launching her own brand, she realized the beauty of her job. “There are so many different sets of skills and experience needed to become a successful fashion designer. There is no one clear path to get there,” Consteller started. In communicating and appealing her style, a fashion designer can take inspiration not only from fashion, but music, literature and art at large. So any experience in those fields would serve as a good foundation upon which to build the craft of fashion designing according to Consteller. She herself did not major in fashion, but studied fine art. She started her installation art career, and picked up fashion drawings and pattern skills later just along the way.  Using her background as an example, she repeatedly emphasized the importance of in-depth appreciation, understanding, and education about the art and culture at large, even though the specific field of art you are interested in, like sculpture or digital media, may not obviously seem related to fashion design.

[A screenshot of Interview with Consteller D.L. via email, Photo credit: Kristen Cho]
[Business Card of Consteller D.L. Photo credit: Consteller D.L.]

Your determination to become a fashion designer is far more fundamental than your field of study. This will change how you perceive and imagine things. “If you want to become a designer one day, you have to engage yourself now in the constant struggle to wriggle free from the stereotypes and fixed ideas, using your imagination,” she urged. But how? Learn to observe any object around you intently, a pen or a cup. Then use your imagination to turn those objects into something else! An idea leads to more ideas, and a collection of ideas could eventually turn into inspiration. Get in the habit of jotting down your ideas in a note. Above all else, soak in diverse ideas, cultures, and arts and nourish yourself with what can be the source of those ideas. “If you think that the work of a fashion designer is elegantly sitting before a drawboard until something pretty just pops out from the tip of your pen, and playing Barbie with the models, I suggest you find something else to build your career on,” Consteller said. She expressed concern over increasing popularity about the profession. Being focused just on the outward glamour of the job, without painfully thinking of how time-consuming the job is, you will have to go back to the foundation steps of the art. Even then, to create something requires never-ending mental anguish and self-doubts until an inspiration may or may never strike you.

[A Picture of Consteller D.L.’s company website.
Photo credit: Consteller D.L. & 칼레이 엑시드 - KaleiXID]

It was not clear whether the interview with Consteller made the path to become the next Alexander McQueen more clear-cut: she did not point to a single, all-encompassing fashion designing degree that only she knew to exist.  However, she provided a clear insight into where and how to start.  Start perceiving things differently, use your imagination, and build a sound foundation in any field of art regardless of whether it seems immediately relevant to fashion.



Kristen Cho
Grade 10
Seoul Foreign School

Kristen Cho  student_reporter@dherald.com

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