Not sure how to put this delicately, so I’ll just come right out and say it: I don’t do fashion. Unless, of course, you consider cargo shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops to be valid fashion statements.
That said, I have a niece who reads every issue of Vogue cover-to-cover and has even started sketching out and stitching up some of her own creations. Add the success of long-running television series like Project Runway and What Not To Wear and I’ve come to realize that there are an awful lot of people out there who share her passion for fashion.
Which got me to wondering if there was a way all these style-savvy folks could do more than just watch someone else bringing their distinctive designs to life on TV. Programs that, unlike the many career-oriented schools out there, require commitments measured in days or weeks instead of years.
And to my surprise, I’ve found several extraordinary experiences that seem all but guaranteed to make anyone’s long-repressed fashionista fantasies come true:
This five-day “summer camp” in midtown Manhattan gives teens a chance to explore all aspects of the fashion industry while dreaming up and presenting their own unique “brand.” An advanced follow-up session offers an in-depth look at working for fashion magazines and designing for the runway.
The haute couture capital of Milan, Italy provides a once-in-a-lifetime backdrop for these summer fashion design programs that feature individualized instruction from pros currently working in some of Europe’s trendiest design studios. The best part is that classes are available for all levels of experience, from complete novices to working professionals.
No time for a drawn-out program of study? Try this school’s series of adult-friendly four-day “crash courses” in everything from fashion illustration to basic sewing. Also check out their one-day workshop on how to design, manufacture, and market your own collection.
Located across the Hudson from New York City, these Bag Lab workshops make it easy for anyone to design and stitch up their own one-of-a-kind handbag. Can’t make the trip? Send them sketches and notes on fabrics, detailing and the like and they’ll be happy to make your vision a reality.
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