Shape Studies: dress, 1st Bachelor Degree 2011-2012, Fashion Department, Royal Academy Antwerp
The freshman year of the training in fashion design at the Antwerp Academy is composed around three principle artistic subjects. The most important course is fashion design. The other two principle courses are graphic design and tailoring/pattern design.
For their first assignment in fashion design, students are required to produce a study of a skirt, which is subsequently executed in the ‘coupe’, or tailoring course. Their second assignment is the study and creation of a dress, which is produced in coloured poplin (a particular quality of cotton). The treatment and the various processes (pleating, folding, wrinkling, etc.) of the material, react according to the specific selection of fabric.
The design phase deals with the basic elements of the design process: line, form and volume, proportions, balance and rhythm, handling the material, movement, and the body in relation to design. In this assignment, the study of the sleeve, sometimes in combination with the collar, is particularly crucial. The emphasis usually lies on the dress as a form of apparel in relation to the body, rather than the dress as an object in itself.
For the student, conducting research is a very important part of developing his or her concept. Students are first encouraged to study historical and ethnic designs. These pave the way to interesting studies of form, which will later prove essential in their future design trajectory.
VARIATIONS runs till 9th of June in the MoMu Gallery. Free entrance.