Jobs on Thursday: Become a Real Trend-Setter; Careers in Fashion Design

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IF you're creative, can draw and are interested in fashion, a career in fashion design may suit you well. Michelle Rushton put her newest clothes on to find out more

What does a career in fashion design involve Fashion designers design clothes, and often accessories to match, predicting trends and market designs. They may choose to concentrate on certain areas such as wedding dresses or lingerie. Some designers specialise in couture - which means designing one-off garments for individual customers - or ready-to-wear collections, which are sold in relatively small numbers under the designer's name. Others design clothes and accessories for a mass market - sold in high-street fashion stores.

The design process involves drawing sketches by hand or on a computer, choosing the fabrics and colours, then trying out ideas by pinning fabrics onto a dummy. Patterns and samples are created from these original ideas, but designers also have to consider cost, time-scales and how the garments will be manufactured

What personal skills do you need? You need to be artistic and creative with an eye for colour, texture and pattern, coupled with excellent drawing skills. You also need to be practical to make garments from scratch and skilled in pattern cutting and sewing.

You must be able to communicate your ideas and have a good head for business, budgeting and costing work, as well as being able to market your own work, negotiate with clients and buyers and organise the administrative and financial side

What training do you need? Most fashion designers have a degree or BTEC HNC/HND in fashion, or a BTEC National Diploma. Other qualifications include City & Guilds clothing and knitted craft, manufacturing sewn products and manufacturing textiles and creative studies. A range of NVQs in design. There are postgraduate degrees and diplomas in specialised areas of fashion design and related subjects. …