Links We Love: Milan Fashion Week, What to Do to This Week, Fashion Films, and More

 Dolce & Gabbana's womens show

Goodbye London Town, Ciao Milan! Fall/ Winter Fashion Week season is on full tilt and there’s no stopping the country that brought us sumptuous names like Pucci, Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani, and Moschino.

Mama Mia indeed! Like the supple and serene depictions of the Madonna that adorn the Vatican walls, Dolce & Gabbana invoked a romantic and rather holy vision of motherhood in its women’s fall/ winter 2015-2016 line. This is by no means a maternity line;  complete with real bebe’s in their arms, the runway mamas struck an effortless balance  between pastoral home life and the sophisticated glamour of 1950’s Rome. Everyday is Mother’s Day for D&G, as proclaimed by the adorable children’s drawing prints and embroidered  text ““ti voglio bene mamma” (I love you mama) that marks many of the designer's pencil skirts, dresses and coats. La dolce vita of the line continues in a loving embrace of black and red with classic tailored dresses, lace, fur accents, lavish rose motifs and images of the virgin herself; an altogether immaculate conception. 


At Milan Fashion week, the next generation continues to show their fresh faces, even through the established Italian brands. The delightfully quirky Vivetta Ponti, has proved her revelatory talent as the guest designer for Giorgio Armani’s fall 2015 line. The Milan- based Vivetta brand only began in 2010 and has since become a favorite of A-list celebrities and artists everywhere. Her first big arena runway show at  Giorgio Armani’s Teatro on February 28 was a milestone for the designer whose playful, surrealist creations  are now attracting a greater public. Inspired by a Marianne Faithfull on psychedelics’ concept, Vivetta’s Armani collection was dosed with plenty of neatly embroidered collars ( some of which were hands)  tucked under wildly heady prints, swinging sixties coats touched with fur and fantastical silhouettes. The effect sent viewers through the looking glass along with Alice.

Vivetta for Armani

 Thanks to the designer gods, and a tip off to L.A Sheriff’s Department , Lupita Nyong’o’s pearl strung $150,000 Calvin Klein gown was potentially found after the Oscar appearance dress was taken from her unattended hotel room.  The unknown perpetrator apparently dumped the Francisco Costa designed dress in a bathroom at the West Hollywood London hotel, where the actress had been staying. An investigation continues to determine if this pearly masterpiece is indeed the one Nyonog’o wore and not a copy.  From Marilyn Monroe’s missing jewels to the Saks Fifth Avenue employee heist of last year, the fashion world is laced with mysterious crimes.

Saks employee heist

Alexander McQueen’s exhibit Savage Beauty will make its first tour to Europe, much to the joy of Londoners. Known for being one of the most innovative designers of our time, McQueen wowed and provoked audiences across the world with his unearthly imagination and startling performances. The retrospective show at the V & A presents the entirety of his work from his MA graduate project to his 2010 collection , left unfinished due to his untimely death.

Savage Beauty

 Yes, Los Angles sets your clocks forward, Spring is near! Wait, did it ever leave? To be fair, the rain has made it a bit chilly, by Angeleno standards. Leggings are a go-to cozy comfort and the wardrobe staple has recently received classy upgrades. Pull a  sheer or fridge skirt over those stretchy things and you’ve gone from basic to dressy. Rodarte might have crafted the sophisticated ideal leggings in its fall 2015 collection: tight leather, high waisted and lace-lined.

Rodarte leggings

While the debate continues whether or not leggings count as pants, the world of bottoms have gotten rather flared. The mix of denim from the 70’s and 90’s rages on as designers and fashion forwards take on the challenge of the perfect bell bottom. The results seem to strike the right balance of groovy: too dopey hippie kid, not too understated. Paired with platform boots, a big rimmed hat and some fur accents, the flower child has gone sleek.

Flared-jeans trend

Mark your planners, this week is spotted with fashion events.  On Thursday, March 5, head to a party for See Eyewear at the brand’s Americana at Brand’s store hosted by Project Runway winner Mondo Guerra  for music, food and swag.  If you love vintage and a natural hand dyed, on the way to Big Sur look, don’t miss Stash Style’s pop up store that will remain for the month of March at Das Shop in Venice.  The worldly jewlary company Jet Set Candy opens a trunk show at Bloomingdales in Century City, Santa Monica Place and the Beverly Center March 12-14. Impassioned by the wonders of travel, Jet Set Candy features unique souvenir inspired tokens make from quality silver, 14k vermeil and solid gold.


Speaking of our busy city, who knew Los Angeles darling, writer/ director/ actress/ app creator,  Miranda July designed a purse? In October of last year, July teamed up with leather designer Welcome Companions to create a bag as brilliantly uncanny as her art.  The inside pockets of the red boxy bag reveals a survival kit  every lovable neurotic could want; a small bottle of homeopathic calming pills, one almond for low blood sugar, an emergency nightgown and a deck of “multi-purpose cards,” that entitle the holder one free item from the store of their choice and lend agency in other surrealist situations. This limited edition bag, sold only at Opening Ceremony, is a work of art that plays with ideas of consumerism and the emotional lives of objects.

Miranda bag

Hungry for more? This weekend, sit back and prepared to get inspired by a delicious spread of fashion films. These spellbinding and need to know films are hand picked by the highly acclaimed fashion critic, video journalist and first ever fashion blogger Diane Pernet  who single handedly catapulted the new medium into the public eye and popular use. Pernet’s blog A Shaded View on Fashion, and her subsequent A Shaded View on Fashion Films festival have long been coveted resources for the industry’s evolution into the digital age. The cutting edge genre has released the fashion world from the physical confines of the runway to the curated experience of a whole world. While show rooms, ads, and fashion shows do evoke emotion, fashion films have restored narrative and performance art to fashion in a crucial way. ASVOFF has collaborated with some of the most important artists and designers of our time including Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, photographer Nan Goldin, song writer Leonard Cohen and filmmaker Chris Cunningham. Thanks to Pernet, Fashion PR is forever changed; the accessible and short format has given new designers the ability to transcend industry barriers and promote the essence of their creations without the runway costs and are increasingly a choice of expression for insiders. Take a few moments and get acquainted with these films and note- the possibilities are endless.

Amante by Paul te Riele fashion film



Lauren Conrad Designs Disney Cinderella Collection for Kohl's



FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad has designed a whimsical Disney Cinderella collection for Kohl's, under her LC Lauren Conrad line. The 24-piece collection includes dress, skirts, sweaters, and knits, including a glass slipper sweater, a layered tulle skirt, fawn heels, an organza-bow back dress, and a tea-length skirt. The new collection, which is in Kohl's stores now, was released in conjunction with Disney's Cinderella film, out March 13, 2015. 



Merchandise Marketing Grad Opens Her Second Boutique in Napa Valley



Allison Molinatti, a graduate of FIDM's Merchandise Marketing Program, has opened her second boutique (the first is in Manhattan Beach, California) in the Napa Valley. Allison [in wine country] carries women's clothing and accessories, along with children's apparel and gifts. “There was a real need for children’s items in St. Helena as there is no other store in town that carries children’s clothes,” Allison told the Napa Valley Register. “We wanted moms, grandparents and tourists to be able to pick up clothes for their little ones.”



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Dreams of Working as Fashion or Beauty Editor



Name: Emily Long

Age: 16

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

High School: I am currently a junior at Fleming Island High School in Fleming Island, Florida.

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles Campus; July 2016

Admissions Advisor: Christian Moralde

How did your advisor help with the process? Christian was absolutely unsurpassed when it came to encouraging my creativity and explaining the entire application process. He walked me through every little detail and saved me a ton of stress.

Tell us a bit about yourself. When I was 13, I dipped my toes into the fashion industry by signing to a modeling agency in Miami, Florida. I loved it so much and decided to pursue my dreams even further by becoming an intern at Bridal Beauty Magazine. After sacrificing several weekends, I became Junior Fashion Editor and I had the privilege of attending New York Bridal Fashion Week. I had the time of my life running around from fashion show to fashion show in a city that I absolutely adore.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Attending New York Bridal Fashion Week has definitely been one of my proudest accomplishments. While I was there, I spoke to the director of London Fashion Week and acquired London Fashion Week invites for everyone at the magazine. I think that experience really aided me in the discovery of my interest in public relations. Also, three days after I got accepted into FIDM, I was accepted into an 8-day business program at an Ivy League school. I have had much fortune in my endeavors, and it goes to show that if you persist in your desires, your dreams will become a reality.

What made FIDM right for you? When a FIDM representative visited to give my design class a presentation, I fell in love. I appreciate how hands-on each program is and I know that if I attend this school, I can pursue my dream career in a location that I love.

Describe your entrance project. For my project, I had to create a store, describe my target consumer, and then pick five outfits to represent the brand I was going for. I developed an innovative boutique named Poteré (which translates to “power” in Italian). While this store carries designers from Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney, it also has its own private line with a more affordable priceline. For every outfit purchased from this line, a duplicate outfit will be sent to an unemployed or underemployed woman to wear to job interviews. The Poteré woman exudes confidence, and walks with it too.

What are your career goals? I’ve always known that the fashion industry was right for me, so when I met the senior buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, I definitely looked into becoming a buyer. While that sounds appealing, I would love to become a fashion or beauty editor for a magazine such as Cosmopolitan or Elle.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to accumulate knowledge on all the ins and outs of marketing within the fashion industry. I would absolutely love to take classes based on learning how to market goods, make contacts, and build leadership skills.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student is a Graduate of UCLA



Name: Alexander Jimenez

Age: 23

Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA

Previous College: UCLA

FIDM MajorGraphic Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2015. 

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? Margaret was super helpful. She walked me through FIDM's background, many of its programs, and set me up on multiple tours. This was all when I knew nothing about FIDM, but she was able to show me how it was just what I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really like to draw characters, but I have a hard time with backgrounds and setting. Currently, I'm most inspired by Hayao Miyazaki for his animation philosophy, and by the guys who made Avatar and Legend of Korra because they definitely developed their own pan-American-Asian combo style that is top-notch. I like to read a lot; science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres in fiction, but mostly I read books about design, economics, physics, and geography. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was getting my fraternity to turn up for the 2013 Dance Marathon at UCLA. It was a big deal since we'd never done it before but we ended up with the biggest team and I think we still have the record for most money ever raised by a fraternity at that event, and they still go to it each year, which is even better since I know other guys were inspired to keep it up. That being said, I also got into salads last year, which I personally associate with finally growing up. That's something to be proud of right?

What made FIDM right for you? I can tell FIDM is right for me because it intimidates me. That means there's a lot to accomplish. And I'm a little too competitive in most things, but FIDM seems like the kind of place where it's okay to go overboard.

What are your career goals? I'd like to run my own studio at some point in the future, and preferably before I'm old and wrinkly. As of right now there are just way too many cool things that I've seen and read about but don't know how to do yet that my short time priority is to learn, no matter what I'm doing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Just about anything that comes my way. If I had to pick some priorities I'd really like to learn how to sew, improve my digital painting, and get into web design.




FIDM Students Receive Scholarships to Three-Day Styling Bootcamp


The International Style Institute, which recently hosted a three-day styling bootcamp at the Grove in Los Angeles, generously offered FIDM Students scholarships (the event normally costs $1,900) to attend the event. "Students submitted a 500- to 1,000-word essay to me on why they wanted to be a stylist and why they should be chosen for this scholarship," explains Student Activities Director Caitlin Madden. "All students with a 3.0 or higher GPA qualified for this opportunity and they selected five to attend."

Those students (pictured above with celebrity stylists Louise Roe and Anita Patrickson) were Kimberly Douglas, Amanda Daucher, Alejandra Palma Galindo, Christina Walker, and Taylor Dini. The students were all placed on teams to create individual looks. They met with their clients, shopped for them, and styled everything from the garments to the hair and makeup. Guests at the event included Julianne Hough and Kelly Atterton, West Coast Editor for Allure.


The participating students also walked away with a binder full of contacts in the styling industry, professional photos of their styled looks, and a massive swag bag full of everything a stylist might need (tape, safety pins, adhesives, lint rollers, etc.), along with makeup, the new Essie nail collection, and more.




FIDM Instructor/Department Coordinator Lisa Hoffman Installs Public Art in Bay Area


Lisa Hoffman, FIDM Instructor and Department Coordinator for Graphic Design, Visual Communications, and Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing at the San Francisco campus is also a visual artist. Her recent work, PopDots, features bold graphics printed on vinyl and heat adhered to the surface of utility boxes. Buttons and Zippers are located in downtown San Leandro at E. 14th Street and Estudillo, while Lightning is a few miles away alongside La Piñata.




Just Accepted Social Media Student Wants to Express Her Creativity in the Entertainment Industry



Name: Stephanie Christopoulos

Age: 16

Hometown: La Quinta, CA

FIDM Major: Social Media

Campus and Start Date: LA, Fall of 2016

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help you with the process? She was very encouraging the entire time, and was a very positive influence. She made me feel like I could accomplish my goals, which I am very grateful for.

Tell us about yourself. I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, but I really enjoy interacting on social media (e.g. Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram etc.)

What are your proudest accomplishments? Right now, it would be the early acceptance into FIDM, especially because I'm only a junior right now.

What made FIDM right for you? Before hearing about FIDM, I really wasn't excited about college because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I've always known that it was important and I would have to go, but I wanted to find something I was passionate about. Once I heard about FIDM, and saw the Social Media degree, I knew that it was right for me. I'm always on social media anyways, so why not make a career out of it? Another great thing I like about FIDM is the part were I get to show my creativity and work with people in the industry through internships. 

Tell us about your entrance project. I had to create a blog for a company and touch on different demographics about my customer. After getting the project, I decided to create my own company called FanMaster. Another hobby of mine is listening to music; I have become very dedicated to a few artists/singers in the past. My idea with this company was to eliminate scalpers, and sell tickets at the affordable face value price to the dedicated fan. The key to the website, is social media (Twitter and Tumblr).

If you are a dedicated fan like I was, you would have what's called a fan account. In order to use the website, you would need to link your fan account to the FanMaster website, and from there it will determine wether or not you are a true dedicated fan. Ticket prices are outrageous when put in the hands of scalpers because they inflate the price so much. It's not fair to teenagers and young adults, but FanMaster would help solve that issue.

What are your career goals? My career goal is to work in the entertainment industry, whether it be at YouTube or somewhere else. I want to have a job that allows me to travel and be my creative self. I want to be able to go to different events and/or award shows and interview famous people, and write up a blog about it after. My ultimate goal is to show the world who I am, with my creative abilities.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the tools I need to succeed in social media such as how to target a specific customer range, or how to successfully engage a customer using a social media platform to buy a certain product.



MPD Alumna and Business Owner Shares Her Success Secrets


Tell us about your company ESEF ApparelESEF Apparel started when I was 17, with a group of friends, originally as a graphic t-shirt company. I would rent out venues, hire bands, and charge a $10 entry fee. With entry to my events you were given a "free" shirts. This is what I was doing during my time at FIDM. The clothing company at the time was more of a fun thing that I enjoyed doing. While at FIDM I learned how to use Illustrator, and Photoshop very fluently. I really utilized the experience I had finding resources to bring down the cost per unit and how to maximize profit from FIDM.

After FIDM, I attended UC Berkeley and majored in Media Studies. Coinciding with my time at Berkeley, ESEF Apparel turned into a screen printing company. I enjoyed the process of creating t-shirts. By nature I am a relationship builder, I love connecting with people, and creating new friendships. At Berkeley, I was able to connect with many of the sororities, school organizations, and local businesses. Many of those first clients are still my current customers.

Since Berkeley, ESEF Apparel has really grown. We have more than tripled in business every year. We finished last year completing 805 screen printing and embroidery jobs. The growth is explosive, excited, exhausting, and scary all at the same time. I now have eight employees and run a full-service garment embellishment facility. This business truly started in the garage and now is in a fairly large warehouse.

How did FIDM help prepare you to run your own business? At FIDM you are given what feels like 150 hours work of work and have to figure out how to do it in 20 hours. This is real life. This is how FIDM makes you successful -- they prepare you for the real working world. Everything you learn can be directly applied to how to work.

Where do you see your business headed in the coming years? Hopefully we will go back the basic foundation of where ESEF started and create an original clothing line. Also, I would like to start making shirts for major corporate companies. Right now we are forecasted to produce 200,000 units this year. Hopefully we will reach around 1 million in the next five years.

Esef Apparel | Feeling Funky from Esef Apparel on Vimeo.




How Do You Empower Women Through Fashion? This Student Is Determined to Do It!



Name: Maria-Adelina Eftenoiu

Age: 27

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

Previous College: The Academy of Economic Studies – Bucharest, Romania

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor has been amazingly helpful in the admission process. During this period we have met and constantly communicated in order to check my progress and also to eliminate any confusion I may have had regarding the application process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Fashion has been appealing to me since I was a child. I grew up in a country that had just come out of Communism and was back then – and still is – struggling through a transitional economy. As soon as I came to the U.S. I was mesmerized by how things work here and first and foremost by people’s attitude – very encouraging and positive and friendly – and also by the nature of this environment, where I soon realized that opportunities are absolutely endless if you are willing to work hard. Since working hard was not new to me, I decided to pursue my passion even though that would mean to start from scratch.

My hobbies include horseback riding, piano playing, and martial arts; I am a brown belt in Korean karate and working toward getting my black belt. I am also very interested in learning and getting to know as many cultures around the world as I could during my lifetime. Another special interest of mine and life goal is to empower women and children in underdeveloped countries to be able to live a life of purpose rather than merely surviving. 

What made FIDM right for you? Choosing FIDM came as a natural decision to me after visiting the Orange County campus a few times and being in contact with my advisor. Also, participating in the “Sew Like a Designer Workshop” with Ferdos Maleki, who was an absolutely amazing instructor for the workshop, gave me a different perspective on FIDM and really solidified my decision to be a student here. At this workshop I have learned in about seven hours how to make a skirt from scratch and it was very motivating and exciting for the next steps I had to take toward admission.

FIDM’s partnerships with fashion industry companies was highly appealing to me as well, as was the Career Center that seems like an exceptional resource to help connect students with companies that fit their interests. In addition, FIDM promises to give a hands-on experience in the fashion world through internships and that was a major part that I considered in my decision.

Describe your entrance project. I had to pick 5 pieces of clothing and modify them and make them affordable for my kind of customer. I put so much energy into this and made it from scratch rather than using a binder to put everything together. I used materials like cork and imitation leather for the cover and fabric instead of paper for each page. This was a very exciting project for me since it allowed my creativity to express itself.

What are your career goals? I am extremely drawn to fashion design and to making beautiful clothing items available to most of the people out there. Designers like Cristóbal Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen have been of great inspiration to me over time and have fueled my dreams about fashion with their remarkable clothing items and their truly enchanting fashion shows. I consider wearing a beautiful piece of clothing empowering and inspiring especially for women and I want to be a part of their empowerment.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Beside design, I expect to learn the business aspect of fashion, such as trend analysis, strategic planning, line development, and preproduction planning.



Tech Fabric Could Slim Down Outerwear

Skiwear copy

Voormi, a tech start-up in Colorado, has created the technology to produce a waterproof, breathable textile with only a single layer of material—an advance that would revolutionize sports action apparel design, according to a report in Wired. Introduced at the Snowsports Industry Association tradeshow the fabric "could eventually replace those stiff, bulky weatherproof shells and conventional layering systems in favor of garments that have multiple, customizable properties—wicking and waterproofing, or insulation and windproofing—all while remaining thin and light." The outerwear market in the U.S. is $1.5 billion a year.



Lourdes Chavez Designer Trunk Shows Occurring Throughout the U.S.


FIDM Graduate Lourdes Chavez is a Los Angeles-based fashion designer who produces two collections each year and specializes in couture. Her label is currently being hosted throughout the U.S. at a series of designer trunk shows, from North Carolina to New Jersey. 

The colorful and charming Spring 2015 collection features Swiss cotton piquet, Italian polished cotton original prints, Geneva silk faille dresses, jackets and separates, floral cut-outs and embroidery, elegant French silk jacquard and brocade cocktail dresses, sophisticated mother-of-the-bride dresses, and glamorous evening gowns. All designs are adaptable to meet the client’s discerning taste and style wishes.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Is UCLA Graduate



Name: Alexander Jimenez

Age: 23

Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA

Previous College: UCLA

FIDM Major: Graphic Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2015. 

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? Margaret was super helpful. She walked me through FIDM's background, many of its programs, and set me up on multiple tours. This was all when I knew nothing about FIDM, but she was able to show me how it was just what I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really like to draw characters, but I have a hard time with backgrounds and setting. Currently, I'm most inspired by Hayao Miyazaki for his animation philosophy, and by the guys who made Avatar and Legend of Korra because they definitely developed their own pan-American-Asian combo style that is top-notch. I like to read a lot; science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres in fiction, but mostly I read books about design, economics, physics, and geography. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was getting my fraternity to turn up for the 2013 Dance Marathon at UCLA. It was a big deal since we'd never done it before but we ended up with the biggest team and I think we still have the record for most money ever raised by a fraternity at that event, and they still go to it each year, which is even better since I know other guys were inspired to keep it up. That being said, I also got into salads last year, which I personally associate with finally growing up. That's something to be proud of right?

What made FIDM right for you? I can tell FIDM is right for me because it intimidates me. That means there's a lot to accomplish. And I'm a little too competitive in most things, but FIDM seems like the kind of place where it's okay to go overboard.

What are your career goals? I'd like to run my own studio at some point in the future, and preferably before I'm old and wrinkly. As of right now there are just way too many cool things that I've seen and read about but don't know how to do yet that my short time priority is to learn, no matter what I'm doing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Just about anything that comes my way. If I had to pick some priorities I'd really like to learn how to sew, improve my digital painting, and get into web design.



Links We Love: London Fashion Week, Oscar Fashion Recap & More

Pugh copy

The opening days of London Fashion Week smelled like teen sprit and looked like a whole lot of girl power. Strapped in all black leather armor, helmets and epic floor-length gowns, designer Gareth Pugh’s warrior women marched down the runway and into battle. The uniform red painted across each model’s face set a very tribal tone that alluded to a distinctly female and historical kind of heroism. 


The young and ever-poetic Simone Rocha impressed with her signature dark and romantic designs, presenting women as holy vessels of history.  Rocha’s extensive line was marked by sculptural dresses of black velvet and Victorian prints and lace and whimsical  floral visions of a mid- summers night dream, all  delicately carrying the idea of the feminine muse.  


Molly Goddard’s grungy prom inspired autumn/ winter line left many critics in a dream state, lullabied into an artsy high by her nostalgic palate and careful frills. The popular collaborative brand Sibling uplifted Brit punk legacy to grrrlish heights. The brand's new line toyed with tension between teen subcultural disguise and the devil-may-care air it yearns to present. Sibling’s 80’s bright colored mix of latex and exaggerated knits was a homage to all our favorite bad girls who strut their fluffy neon mohawks in a night club world where only attitude matters.


The late fashion professor Louise Wilson of the renowned Central Saint Martins and mentor to top Brit names like Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic, and Simone Rocha,  knew that true innovation does not come mildly. Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood are now as much British staples as biscuits with tea. To follow in Wilson’s brazen footsteps, these new bold gems could very well be the next crown jewels of UK fashion.

Lupita 2

You saw the gowns, but do you know the facts? At the Oscars, Lupita Nyong’o  glowed like a modern Aphrodite in a custom Calvin Klein halter neck gown  adorned with 6,000 pearls. Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa made his first Oscar appearance via Lady Gaga, who sported not one, but three of his custom looks. Gaga announced her dedication to the designer over social media and divulged that her first red carpet gown took a Paris team of 25 people and 1600 hours of embroidery. Gaga’s unusual gloves were hand dyed and the orchids in her hair hand painted by Lorraine Schwartz, who also created the signer’s diamond earrings. And the award for most unique dress went to Naomi Watts who wore an graphic Armani Privé black and silver embellished gown that showed some skin with thin 90’s straps and a black bandeau.


This year’s Oscars has been deemed the ‘whitest’ awards show we’ve had since 1998. When the company  Big Group released a photo montage last year of the dresses worn by every Best Actress Winner since 1929 , it just about proved it.  Missing from the fashion archive were actresses of color, who despite their wins, were not included because of the collection’s tight guidelines requiring many years of attendance. February is Black History Month. The legacies of black Americans, and their influence on fashion and design are being celebrated throughout communities and campuses, if not in Hollywood.   Annual black history month fashion shows, often led by black student unions, were held at schools like Columbia University College of The Holy Cross, Pensacola State College and many more. and The L.A Times complied inspiring photo lists of black style icons that includes the first African American super model Naomi Sims, Prince, Erykah Badu X,  70’s bombshell Pam Grier, Bille Holiday, Tina Turner, and of course, Beyonce.

Foxy brown

Is L.A the new New York? Or is it Paris? Long cast as the beach bum sibling of serious fashion cities, L.A is definitely having its fashion coming- of-age. Tom Ford, following suit after Louis Vuitton and Bernhard Wilhelm has christened this moment by hosting his fall 2015 show here in the city of angels and not London. Our city has always been home to the stars, and with the of recent influx of celebrities turned designers (Kayne) and their super famous entourages that line runway front rows,  L.A is poised for a new era of fashion. Though Ford’s show was the same week as London Fashion Week and the Academy Awards, top models, A-listers and editors flew in to to catch the rose-petal doused parade of leather fringe , denim skirts and jackets patched with fur and bright velvet and of course, a sparkly array of evening gowns.


Beyond Hollywood and into studios and laboratories across the globe, there has been a lot of talk lately about tech-smart fabrics. Makiko Minagawa was featured by Metropolis magazine for not only her work with designer Issey Miyake, but her mastery of speciality textiles in her own right. Minagawa, who was born to a family of kimono dyers and designers, creates with the hands of traditional craft and an eye to the cutting edge of contemporary. Inspired by the fine details of everyday life like Japanese lanterns and the fuzzy debris inside a vacuum cleaner,  Minagawa’s designs often go through an old world series of spinners, weavers and traditional dying techniques. Her brand HaaT, which sounds like heart and means market place in Hindi,  incorporates textile customs from from the around the world, especially India. For lovers of both tech and design, Minagawa’s ancient/ futuristic genius cannot go unseen.  


Remember the days when you thought the man in the mouse suit was really Mickey Mouse? This weekend, such dreams come back to life;  a private collector will be auctioning Disneyland costumes worn by its park employees and performers. Collectors will big high for wearable and antique items such as uniforms from the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and Autopia. Special vintage items of note are the 1955 Tomorrowland souvenir fabric, embroidered employee uniform patches and a plethora of tropical items that belonged to “The Enchanted Tiki Room.”




FIDM Grad Victoria Hultquist Working at FASH UNITED—Official Partner of the United Nations Trust Fund


A Southern California native and Merchandise Product Development '14 Grad, Victoria Hultquist is now working as the Outreach and Events Coordinator at FASH UNITED, an official partner of the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF). Their mission? To unite the fashion and design industries through strategic campaigns for fund development and increased awareness of human rights and equality internationally. Victoria is currently working on her Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University.

Tell us about your work at FASH UNITED: We are currently working on celebrity/designer collaborations and live events to fund the UNTF. I work on the communication that is related to designer/retailer collaborations, celebrity campaigns, sponsorships and overall outreach efforts. I also create the designs and layouts for our merchandise, social media, e-mail marketing and overall campaigns. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now?  FIDM prepared me in more ways than one. FIDM creates such a unique learning experience for all of their students and I would say that is what prepared me the most. FIDM taught me how to do everything in the fashion industry that was related to my major with a very hands on experience. They taught me how to learn from my mistakes and turn it into something better. Everything that I studied at FIDM prepared me for what I am currently doing in my career and the amazing jobs that I had while studying at FIDM.

How did you find out about FIDM?  I found out about FIDM my sophomore year in high school. They came to one of my classes and I was immediately intrigued. A year later I had an admissions interview, applied, and got accepted to FIDM within two weeks. And two weeks after high school graduation, I started school at FIDM.

How did you decide on your major?  I decided on my major through the application process.  I went through an extensive questionnaire to help determine my major. I originally wanted to study makeup/beauty, but I realized that I already knew how to use those products and wanted to study something I hadn't learned yet. After obstacles of finding on-trend clothes for my plus size curves I decided I wanted to learn the design/development side of things so that I could cater to every plus size woman out there.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable? The classes that were the most valuable to me were my Illustrator/Photoshop classes, my pattern drafting/sewing classes, and of course Brand Portfolio Development. Those six hour classes were long, but well worth it. Everything that I am doing in my career uses Photoshop/Illustrator. I may not be sewing or drafting patterns at my current position, but I know that some day when I am designing plus size apparel, I will use those skills. In the mean time, I use those skills to create my own clothes. I feel that Brand Portfolio is every FIDM student's most successful class. That is what every student is gearing up for. Everything that we learn is represented in this amazing book of our own creativity.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I could go on for days with advice for current FIDM Students. But, as cliche as it is—don't give up on your dreams. And don't ever let ANYONE tell you that you can't do something. You can do ANYTHING if you set your mind to it. We all choose FIDM because we know exactly what we want to do with our careers. Trust and believe me that when I say it gets harder, it really does, but there is nothing more rewarding than finishing that portfolio and walking across that stage at the Staples Center. After all, only a student at FIDM knows what it's really like.  :)

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to finish my Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University and go into law. My overall career goal is to become a fashion attorney. Once I have reached that goal, I want to design plus size apparel. But for now, I am going to school and working at the dream job so that I can reach those goals in the next few years.  

Anything else you’d like to share? You can do it!!! There will be times when you want to give up, but you will get through it. The fashion industry is very glamorous. There are very amazing, talented people out there who will help you, and others who are the complete opposite. Don't let anyone get in your way. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into something better. It is your life, you get to make your own journey, so make it a good one!

Visit to find out more about their campaigns, including End Violence Against Women.



Beach Riot Wins Swim Brand of the Year at SIMA Awards (Interview)


Beach Riot, the popular swimwear line founded by FIDM Graduate Nicole Hanriot, recently won Swim Brand of the Year at the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Awards last week. We recently chatted with Nicole about the exciting win.

How did it feel to win Swim Brand of the Year? It was a huge shock and honor for us to win. To be nominated with our peers is an honor in itself. We will be celebrating this weekend in New York City at the Axis Trade show. 

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you to run and design your own business? Being a graduate from FIDM has helped in so many ways. I love how most of my instructors were working in the industry at the time as teaching at FIDM; it really helped prepare us for the real world. I am so grateful for all the tools I use on a daily basis that FIDM taught me. 

What are your future goals for Beach Riot? We just launched our first ready to wear contemporary apparel collection which is very exciting. My goals for the future are to just keep striving ahead and grow Beach Riot into a world wide contemporary lifestyle company.



FIDM Speaker: Doneger's David Wolfe Forecasts Rise of Tech Fashion

15037j David WolfeDSC_7674

Trend forecaster David Wolfe, Creative Director Doneger Creative Services, announced the death of old-style, head-to-toe trends at his lively presentation at the downtown FIDM LA campus Wednesday night. Speaking to alumni and current students at an event hosted by Alumni Director Bill Cliatt, Wolfe shared his observations on the major cultural shifts that will continue to take fashion into the 21st century. Rather than recycling decades past, creative designers will look at folding technology into textiles, garment functionality, and the retail experience. For Spring 2016, Wolfe sees the influences being athleisure, self expression in prints and textures, light ethereal colors in response to all the black, classics like pantsuits with a twist, and relaxed, soft silhouettes. The overall trend is "options"—or many micro trends rather than one big craze that everyone  adopts.

To keep up with the latest tech apparel trends Wolfe recommends students look at the website TechStyleNews.



SF Fashion Design Students Design For Crowdfunding Retailer Betabrand


During the Spring 2014 quarter, Fashion Design Students (now alumni) from Computer Pattern II teamed up with retail clothing company and crowdfunding platform Betabrand. "It was a 'real time' experience working within a new business model for the garment/product manufacturing industry," explains Fashion Design Department Coordinator Janice Paredes. "Once their original designs were critiqued by Betabrand's directors, the students created production patterns and graded sizing on computer software using fit and customer information from Betabrand."


The designs selected by the Betabrand (Think Tank) customers have now been fully funded and will be produced. The FIDM designers are Nicole Spyt (Morning-Mess Jacket) and Elizabeth Irwin (360 Reversible Dress). "It is especially exciting because these designs were fully funded before the 30-day funding period deadline," adds Janice. "Students watched each day as the votes and comments were submitted. The Beta-Go-Go Dress is currently in crowdfunding, too, and you can watch it in real time."


In 2013, Betabrand launched a crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter, so that users can crowdsource clothing concepts and prototypes into actual products. Since the inception of the crowdfunding platform, Betabrand has funded almost 100 garments. A feature of production is the turnaround from initial design to sellable article – which can be in four to eight weeks. 



Trendwatch: New Artisanal Textiles Celebrate the Old

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"Well-loved wardrobe staples repaired and renewed through skillful mending and the patching together of heirloom textile remnants," are a notable trend story for 2016, according to forecaster WGSN. Reflecting the authenticity backlash to all things techno, the human hand can be seen in indigo repair and patching, raw silk and rustic linens, faded stripes that resemble work clothes, quilted patchworks inspired by Japanese boro style, crafted tweeds, and denim with a rusted patina.



A Chat With Three-Time Oscar Winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood

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Costume Designer Colleen Atwood, whose costumes for Into the Woods and Big Eyes are currently displayed at FIDM's Museum & Galleries, is a legend in the industry. With 11 Academy Award nominations -- and three wins (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Alice in Wonderland) -- Atwood has one of the most impressive resumes in Hollywood. We recently chatted with the famed designer. 

You are the most Oscar-nominated costume designer of any living person. How does that feel? I had no idea I was the most nominated! It feels great to be that person and still working on amazing projects.

What was your very first job in the industry? Making set dressing for the movie Ragtime.

What qualities do you look for when you are hiring entry-level assistants? I like people who are willing to help and know about making things with their hands. Someone who can see what needs to be done, as well as someone who has a sense of discretion.

If someone who aspires to be in costume design is considering moving to either LA or NYC, which city do you think offers the beginner more opportunities? Both are good, but Los Angeles is less expensive, so it might be more user friendly in that sense.

Whose costume design work has inspired you? Piero Tosi, Adrian, Milena Canonero, and Sandy Powell.

Into the Woods costume design by Colleen Atwood. Alex J. Berliner/ABImages



Just Accepted High School Junior to Pursue His Dreams at FIDM Orange County



Name: Jason Tirtorahardjo

Age: 17

Hometown: Anaheim, CA

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2016

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? I couldn't have asked for a better advisor. Shirley led me through the entire application process with ease and encouraged me to come to her if I had any questions. Shirley was extremely supportive of me, becoming just as excited about my acceptance as I was. Even after my application process, Shirley continues to guide me, urging me to use my creative ability to earn scholarships.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Art has always been a major part of my life. I can easily lose myself for hours on end working on a project. I've been doodling since I could hold a crayon and I continue to do so. I've played the piano for about 10 years and am absolutely terrified of performing in front of people, but I continue to play because its actually really fun when people aren't watching you. My inspirations range from amazing designers like Alexander McQueen, Jeremy Scott, and Iris van Herpen to prominent painters like Vincent van Gogh and Mondrian. Going to art museums is an obsession of mine; seeing a famous art piece in person is surreal. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Growing as an artist and eventually getting accepted to FIDM is my proudest accomplishment thus far. There have been many times where I, like everyone else, have doubted my own potential, but learning to think outside the box and not worry so much has really helped me. I definitely surprised myself when I was accepted to FIDM, and overcoming my self-doubt has given me a new perspective.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM, unlike other schools, allows its students to dive right into their desired major right away. I really like that I'll be able to start learning skills that pertain to my career once I begin, unlike other art schools that require its students to take general art classes first. Another aspect that made FIDM stand out to me was it's immense library that I can't wait to fully explore. Along with that, all the campuses are creative spaces that are sure to inspire my own imagination.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I was asked to create an inspiration board and six sketches inspired by the items on the board. Lady Gaga, Alexander McQueen, and Andy Warhol were the most prominent subjects on my inspiration board, but artists like Mondrian and designers like Iris van Herpen and Gareth Pugh were also included. For my six sketches I decided to take a more graphic approach, using different prints and patterns. My finished project was featured on FIDM OC's Instagram.

What are your career goals? My ultimate goal would be to have my own fashion house while also being the artistic director for another high fashion brand. I'd want to be like Alexander Wang, who not only has his own brand, but is the director at Balenciaga. Wang reflects many of the traits that I aspire to be: he's young, extremely creative, and fresh.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM?  Besides improving both my technical skill and creativity, I would like to learn how the fashion industry works "behind the scenes," and how fashion designers plan and execute their runway shows, and put together collections. I would also like to learn how to better convey the ideas in my head onto a piece of paper, since I have so many ideas that I just don't know how to get out.



FIDM Style Project: Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems Talks about Technology and the Fashion Industry


Image: Fashion blogger and FIDM Grad Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite fashion bloggers to ask:

“How has technology influenced the fashion industry?”

Fashion blogger Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems weighed in on the subject:

“First I need to point out that I am defining technology specifically as the Internet and social media in this context. Technology has made fashion practically attainable to anyone. It has also become a quicker process since inspiration is not just on the streets now, but literally everywhere. I can’t even count the hours I’ve spent scrolling through Pinterest and fashion blogs getting ideas to put outfits together. From seeing an item online, whether it is on a blog, someone’s Instagram, scrolling through Pinterest, or another means of inspiration, the next step of attaining the item has become a much easier process than it used to be. There are even apps (The Hunt for example) where people can post a photo of an item they are interested in purchasing yet not sure where it’s sold. Other users of the app help them find where it can be purchased. With a little research, the item can be on the way to your closet in a few days. Fashion has become a quick-moving cycle. If you’re a fashion-oriented gal like me, after receiving that new piece, you’re very eager to Instagram or post a blog entry about the outfit you put together with that new item you worked so hard to get into your hands. This is where the whole cycle starts over again, when someone else gains inspiration from your social media post!”

More about Corey

Corey is a graduate of the Fashion Design program at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, as well as a graduate of the Graphic Communications program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The concept of Marshall’s brand, Fashionista Problems, grew out of the fact that many people have moments of looking in their closets with plenty of clothes, and yet feel as if they have nothing to wear, followed by have the urge to go out and buy something entirely new.

Marshall started the brand in 2012 by creating handmade pieces meant to be worn at Coachella, an event that “very closely defines her style” and showcases a few of her favorite things: fashion, music, art, and socializing. Eventually those pieces evolved into simple pieces that can be worn on an everyday basis. Marshall even sold one-of-a-kind illustrations for home decor.

“I love trying new things and bringing concepts to life that people bring to me,” says Marshall. Fashionista Problems has evolved into more of a lifestyle brand with the integration of her YouTube channel, blog and other social media outlets. Since she started using Instagram, it has been her favorite way of publicizing her brand. Marshall is a very visual person and has always been inspired by photography.

Connect with Cory






About FIDM Style Project

FIDM Style Project is an online editorial collaboration series between the online design community and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Are you interested in participating in the next FIDM Style Project series? Get in touch with us here



FIDM Visiting Brazil For Personal Admissions Information Sessions


FIDM Visits Brazil! 

From March 14, 2015 to March 22, 2015, an Admissions Advisor from FIDM will be in Brazil to conduct one-on-one admissions information sessions. Here's your opportunity to have all of your questions about FIDM answered. 

At your Admissions Information Session, you will:

• Discover how FIDM's 26 exciting majors prepare our graduates for success in the Fashion, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Digital Media, and Entertainment industries.

• Find out more about FIDM’s Bachelor's Degree and Advanced Study Programs, Housing, International Student Community, and more!

• Learn about FIDM's four amazing campuses, which are strategically placed in locations vitally important to California's #1 industries: Fashion, Entertainment, and Manufacturing.

• Hear about successful FIDM Alumni and their amazing journey from FIDM to the working world.

• Bring your portfolio and TOEFL score and you may be considered for a scholarship!

To schedule your appointment, please email Lisa Aronoff at

Personal appointments are currently being accepted for the following dates and locations:

Saturday, March 14, 2015 13:00-18:00 Casa Thomas Jefferson Filial Sudoeste (Southwest Branch) Curitiba, BR

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 16:00-19:00 Museum Oscar Niemeyer Campinas, BR

Friday, March 20, 2015 12:00-14:30 Escola Americana de Campinas, Brazil São Paulo, BR

Saturday, March 21, 2015 12:00-17:00 St. Paul's School Rio de Janeiro, BR

Sunday, March 22, 2015 13:00-18:00 EAV Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage, Rio de Janeiro, BR

If you can't attend an appointment but would like to request information, please click here or call 213.624.1201 to speak with an Advisor.



FIDM Textiles & Materials Manager Interviewed for SF's Smart Fabric Conference


Kristine Upesleja, FIDM's Textiles & Materials Manager, was recently interviewed for the upcoming Smart Fabrics + Wearable Technology Conference, May 11-13, 2015, in San Francisco, where she will be presenting. Kristine says that she is most excited about the biotechnology movement, materials/technology that can read our mind and display emotions, the possibilities of 3-D printing, "hearables," and digital retail. 

Read the interview here




Merchandise Product Development Grad Ashley Rainaldo Hired at Velvet as Retail Merchandiser and Design Assistant


Ashley Rainaldo graduated last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development and is now working as a Retail Merchandiser/Design Assistant at Velvet by Graham & Spencer. She says her Brand Portfolio class was one of the most important classes she took at FIDM. 

Where are you working now and what do you do? Right now I’m working at the Velvet headquarters in Culver City. Throughout school I worked here part-time in design, looking to eventually move up the design ladder. After graduation I was offered a position in merchandising full-time. Although my original plan was to stay in design, I have always been interested in merchandising and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get more experience in a different aspect of the industry. Half the week I travel to all of our various department stores (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, etc.) and work with their employees to make sure the Velvet section is merchandised and visually up to par. The other half of the week, I am in the office helping out the design room. I report back to the designers and give retail feedback on what is and isn’t selling. I also assist in public relations. I like to wear as many hats as possible!

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM definitely prepared me well when it comes to communication, time management, and working well under pressure. I had to do a million presentations, practice meetings, interviews, etc. in class and I think those real life situations are the most helpful. I am completely comfortable in those kinds of work situations now.

How did you find out about FIDM? Initially through MTV’s The Hills. I used to watch it every day. I wanted to go to FIDM so badly because it looked so awesome and I loved Lauren Conrad. When I got older I actually took the time to research it, and many of my coworkers recommended it to me as well.

How did you decide on your major? I was really torn on whether I wanted to be a designer, a stylist or a merchandiser. I literally would be happy doing any of the three. I’m creative and visual but I also like the business side of things. When I explained that to my advisor, she pointed me to Merchandise Product Development. I got to learn a little about everything in this major, which was perfect for me.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Not to sound cliché but they are all pretty valuable. It’s important to have a little bit of knowledge in everything no matter what position you decide to take in the industry. The last class you take, Brand Portfolio, I think is one of the most important. First of all, you work on an entire portfolio that you can bring to your future interviews to get your first job, so that’s a huge deal. You also do mock interviews, which prepare you for your first real interview, also a huge deal. In my last mock interview, I got to meet HR from Nasty Gal. The interview went so well that she got my information and we still keep in touch, just in case a position opens up for me. I made an awesome connection that day!!

Any advice for current FIDM Students? INTERN!!! FIDM is hard, and you always have homework and projects. But it’s important that you’re interning or working in the industry while you’re in school. You won’t have much of a life for a little while, but it pays off! You get more out of your classes because you’re learning and seeing it in action all at the same time. Plus you have a way better chance of getting a good job when you graduate.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to soak up as much experience as I can while I’m young and to keep doing what I love to do. Whether it’s in design or merchandising or whatever else, I just want to be the best at what I’m doing.

Anything else you’d like to share? To whomever is reading this: Keep working as hard as you can. All the blood, sweat, and tears (and money) will be worth it!



FIDM Style Project: Lindsay Ginn of Broke & Beautiful Talks about Technology and the Fashion Industry


Image: Fashion blogger Lindsay Ginn of Broke & Beautiful

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite fashion bloggers to ask:

 "How has technology influenced the fashion industry?”

Fashion blogger Lindsay Ginn of Broke & Beautiful weighed in on the subject:

“Everything I learned about fashion, I learned with the direct help and aid of technology. The Internet is single-handedly responsible for educating me on everything from fabric composition to the best way to wear midi skirts. Without it, I likely would have remained the clueless-yet-curious, punky tomboy-wallflower that I was when I first met the Internet in 1996. A big thank you to David LaChapelle's photography for blowing the doors of fashion and self-expression wide open for me (no pun intended).

Technology has pushed fashion forward in many ways and on scopes much larger than a teenager's introduction to style. Sustainability issues have been addressed thanks to viral videos depicting labor conditions in clothing factories and production pollutants. Independent designers have submitted their designs to Etsy and launched full-blown fashion careers. eBay and online vintage shops have given second, third, and fourth lives to forgotten masterpieces. Millions of street style websites and fashion blogs have documented ordinary, everyday people whose personal style has influenced the way the entire world dresses.

The more we nurture our ability to share our personal style through the use of technology (10 MP cellphone cameras certainly help this), the better we'll be able to create unique, innovative products that fill needs in the world, both practically and aesthetically. If we were to remove the Internet and mobile technology from the clutched hands of the fashion industry, we wouldn't just be hindering access to the latest online sample sales, we would be limiting our exposure to the wealth of self-expression and varied perspectives that populate the Internet through style communities.”

More about Lindsay

Lindsay Ginn writes the budget fashion and lifestyle blog Broke & Beautiful and has been introducing affordable and ethical ideas to her readers since 2007. Living on a shoestring budget doesn’t mean you can’t have what you want. Ginn aims to inform the world that you don’t have to spend your life as a slave to your bank account in order to surround yourself with things you love. Broke & Beautiful also features tips and articles about music, food, home decor, and sustainability. 

Connect with Lindsay







About FIDM Style Project

FIDM Style Project is an online editorial collaboration series between the online design community and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Are you interested in participating in the next FIDM Style Project series? Get in touch with us here



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Wants to Work as a TV Costume Designer


Name: Sarah-Kay Loritz

Age: 17

Hometown: Corona Del Mar, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was amazing when I decided to apply. I wasn't really sure which major I wanted to apply for, but Cathy was very patient with me and helped me so much with the entire process. She would always check up on me and see how I was doing. Not only did she care about my work, but she really cared about me and how I was doing. I don't think I could have done any of this without her.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I attended Orange Lutheran High School and was on the varsity cheer team. I have always loved fashion and going shopping. My interests include shopping, putting outfits together, and sketching clothing. I love to take old vintage clothing and turning it into something modern. I am always inspired by Lauren Conrad and television shows such as Pretty Little Liars and Glee. I am also inspired by the YouTuber, Zoella, and I plan to start making videos soon.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I would not have been able to get to FIDM if it wasn’t for my amazing family. They have helped me grow as a person and into the woman I am today. I’m so proud of my high school career, being on my varsity cheer team, being voted “Best Dressed” at my high school, and all the future adventures to come.

What made FIDM right for you? The college will give me the opportunities for my future career in fashion. My sister attends FIDM and she has made many friends and fits really well with the program. From what I have heard, FIDM does a great job of making everyone feel like a family and I cannot wait to join. 

Describe your entrance project. I had a lot of fun working on my entrance project. I was very inspired by bright colors and patterns. My favorite piece was my circles, triangles, and squares design. I was inspired by American Horror Story: Asylum. The mod feel of the season and quirky factor really showed through in my work and helped tie it all together for an all-over, mod-'70s feel.

What are your career goals? One day I hope to attend New York Fashion Week. I hope to work for a television series and be the costume designer. It would also be very cool to work for a company such as Kate Spade or Anthropologie. I also would like to start a fashion channel on YouTube so I can express my ideas with everyone.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Dreams of Being a Bridal Designer


Name: Gianna Mueller

Age: 17

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

FIDM MajorFashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was so helpful. She walked me through the whole application process and was there for me every step of the way. I could call or email her with any question or concerns I had and she was always so helpful and supportive.

Tell us a bit about yourself: I have always been creative. I sew, I knit, I make jewelry, and I love to draw and doodle. I also love nail art; I think it is so great to create a little masterpiece on your nails. I also love the outdoors and being active. Whether it's hiking and biking or working out at the gym, I’m happy. As far as inspiration goes, brides are so inspiring to me. It’s always been my dream to design wedding dresses. The bride and her love and enthusiasm for her wedding is the most inspiring thing to me.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One of my proudest accomplishments so far would be competing in the Goodwill Good Exchange fashion show. It was so amazing to design and create something and then watch it go down the runway and to see how people were reacting to it. Even though I didn’t win, I was so proud of myself for accomplishing such an amazing piece of art. [Read Gianna's interview about the Goodwill Good Exchange fashion show on the Fashion Club Blog.]

What made FIDM right for you? For as long as I can remember, fashion design is all I have ever wanted to do. FIDM is right for me because I know that it can help me achieve my goals. I love how career-oriented it is, and how the curriculum is based off the industry. I feel that it will help me to blossom and really prepare me for my future.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I designed an eight-piece, spring wedding dress collection. I used colors and fabrics that break the standard “white gown” to create a fresh, lively, sexy dresses to enhance the bride's creative side. I was so proud and excited about these designs because I really got to express myself and put my creative ideas into such an important piece of fashion.

What are your career goals? My goal is to become a wedding dress designer. It is such a thrill to think about the idea of designing something that will be so special to someone and add on to the beauty and excitement of a wedding. Once I start to thrive in wedding dresses, I would love to branch out and start designing haute couture evening wear and maybe even design a shoe and accessory collection.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM, I want to learn as much as I possibly can to help me achieve my goals. I expect to learn the basics of design, how to design and produce a collection, and how to keep up with and discover new trends (and of course hundreds of other things that will help me become the best designer I can be.)



MPD Student and FIDM Social Ambassador is Interning at Sue Wong


FIDM Social Ambassador and Merchandise Product Development Student Alexandrea Neil is currently interning at Sue Wong. We recently caught up with the June 2015 future graduate to learn more. 

How did your internship at Sue Wong come about? Since I am getting into my last few quarters at FIDM, I really wanted to gain more experience in the industry. I actually was searching online for product development internships and I came across the opportunity to intern with Sue Wong. It was exactly what I had been looking for so I pursued the position and now I am lucky enough to intern there.

What are your roles/responsibilities? I assist the Product Development department in maintaining the swatch library and color standard library, performing quality checks on sample dresses, design research, sketching, and assisting with photo shoots and their upcoming fashion show.

How are you enjoying your role as a FIDM Social Ambassador? I love being a Social Ambassador for FIDM. It is awesome to represent the school in such a fun, new way and I have met so many amazing and talented people along the way.

What are your career goals/plans? I feel like I have learned so much in these two years at FIDM so I am very eager to go out into the industry and use my skills. I would love to be a designer or product developer for a great company, or even freelance. I also have a huge passion for trend forecasting so I am very interested in pursuing that as a career choice as well. After I have enough experience in my career I would love to start my own company designing my own contemporary line.



Links We Love


When fashion 4

Los Angeles just got freakier thanks to Bernhard Wilhelm 3000’s and Jutta Kraus’ MOCA show When Fashion Shows The Danger Then Fashion Is The Danger.  Since the late 90’s, the German-born designers have unleashed convention breaking delight onto the industry. Driven by pure emotional interests and pop cultural obsessions rather than regard for commercial norms,  Willems/ Kraus’s creations have a limitless postmodern quality. When Fashion Shows -is both a site special art installation ( the first American show of the team) and the showcase for their fall/winter 2015 collection.  The designers’ liberation from the runway along with the show’s absurd cultural archaeology (test-dummy mannequins, glowing severed heads, fantastical found objects) excites an alternative vision of consumerism itself. The exhibit opened Saturday and runs at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood until May 17. So no one should miss it.

VFiles 2

Like a bedazzled fabric hungry monster, New York fashion week has outgrown its nest at the Lincoln Center, and has spread it tentacles across the city and into the boroughs.  And according to research by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, NYFW has also outdone the Super Bowl in terms of dollar signs. Fashion lovers are romping across the city in their street style worthy wear to the runways of Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren and Jeremey Scott (whose collaboration with Miley Cyrus is all the buzz) and the like. While big names are a primary draw, it appears that lesser know players could be stealing the show. The N.Y based social media and ecommerce project VFiles opened NYFW at Lincoln Center on Feb 12 with  “the first user-generated fashion show” that showcased emerging designers from all corners of the world and mostly, blew minds. 

Mens Wear is getting a lot of attention lately and after the ooh’s and ahh’s surrounding Men’s Fashion week in London this January, America (aka New York) will officially host it’s own men’s week this summer. Designers announced for Spring 2016 collections include Michael Kors, Rag & Bone and Calvin Klein

Black designer

Amidst the craze of NYFW is a political debate that burns questions into the fabric we wear and the color of the designer’s skin who made it. According to The New York Times, only 3 of the 260 major NY shows this week are by African American designers.  Aside from internationally known names Tracy Reese, Public School and Hood by Air, this lack of diversity at NYFW reflects the disproportionate percentage of African Americans who are part of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the minimal ethnic diversity of models, and the overall racial inequalities at all levels of the industry.  A double bind exists for African Americans in the fashion world, who are looked to for inspiration in music and to exhibit ‘life style’ trends, yet rarely take part in the industry for lack of representation and role models.

Grammys 2

 At the Grammys, fashion lovers know that sparkle gowns no longer satisfy the musical desire to be moved.  Well, whatever your inspiration is, a strange parade ensued in which Rihanna was a fairy tale princess, Madonna turned matador and flashed her booty, Joy Villa looked like a hot construction site and Sia matched her mini-me Maddie Ziegler and hid her face with a gigantic platinum wig. Innovations in classic glamor came from Kim Kardashian who wore a unique robe-like design from Jean Paul Gaultier and Ciara in a voluminous black dress by Alexandre Vauthier Couture.  A few of the most refreshing looks came from Miley Cyrus, Iggy Azalea, and Gwen Stefani who appeared elegantly simplified on the red carpet compared to their past outlandish styles.


The maiden of Mod, Mary Quant celebrates her 81st birthday this week, and we still celebrate her for the ever-current innovations she has given the fashion world. Quant’s sixties Kings Road  fashions can be seen everywhere today, from the iconic mini skirt to recent comebacks of the pinafore frock and peter pan collar.


Many shoppers know the disappointment a faux leather jacket can bring, no matter how biker-cool the style. Well, have no fear no fear animal lovers and wise shoppers; a gang of designers has revamped the plastic horrors of pleather to quality vegan materials. Yes, “vegan” is the hot new marketing word used by smart companies to describe their cow friendly wares. Thanks to technological textile breakthroughs, luxury brands like L.A ’s James Payne and popular stores such as Free People offer the look and touch of the real thing.

   fresh kicks

If you have visited Little Tokyo lately, you might have noticed that besides sushi, karaoke and Sanrio, the cultural district is now a haven for sneaker heads. Eye popping displays of foot candy from Footland Sports, RIF, and Jason Markk  lend new shine and texture to 1st and 2nd Street shops.  Sneaker addicts and civilians alike will find classic Jordans and Nike’s, new urban  designs and vintage collectables. The Jason Markk flagship store is a deluxe sneaker spa complete with a shoe shine chair that offers services like stain and odor removal to keep beloved kicks fresh. 


Speaking of sneakers, Adidas is on an aggressive design campaign to win back American hearts, a consumer base that sags compared to European demand. And who better to hype the brand than Kayne West?  The hip hop star’s YEEZY brand suede boot-like design with futuristic ‘boost foam’ soles will greet the masses on Valentines day in NYC this week.



Two FIDM Interior Design Students Win ASID Student Design Competition


FIDM Interior Design Students Lara Hayes (pictured, left) and Juliette Mutzke-Felippelli recently won the 2014 Harold W. Grieve Student Design Competition honoring excellence in Interior Design, presented through the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Both women are currently 4th quarter Professional Designation students.


"I felt incredibly honored to receive the award as Harold Grieve was an important figure in the film and interior design industries, having designed homes for legends such as Bing Crosby and contributed to the set design of major films," explained Juliette. "On a more personal level, I walked away from a career in public relations a year ago to pursue my passion for design so receiving this recognition felt very gratifying and more importantly, encouraging, for me to continue pushing myself to learn and grow in the design field."


The project they submitted for the award was from their Computer Graphics II class, a concept for a new Los Angeles nightclub called LUR, based off the character played by Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi film Under the Skin. "In the movie, Scarlett plays a femme fatale who lures men into a pitch-black liquid. We based our concept off the interaction between hunter and prey, using the black liquid as our inspiration. We brought this concept to life with black lacquered walls throughout the space and manipulated the lighting to lure guests directly to the dance floor," she adds. "Here, the abstract capstone chandelier by Zaha Hadid envelops guests while VIP guests experience the nightclub at an elevated position." 




Tweetup with FIDM Grad, Professional Figure Skater, and Fashion Designer Michael Kuluva on Mar. 12


Frozen meets fashion… sort of. On Thursday, March 12 from 4:00 - 5:30 PST, FIDM is hosting an online Q&A Tweetup with FIDM Fashion Design Alumnus Michael Kuluva. Kuluva is a professional figure skater and the Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, a Los Angeles-based brand that has been featured in more than 100 major publications and media outlets, including Vogue Italia, People, and The Today Show.  

Tweetup Details

To participate in our virtual Q&A, be sure to follow @FIDM and @MichaelKuluva and submit your questions using the hashtag #MichaelatFIDM. Then check back at 4:00 on March 12 to see if Kuluva answers your questions! Read more about Kuluva below and in our recent interview with the designer here.

About Professional Figure Skater & Fashion Designer Michael Kuluva

From a young age, Michael Kuluva worked his way up to become one of the youngest, most talented and recognized names in professional figure skating history, touring in over more than 600 cities in 40 countries. Since studying fashion at FIDM, Kuluva has become a designer and stylist to musicians, red carpet celebrities and Olympic athletes.

Kuluva’s “show-stopping, jaw-dropping” brand Tumbler and Tipsy is unique in its form, exclusive in its style, extraordinary in its appearance, and quickly paving its way to the forefront of today’s global fashion scene. Tumbler and Tipsy by Michael Kuluva was featured as an Emerging Designer at Los Angeles Fashion Week S/S 2012 with rave reviews.

For its spring 2013 collection, Tumbler and Tipsy partnered with "Just Dance,” the number one dance video game in the world from Ubisoft. Tumbler and Tipsy by Michael Kuluva was the first brand/designer EVER to bring any virtual video game to the real-life runway at New York Fashion Week in spring 2013. Pop star Cher Lloyd opened the 2013 Spring show with her hit single "Want You Back" while celebrities strutted the infamous catwalk for this history-making fashion week show, which included Kendall Jenner, Olympian Alex Morgan, Entertainment Tonight's Christina McLarty and G4's television host Kristin Adams. The dazzling fashion show featured 47 unique looks for women and men and included the "Just Dance 4" video game-inspired looks, along with custom Tumbler and Tipsy "Monster Headphones."



Hear a Forecast Presentation by Donegar Group Creative Director David Wolfe at FIDM


FIDM Students are invited to join FIDM's Alumni Association for an entertaining trend presentation, "Launchpad to the Future," by Doneger Group Creative Director, David Wolfe. Innovation fuels every field, and technology continues as the driving force affecting everything from fashion design and textile development to color theory and retailing. David is the apparel industry’s most notable and quoted authority on fashion, color, and trend forecasting. Just back from his week at MAGIC, the apparel industry trade show, he will give a presentation featuring pictures from Doneger’s exclusive trend reports.

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Cost: Free

Location: FIDM Annex 605 West Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, 90015, 3rd Floor Room A332

Parking: Located on the main campus or at surrounding lots

RSVP: Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Carrie Shay,



"Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" Exhibition Features All 5 Academy Award Nominees for Costume Design


The FIDM Museum & Galleries' 23rd annual "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition features over 100 costumes from 23 films from 2014, including costumes from all five Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, and Mr. Turner.


Over the weekend, the museum hosted an opening party to celebrate the popular exhibition that also features costumes from Birdman, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl (designed by FIDM Graduate Trish Summerville), The Fault in Our Stars (designed by FIDM Graduate Mary Claire Hannan), Step Up All In (designed by FIDM Graduate Soyon An), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (designed by FIDM Graduate Marlene Stewart), among others. 

Salvador Perez, Costume Designer and President of the Costume Designers Guild; Trish Summerville, FIDM Alumna and featured Costume Designer for Gone Girl; and Barbara Bundy, FIDM Vice President and Museum Director

This major exhibition is the only one of its kind in the world that pays homage each year to the creativity of the costume designer for film with a museum show of outstanding costumes and Oscar® nominated designs. It is a tradition to display the former year's Oscar winner for Best Costume Design, which in 2014 was The Great Gatsby

Mary Claire Hannan, FIDM Alumna and featured Costume Designer for The Fault in Our Stars

The free exhibition is open to the public through Saturday, April 25, 2015, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages



FIDM Students Attend the National Retail Federation's BIG Show in New York City

Untitled-1Students pose with Kip Tindell, Chairman & CEO, The Container Store

Last month, 17 FIDM Students from the Merchandise Marketing, Merchandise Product Development, and Business Management programs attended the National Retail Federation's BIG Show in New York City. NRF's flagship industry event, held annually in New York City over four days, offers unparalleled education, collegial networking, and an enormous Expo Hall full of technologies and solutions. More than 33,000 people attended Retail's BIG Show this year. 

TerryStudents meet Terry J. Lundgren, CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board, Macy's Inc. who is also on FIDM's Advisory Board 

We caught up with some of the FIDM Students who attended Retail's BIG Show to hear about their experiences:

"It was a great experience to be in a room full of successful people to help guide and motivate us. We read a lot of about CEOs and new retail technology that it was amazing to see the people and technology close up and personal!" - Megan Tang , LA campus

"I had such a great experience! Meeting the CEO of HSN was such a great and memorable experience that I'll never forget it. I learned so much about different business informational technologies that were so innovative and exciting as I walked around the Expo Halls and talked with the vendors there." - Caitlyn Gaurano, LA campus

"Having been part of the NRF Big Show Student Program for the second year in a row has truly made my experience at FIDM much more valuable than I had expected. The best part about attending the Student Program is the exposure you gain to the retail industry, the people you meet including students from other schools and influential CEOs, and going with a great group of FIDM students and faculty. I wish I could go again next year, but hopefully I will find my way on my own!" - Karla Maldonado, LA campus

"This whole experience has been really eye-opening for me. We have had the opportunity to not only meet, but also interact with CEO's of stores such as Macy's, The Container Store, and HSN. I'm so grateful for being given the opportunity to be a part of the NRF Big Show 2015." - Victoria Honzel, San Francisco campus

"This experience has been life changing. Not only am I more confident in my career path, but I am inspired. Because of FIDM, was able to meet with industry professionals and gain insight on their experiences within the retail industry. My education was applied in New York, and I am so grateful!" - Alexis Faber, LA campus

"I am honored to have been in NY. I had so much fun meeting executives and CEO's. I can't wait to be part of this industry!" - Brenda Torres, LA campus



Interview: Paula Schneider, New CEO American Apparel

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Industry veteran Paula Schneider, new CEO of Los Angeles-based American Apparel, gives an extensive interview to the New York Times on her plans for turning around the brand. High on her to-do list is "instilling more order and discipline" particularly on the planning side and redefining the brand's advertising image. She plans to stick with the Made in America ethos, continuing to manufacture out of downtown in L.A., a practice that gives the brand the ability to respond faster than much of their competition. A vote of confidence from retail specialist William Susman of Threadstone Partners  notes: "American Apparel is poised to fare better than (other) fast retailers because of its emphasis on a core set of basic products that appeal to a younger generation with growing logo fatigue."



Take a Saturday Class at FIDM: Fashion Sketching + Bonus Financial Aid Workshop (Feb. 21)


Our Saturday Classes are an invaluable opportunity to be a student at FIDM for a day. The courses are developed and taught by our talented instructors. In this Saturday Class on Fashion Sketching, you will: 

* Learn hands-on sketching techniques.

* Meet and network with fellow students.

* Experience what it's like to be a student at FIDM. 

We are offering a free workshop on Financial Aid Strategies immediately following the sketching class. All students are welcome to receive advice on scholarship research, Cal Grants, FAFSA, and more.


February 21, 2015

Cost: $25.00

FIDM Los Angeles

919 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA , 90015

Fashion Sketching Class 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Financial Aid Strategies workshop: 1 p.m. - 2 p.m.




Industrywatch: Madewell Expansion Plans Ramp Up

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Mickey Drexler, legendary merchant, CEO J. Crew Group, and founder of Madewell, talks with the New York Times about his energized expansion plans for Madewell. Founded in 2006, the "city girl meets tomboy style" brand plans to add 15 stores this year for a total of 100 nationwide. It also has forged a deal with Net-a-Porter to expand overseas sales; and Nordstrom to carry a line of dresses. Drexler, who is credited with creating the Old Navy business while he was CEO at the Gap, has a track record for building brands from scratch. "Mickey knows what to do with Madewell," confirms retail consultant Howard Davidowitz.



Links We Love


Any look back in history will reveal that the most exciting style muses challenged the gender norms of their day; from Katharine Hepburn to Prince, the list is long. Recent expressions of androgyny are reflected in runways by models like Elliot Sailors, Harmony Boucher and Andreja Pejic, whose evocative beauty graces both Men’s and Women's lines. For six weeks this Spring, gender neutrality will be become retail reality. The UK department store Selfridges made headlines when it revealed its Agender project that will transform its Oxford store into a unisex experience, freed from sex-based departments and mannequins. TooGood, Comme des Garçons and Nicopanda are a few of the gender blurring brands featured in the project.

Cloud Couture

The future of fashion could be genderless and even cyborg. In anticipation of New York fashion week, Pratt University’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator initiative presented Cloud-Couture: The Intimate Connection Between Fashion and Technology . Through visionary displays of computer connected apparel, virtual fit models and 3-D body printing, the exhibit discusses how “wearable technology is reshaping our physical relationship to the internet, big data, brands and personal privacy.” 

Cloud-Couture also reflects the BF+ DA ’s ethical mission to use sustainable industry practices shown in a screening of The Next BlackThis film, released just last year, is a must see for eco-minded designers of all trades.


Designer Jeremy Scott proved to be the MVP at this year's  Super Bowl. The place of high fashion in the most commercialized moment on TV is debatable, but Scott’s brazen fire dress and beach toy costumes for Katy Perry seemed to surpass the public’s over-the-top expectations.


 “You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard,” goes the Kink’s "Celluloid Heroes" song. Now replace “stars,” with “Louis Vuitton,” and you’ve already got the details for the iconic designer’s big L.A showcase that opened last week.  Louis Vuitton Series 2 – Past, Present and Future show runs Feb. 6-22  in the former Camulet Photo building on N. Highland and is free to the public.  The series features the brand’s bag beginnings, the Spring 2015 women’s line and holograms!


In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the Islamic State executions and increased military action in Iraq, questions of religious freedom versus freedom from extremism are hotter than ever. When the Obamas paid a visit to new king of Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, the First Lady opted out of wearing a head scarf, a choice made by many political female figures before her. Michelle’s outfit (tasteful as it was) was portrayed in the media as politically scandalous or as a courageous statement. This speaks volumes to the complexities of women’s rights both in Western and Muslim countries.

Iranian designer
 Another close look to the Middle East was an NPR story of how an Iranian designer hopes to globally promote her business despite tough American sanctions.


Bodies! Curvy, beautiful, normal- sized bodies and the fashion that often overlooks them, have had a few remarkable appearances this year. Target will introduce its new plus sized line Ava&Viv this February. The new line’s fresh and trendy designs have received a buzz on social media via fashion bloggers who reviewed the collection and also served as models. Keep your eyes out for model Tess Holiday, a champion of positive body image, who just signed with MiLk Model Management. Model Ashley Graham's goddess like figure,emphasized by a #curvesinbikinis campaign will adorn this week’s Sport’s Illustrated 2015 Swimsuit Issue. That Graham is considered “plus size” in the first place and that her sizzling ads are buried under pages of the same-old ideals are striking reminders that much work is still to be done.

Sports illustrated






Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Kun Guo


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Kun Guo, studying Fashion Design at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Kun Guo on Twitter @FIDM_Kun and Weibo @FIDM_Kun for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM.

Q&A with Kun Guo:

Hometown: “Beijing, China.”

Describe your style: “Very creative, yet polished. I like perfection!”

Favorite brands: " Exception (from China) Elie Saab and Valentino. I love high fashion and the earnest, hardworking attitude that it takes to be successful in the Industry!"

An icon who inspires you: "I'm more likely to be inspired by nature and different colors."

Favorite place to eat: "Hot Pot."

Dream job: "I want to be a fashion designer and have my own label. I also want to travel the world for inspiration."

Best advice for FIDM Students: “Put yourself out there; go talk to people!”

LA’s best kept secret: "The unbelievable weather!"

Your FIDM experience in three words: "Free, progressive, new."


Connect with Kun Guo:

Twitter: @FIDM_Kun

Weibo: @FIDM_Kun 

More about Kun Guo:

I’m Kun! What’s the most special part of me as a social ambassador? I’m an international student from China. I’m currently majoring in Fashion Design at FIDM. Since I just graduated from high school in Beijing, the FIDM life is definitely a new chapter for me: my first college! The reason I chose FIDM and Fashion Design? I’m obsessed with different cultures, new ideas and constantly feel inspired. My dream life is to travel around the world, and then dive back into the industry to create, lead, reach new heights and dream big! Now I’m on my way. I will never quit! If you need any help, I want you to know I’m here for you. Go bravely in the direction of your dream; I’m willing to join you every step of the way!

About FIDM Social Ambassadors 

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here. Get to know more FIDM Social Ambassadors here.



Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer Mandi Line to Appear at SOURCING at MAGIC (Interview)


Heading to MAGIC? On February 18, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., FIDM Graduate Mandi Line, the costume designer for Pretty Little Liars, will be on an exciting panel for SOURCING at MAGIC. Entitled "SOURCING HOLLYWOOD: How Costume Designers Make TV & Film Come To Life," Mandi will appear with fellow costume designers Lyn Paolo and Joe Kucharski, and celebrity stylist and FIDM Grad Daniel Musto. We recently caught up with Mandi to chat about her exciting career in Hollywood.

What is your design process when it comes to a new character or entire show? Well, the long and short of it is, I talk to the writer of the show, we go back and forth, and then I do some tear sheets to show her what I'm feeling. On Pretty Little Liars I am so blessed that they really trust my gut. That is a special gift to have someone that actually lets you do your job. I have found that many times and I am so so blessed. 

How do you think costume design is influencing designer collections or style in general? They are saying that street used to influence the runway, but now fashion designers are even saying film and TV have changed the face of retail. Fashion pulls from all walks of life, even the make believe ones.

What has been your approach with PLL? Why do you think it has been so successful? From the beginning I gained the network and writers trust with the attitude that I could promise them one of the best dressed shows on TV. They weren't sure that that was what they were going for. But after the first season, Us Weekly said we were the best dressed cast and the first show since Sex and the City to be considered for contemporary series best costumes. After that they put their hands in the air and said "well go with it" and now with Twitter and live tweeting we have been named "the show that changed the face of television." The viewer feels like everything from the actors to the sets to the wardrobe are accessible. Social media and the timing of Pretty Little Liars could not have been better. 

How did you know that you wanted to work in costume design? I knew I wanted to work in costume because after I stopped modeling I knew all the behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle of fashion and knew I needed to stick with that world. Plus, my shopping addiction had to play out somewhere with other people's money. I say you really either have it or you don't. I have to be a gypsy and a therapist on top of knowing clothes. And just because you dress well doesn't mean you are cut out for this.

How did FIDM prepare you for your career? Bottom line, FIDM got me my first job as an intern on a film. I owe my "in" to them. I owe my surviving to my heart too.

This year’s sourcing show runs from February 16-19, 2015 and as always, MAGIC offers an un-paralleled seminar series with over 50+ sessions led by 70+ executive-level speakers. View the full list here.

Photo Credit: Gregory Metcalf



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Left a Successful Hairdressing Career to Pursue Her Dreams



Name: Shan-Chu Isabel Lotz

Age: 26

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Previous Work: Hairstylist at Toni & Guy Hairdressing Newport Beach, Cristophe Salon Newport Beach, Studio DC Laguna Beach, and Salon Gregorie’s Newport Beach.

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

Start Date: July, 2015

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

How did your advisor help with the process? She asked me what my life plan was, and gave me all the information I need for the school so I could make the right decision. A year later, I quit my career at the salon after nine years and decided to focus on my next goal. I emailed Mrs. Kim right away and she was there for me. She walked me through every step, answered all my questions, and showed me around the Los Angeles campus. Even after I was accepted to FIDM, she was so happy for me like my family. I am so grateful to have her by my side during this process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am optimistic, artistic, and impatient. I love learning and exploring new things in life. I enjoy playing drums, tennis, and golf, learning new languages, and taking Pilates and self-defense lessons. My favorite thing to do is to spend time and travel with my husband and family.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I have the best family and am married to the man of my dreams. I'm proud of being a successful hairdresser, working at the upscale hair salons of Orange County, with the top and most creative hairdressers before age of 26.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is right for me because it offers a career-oriented and reality-based fashion design education taught by industry professionals. I believe that it is very important to have a connection with the real fashion world, even while being a student in school.

What are your career goals? I want to be a professional fashion designer who is intimately involved in the process of fashion design. I also want to have and build a well-connected network in the fashion industry. I am looking forward to be a part of the program as I fulfill my dreams, accomplish my goals, and begin my career in fashion design.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? My expectation for my FIDM education is to become a professional fashion designer. I am looking forward to learning how to design and make clothes from scratch as this has always being my passion. I am also very excited to meet and work with new people that share my passion.



Fashion Designer and FIDM Grad Reese De Luca Visits Premiere Product Development Students

15010j MPD Guest Reese De Luca_DSC_8861

Reese De Luca graduated from FIDM in 2003 with his Merchandise Product Development Degree. The entrepreneur is now the Creative Director of de la COMMUNE, a premium brand launched with a capsule collection of underwear, sweats, and tees. He visited his alma mater last week to speak with the students in the Premiere Product Development Group—an elite group of FIDM Students with special access to guest speakers. He covered everything from his Kickstarter campaign to his social media success.

Tell us a little about your background in fashion: I’ve designed for Juicy Couture, William Rast, Carushka Bodywear, Buffalo, and Point Zero. I’ve always been a serial entrepreneur. I made and sold my own Sailor Moon magazine in Grade 7, and created an accessory line that was sold in a local designer boutique at 16.

Tell us about your line, de la COMMUNE: It’s a premium brand that we launched with a capsule collection of underwear, drop crotch sweats and tees. The majority of our styles are unisex. Fair labor is a major concern for us, so everything was made in Los Angeles and Toronto.

When did you launch it? We launched our Kickstarter on September 22nd and it was over on Halloween at midnight. It was an amazing experience but was also very stressful. The real work starts when your campaign is actually live. Daily tweeting, facebooking, instagram. Emailing online media and blogs for coverage. Literally hounding all our friends to help us reach our goal.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM was an amazing experience in my life. The teachers I had all had real time experience so almost everything that was taught to us could be applied to real world situations. We had a lot of projects and there was a lot of competition and talent at school. It helped push me to the next level and really think creatively about the projects and how I wanted to present them.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Line Development. My instructor was great. You chose a brand from the board and all quarter long you did a step along the product development calendar until you had a complete line to present at the end of the quarter. I remember not seeing Juicy on the board and asking her if she could add it for me. She added it to the board and called on me first. I was obsessed with Juicy and ended up winning best merchandised collection. It was a great class and really mimicked the paths I would take when developing collections as a design director.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Always try to ask questions and absorb as much information as possible. Get to know your teachers because they can be a great resource for you—now and later.

What is your biggest goal right now? We want to grow de la COMMUNE into a full lifestyle brand. For guys who like nice stuff.

Anything else you’d like to share? Follow us on instagram and join our journey @delaCOMMUNE.



Trendwatch: Innovative Fabrics a Luxury Trend

Vuitton copy

Original, proprietary textiles—think embroidered jacquard, guipire, foil-lined pleats—are showing up in wearable designs like T-shirts and slacks, as designers look for new ways to redefine high fashion. Ways that can't easily be knocked off by fast fashion retailers, in design shapes that people can actually wear.

The trend, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, was expressed by designer Nicolas Ghesquiere for Louis Vuitton this season in wearable silhouettes like a baby doll dress "crafted from a sequin-embroidered georgette silk trimmed with lambskin and eel leather." What it means for designers is more time spent at the textile level—imagining, experimenting, and working with mills to fabricate.

photo: Louis Vuitton Collection

Check out the FIDM Library's Innovative Materials Collection.



From the FIDM Library: Winter 2015 Style Report

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Even though technology is attracting consumers to a “web room” approach, meaning they are shopping online or on mobile for the best deals before going to a physical store, a “see and feel” attitude is permeating each experience. Millennials and boomers both are demanding convenience and value, with the latter wanting on-the-go spending opportunities, since they are traveling more.

Sustainable Fashion & Food

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The socially conscious shopper is gaining momentum, looking for products tied to a charity or to a cause. This has led to more companies expanding their online and in-person giving programs, for example, recycling unwanted clothes in exchange for a discount on new merchandise.

Consumers are recognizing the benefits of a plant-based diet, not only for its health attributes but for ecological reasons, and some start-ups and established businesses are offering a bigger choice in the non-meat realm.  The number of hipster farmers is on the rise, as more young people are starting their own specialized farms based on organic, sustainable practices, and tying in a retail and experiential component, such as farm dinner events hosted by the growers. This new vision in farming opens up opportunities for the future of food. Farming on other planets is in the foreseeable future, but if a paradigm shift happens away from genetically modified and heavily fertilized crops, perhaps we can sustain life on this planet in a healthy, holistic way. However, this remains to be seen.

Women’s Fashion

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Tailoring is on the scene in suits and shirts for both genders. Pant suits are seen in traditional materials—wool, gabardine—but also in relaxed fit fabrics such as Ponte and jersey. The topcoat becomes an accessory, and reminds us of vintage inspirations from forties menswear.

Techno modern textiles with an “athleisure” concept merge the casual and the athletic into new ways of being leisurely. Technology makes us warmer or cooler with nanotechnology ever advancing. It also makes us more conveniently ‘in the know’ with cellular and Internet devises built into garments or accessories.

Fashion and footwear designs become a playful pastiche of color, texture, and embellishments, and fur (real and faux) is seen for both. Olive is a spring neutral that sets off white and citrus shades.  The colors of the old masters, such as deep reds, smoked rosin, dark espresso, coral orange, and gold moss dominates fall 2016. Nature is a strong motif, as seen in mossy, cracked, rusted, and weathered finishes.

Knitwear has become like soft sculpture using processes that create organic, tactile forms in loose and flowing silhouettes, with materials resembling coral, sea shells, and ocean detritus.

Also inspired by the sea are nautical designs (see photo at top) with a twist; traditional navy and white stripes in tops and over-sized pants.   

Space Style

Geared toward space travel, the ultimate uncharted expedition, functional coatings and weatherproofing treatments abound for men and women. Heavier fabrics are taking precedence as protection from the elements here on earth. Designs are puffed up like sleeping bags, and literally inflated, creating a safe sense of a cocoon or tent. There is a high-pile glacial feeling in colors of frosty white and gray, and various arrays of real and faux fur. On the more mysterious end are hues of black, forest green, and deep blue. Nano-weight textiles and mid-weight garments worn in layers appeal to active and street wear markets. Material finishes are either smooth, snowy, and ethereal or gritty, speckled, and distressed for a raw, eroded feeling.

Men’s Style

Sixties mod styling and eighties mannish tailoring lives alongside off-kilter and purposely out of proportion silhouettes, lending a playful mood. Pattern mixes, such as checks with polka dots or plaids with diagonal stripes, further enhance the play. Sailor and yachting looks in white horizontal stripes, and weekend clothes of rolled-up trousers and layers of shirts with heavy gauge sweaters, have a 1920s Gatsby feel. Denim is worn in layers; jeans with chambray shirts or T- shirts, denim jackets or contrasting trench coats on top. A colorful bandana or sixties-inspired vest lends even more roguish dash. 


As in men’s and women’s fashions, stripes are infiltrating furnishings. Painterly and saturated striped bright hues are popping up from soft furnishings, ceramics, and tableware to wallpaper and upholstery. Paint splatters, tie-dye, and abstract shapes also in bright and cheerful tones give contrast to hand-drawn designs, text designs (e.g.: inspirational messages on pillows and ceramics), gold accents, and textured whites.

Colors are either very pale (ocher, ivory) or very dark (red, sienna).  Moody dark tones can be accentuated with bright highlights for originality. Graphic design is proving a strong influence, in bold and original patterns and color ways for residential and commercial settings. Easy-assembly furniture is fun, low-key, and makes it possible for the average person to put together tables, chairs, and other furniture with visible joints reminiscent of some of the master furniture makers from the past, but with a modern twist.

Material Innovations

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New uses for traditional crafts and materials are developing; for example using luffa (the gourd used for sponges) for medical splints, packaging, and acoustic wall tiles, which can be dyed using the wastewater from the denim-dying industry. Another stylish yet environmentally friendly idea uses PET (plastic) bottles for lamp shades.






Trends: Influential Style Bloggers Connect in California

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Aspiring style bloggers take note: nearly half of today's top 20 personal style bloggers are based in California. Fashionista's latest list, based on data like number of social followers, brand extensions, ability to sell products, and Google standing, starts with Los Angeles-based Chiara Ferragni's Blonde Salad, Aimee Song's Song of Style, and Wendy Nguyen's Wendy's Lookbook—and goes on from there, including San Francisco and Orange County-based writers. Makes sense with the concentration of entertainment, fashion, and media headquarters on the West Coast.



40 FIDM Grads Who Have Amazing Careers In the Entertainment Industry


Awards Season is here!

...and we're celebrating by sharing a list of 40 FIDM grads who are working behind-the-scenes in Hollywood to create costumes for your favorite films and TV shows, designing gowns for the red carpet, and more.


Mary Claire Hannan, Costume Designer, The Fault in Our Stars

Marlene Stewart, Costume Designer, Oblivion, Date Night, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Soyon An, Costume Designer, Step Up: All In 

Mona May, Costume Designer, CluelessAmerican Reunion, Zookeeper

“I constantly tell people about all of the new and amazing programs offered by FIDM. The college is at the forefront of integrating media and technology with the many programs and degrees that they offer.” – Jill Ohanneson, Costume Designer, Revenge

Kyle Brosius (Art Director), Kyle Thorsen (Lead Motion Graphics Designer) and Justin Hamilton, (Lead VFX Designer), Greenhaus GFX creating trailers for films like Maleficent, 22 Jump Street, Oz the Great and Powerful, and HBO series Girls.

Trish Summerville, Costume Designer, Gone Girl, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


Jessica Carpenter, Costumer, Ender’s Game, Piranha 3D

Bérénice Eveno, Cinematography Apprentice, The Dark Knight Rises

Shelli Nishino, Costumer, Man of Steel, After Earth

Kaitlyn Wood, Buyer, The Call, Hitchcock

“FIDM is great because almost all of your instructors are currently working in the industry. You can pick their brains and I was able to have some amazing internships.” – Emma Verdugo, Set Decoration Coordinator, Saving Mr. Banks and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Michelle D’Antonio, Specialty Costumer, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

Trayce Gigi Field, Costume Designer, 2 Broke Girls

Mandi Line, Costume Designer, Pretty Little Liars

Eileen Cox Baker, Costume Designer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 

Suzy Magnin, Key Costumer, The Mentalist

“At FIDM, I learned the diverse aspects of costume design, from history and research to sketching, construction, crafts, budget continuity, and the etiquette of this sophisticated, hands-on profession.” – Francine Lecoultre, Costume Textile Artist, Fast & Furious 7, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; Textile Artist, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

Greg LaVoi, Costume Designer, Major Crimes, The Closer 

Kristi Hoffman, Assistant Costume Designer, Dancing with the Stars

Nancy Au, Costume Supervisor, BridesmaidsBlended, Inside Llewyn Davis, This Is 40


Halina Siwolop, Set Decorator, Masters of Sex

Giovanna Ottobre-Melton, Costume Designer, Gang Related, Mob City

Christine Bean, Costume Designer, Blacklist, Smash

Sarah Stimpson, Art Department Coordinator, The Neighbors

Danielle Colding, Winner, HGTV’s Design Star

Desiree Hartsock, Star, The Bachelorette

Casey Noble, Host, HGTV’s Design on a Dime

Jonathan Gitlin (Creative Director), Mario Hernandez (Senior Motion Graphics Designer), and Ryan Verseman (Motion Graphics Producer) at Create Advertising developing trailers forTammy, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and Netflix original series Orange is the New Black.

 “As soon as I walked into the lobby of FIDM I could sense the feeling of creativity and knew that this was where I could acquire and knowledge and develop the skills to achieve my dream.” – Michelle Liu, Set Costumer, Jersey Boys, Glee, The Bling Ring, and Avatar.

Daniel Musto, Stylist and Costume Designer, Fashion Star and The Kris Jenner Show

Ali Matilla, Set Decorator, Real Husbands of Hollywood



Teen Wolf star Arden Cho accessorized her MTV VMAs look with a chrome Farbod Barsum ostrich leg clutch. Farbod, a graduate of FIDM, has celebrity clients such as Christina Hendricks, Molly Sims, and Mena Suvari, among others.  


Sports Illustrated cover girl Chrissy Tiegen (above), who is married to singer John Legend, was a red carpet sensation at last year's Academy Awards. She chose a voluminous black strapless gown with an abstract pink floral print from Monique Lhuillier's Fall 2014 collection. Recognized as one of the world’s foremost fashion and bridal designers, Lhuillier has dressed Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, and Kristen Stewart, among others. 


Model-designer Camila Alves, who is married to Matthew McConaughey, stunned on the red carpet at the Andy Roddick Foundation Gala and Concert in Austin, Texas. Her bright turquoise maxi wrap dress with a thigh high split was designed by FIDM Graduate Kevan Hall. Hall has created red carpet looks for Charlize Theron, Salma Hayek, Sharon Stone, Angela Bassett, and Celine Dion.

Everyone from Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian to Demi Lovato and Eva Longoria has been photographed wearing an Ina Soltani design.

Harlyn designer Maria Stanley has seen her contemporary collection worn by the likes of Beyonce, Kate Hudson, Sienna Miller, and fellow FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad. 

Celebrity Stylist Taylor Jacobson has dressed stars such as Naya Rivera, Kate Beckinsale, Jon Hamm, and Toni Colette for red carpet appearances.

Feeling inspired? Click here to request more information about attending FIDM. 



Thinking About Transferring to FIDM? Attend Transfer Day in Los Angeles.


Are you thinking of transferring to FIDM? Save the Date(s): Saturday, April 25, 2015 and Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Transfer Day at the Los Angeles campus. 

Get all of the needed details on how to transfer from a community college or 4-year university, including recommended courses and how to transfer credits. 

  • Take a tour of our Los Angeles campus.
  • Learn about our 26 creative and business majors.
  • Hear from faculty, current students, alumni, and view student work.

Read the stories of FIDM Transfer Students here.

Hear from 10 Transfer Students who followed their passions to FIDM

More about Transfer Students at FIDM.

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From Into the Woods and Gone Girl to The Grand Budapest Hotel: The Hollywood Costume Exhibit You Won't Want to Miss


FIDM is proud to present our 23rd annual "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition at the FIDM Museum & Galleries. This year's exhibition includes the incredible costumes from all five Academy Award-nominated films for Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest HotelInherent ViceInto the WoodsMaleficent, and Mr. Turner.


Birdman (above; left) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (above; right) have both been nominated for numerous Academy Awards and the costumes from the two movies are in our exhibition. 


We're also proud to present the costumes from the blockbuster thriller Gone Girl. FIDM Grad Trish Summerville (pictured above) is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who is known for her work on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, most recently worked on Westworld, a sci-fi western TV series starring James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anthony Hopkins.   


FIDM Alumna Mary Claire Hannan was the Costume Designer for the hit teen love story The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. You can see the film's costumes up close in the FIDM exhibition. Mary Claire's past credits include Into the WildThe Kids Are All Right, and Red Eye, among many others, and her work has been exhibited at the FIDM Museum & Galleries. She is currently at work on The Longest Ride, to be released in 2015. 


Costume sketch from Into the Woods

Other films with costumes in the exhibition include The Imitation GameThe Theory of EverythingGuardians of the Galaxy, X-MenDays of Future Past, and many more. See costumes from the movie at the 23rd annual "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition at FIDM's Museum & Galleries

February 10, 2015– April 25, 2015
Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday/Monday.

FIDM Museum
919 S. Grand Ave, 2nd Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Free to the public

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