What I learned in Fashion School

Posted by Regine Tessone- founder of the Original Modest swimwear line Aqua Modesta on 6th May 2015

In my previous blog, you read how I came about designing my line of modest swimwear called Aqua Modesta. In the following few blogs, I want to describe some of my fashion design training at FIT (an acronym for Fashion Institute of Technology), known as one of the top design schools in NYC. 

In our fashion illustration class, we learned that the best way to draw a fashion figure is to extend the legs to be way longer than they are. From day one, we learned that to enhance the woman’s body, we must begin to change it. Next, we learned to illustrate her with a much smaller waist than humanly possible. We were told the hips and shoulders should be similar in width. If the shoulders are sketched at one angle, the hips shall be drawn in the reverse direction, giving the illustration much attitude. The arms, too, had to be elongated and thin. There was little difference between the upper arm and lower arm in terms of width. The arms always had to reach slightly below the hip line of the woman we drew. The hands had to be thin with long and slender fingers. 

We then learned to draw the ankle and feet much more delicately and extended proportionately to the illustration. The face had to be on a small, perfectly shaped oval head with large thick lips, perfect almond-shaped eyes, and a small upturned nose. The ears, too, must be drawn small and flat to the face, preferably covered by thick, long hair. As for the neck, it, too, had to be extended. All that they taught us was very correct. It did make the fashion model on paper genuinely outstanding and beautiful. 

However, it was far from portraying what real women look like. As students, we were taught well. As a young lady, I understood that it was only a fashion illustration and not an actual view of what women should or do look like. I hope that young girls and women today can understand that difference. Just like an author will write a fiction book based on a true story, we also draw women’s bodies as fiction based on a true story. However, some women today make their best effort to look like fashion illustrations. It is their right to do so. I believe that each of us should make an effort to present ourselves in the best possible way outwardly with clothing and accessories as well as inwardly by improving our character, regardless of what designers and illustrators seem to dictate to us. http://aquamodesta.com/