Cullen’s Fashion Discovery
In our last post, we mentioned the many people and hands that went into creating the University of Fashion. Among the contributors to the process were current and future students of fashion who felt the need for and had benefited from the University of Fashion’s online fashion video library. One of those students was the young and promising Bay Area high school student Cullen Mo. As a young man with great aspirations at a young age, we felt he was a great representative of the fashion curious youth of America. As one of the first students of the University of Fashion method, Cullen has been gracious enough to share his experience and advice regarding the program with us, and we would like to pass it on to you…
When I first entered high school, I was not sure exactly how I would choose amongst the many courses, clubs, and opportunities presented to me. I have always been interested in the design arts, and was ecstatic to discover that there was an extracurricular club devoted to creating fashion. This club, which was run by none other than Francesca Sterlacci, facilitated the product ideals of the participating students from their sketches to final product. I was thrilled to find out that as member of this club I would be able to showcase my designs.
It is worth noting that, before joining this club, I had taken several summer courses at Parsons and wondered just how much I could gain from Francesca’s professional knowledge of the fashion industry. Throughout my three years learning and creating under Francesca’s instruction, I’ve learned many things from her instruction in person as well as from her gracious sharing of the University of Fashion’s video library. From the beginning, I learned how to translate my ideas into a clear and stylish illustration with Francesca’s lessons on drawing the fashion figure. I also learned how to manipulate the drape of different fabrics on the dress form, and how to properly ascertain a conceptual design onto a real human form. I remember distinctly, and use often, the efficient shortcuts Francesca introduced me to when attempting to construct a particularly full garment. I really appreciated being able to reduce a full week’s worth of work into a couple days. With her knowledge of crafting garments, and my yards of fabric, I was able to learn and understand how to construct my vision.
Not only technically was Francesca an excellent instructor, but she was also instrumental in helping me articulate my design identity. I had a lot of disparate and idealistic ideas about my designs going into freshman year. Learning from Francesca and the wide spectrum of University of Fashion films helped me to find a cohesiveness to my designs. She helped guide my vision in a realistic and executable manor, as well as suggesting design techniques which related to my aesthetic, to each other, and helped to tell a story, developing my collections by the year. I was very pleased to see my own skills progress and to see each garment look more unified and strong than the one before.
In my Junior year I produced a mini-collection that was the headliner at the school’s annual fundraising auction. Not only was I proud of what I had accomplished from an artistic standpoint but knowing that I helped raise funds for my school was the icing on the cake! Without Francesca, I would not have been as proficient in fashion design and would not have been able to go out on my own to create clothes. I thought that a few weeks of instruction each summer was enough for me to create my designs, but Francesca revealed to me an extensive personal study as well as years of practice and experience into the fashion industry is needed to make a collection work. To have this opportunity at the high school level has given me a huge leg-up on my career goals and on the design school competition. I am indebted to Francesca and the University of Fashion team, and am thrilled to be a part of bringing news of the great project and its creator to you!
Class of 2013