The Path to Specialization in Haute Couture Crafts: A Guide by Dutch Couture Academy and Saskia ter Welle
In the world of fashion and craftsmanship, there is a constant search for authenticity and skill. For aspiring fashion designers, it can be overwhelming to decide which direction to take within this industry. Should you focus broadly on different aspects of the craft, or is it better to specialize in a specific craft? You can think about haute couture embroidery and Japanese pattern techniques/moulage, for example? This is a question that I, Saskia ter Welle, founder of Dutch Couture Academy, help answer by discussing my own journey to specialization in my blogs.
If you look at my path, you can see parallels to the medical world, where family physicians and cardiac surgeons both fulfill essential roles, but each follow a different path of specialization. As I discovered, my journey began in tailoring and making unique garments, similar to the broad basic training of a general practitioner. But it wasn’t until I focused on haute couture embroidery and Japanese pattern techniques/moulage that my business really began to flourish, just as a heart surgeon specializes in a specific aspect of medicine.
But how do you figure out which specialization suits you? Where do you start?
Take time to think about your interests, passions and skills. What do you enjoy most about fashion making? What aspects appeal to you the most? Answering these questions will help you get a better idea of which direction you want to take.
Explore different areas within the fashion industry and learn about the different crafts and techniques used. Talk to professionals, take courses and workshops, and get hands-on experience to see which disciplines suit you best.
Just as a medical student can try out different specializations during internships, as a fashion designer you can try out different crafts and techniques before permanently specializing. Work on projects that highlight different aspects of the craft and evaluate what you like most and what you are most adept at.
Seek guidance and advice from experienced industry professionals, such as Saskia ter Welle of Dutch Couture Academy. A mentor can provide valuable insight and help you make decisions about your career and specialization.
For me, it was a gradual exploration to find my passion for haute couture embroidery and Japanese pattern techniques/moulage. By sharing my experiences and expertise through the Dutch Couture Academy, I now help others find their own path to specialization.
Step into a new World
Specializing in haute couture crafts is like entering a new world full of creativity, craftsmanship and innovation. It is a journey that is not only about perfecting technical skills, but also about finding your own voice and vision as a fashion designer. With the right guidance and dedication, fashion designers and makers from all backgrounds and experience levels can find their own unique specialization and make a lasting impact in the world of haute couture.
Are you curious to discover if Japanese pattern techniques could be something for you? Then come to the Origami Workshop on March 2 for an introduction to this special form of moulage/pattern drawing where a new world will open up for you! Sign up here.