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Category Archives: fashion design

What it takes at Ecole Holt Couture School of Couture Sewing and Design

As the committee is now starting to review applications for 2015, it may be helpful to know what is expected of students at Ecole Holt Couture School of Couture Sewing and Design.

One of the first questions that instructors of fashion programs in high school put to us in regard to recommending various fashion schools to their own students is what grade standing is expected of an EHC student. It comes as a bit of a surprise to most that EHC expects at least an 80% (B-) level of success which is assessed every three months for every student attending the program to continue. And not only is the skills mastery assessed, but also students’ level of professionalism and responsibility, as each one is extremely important in the business of couture and tailoring.

So that each student receives the best training possible, they must successfully achieve every step (or learning module) along the way, before being allowed to continue along with their class mates. It may sound overwhelming, and it certainly challenges every new student during the first few months. History has shown that only about 50% of students find their pace and rhythm to continue in the program after the initial 10 to 15 weeks of the program.

Ecole Holt Couture is continually reviewing what filters need to be in place for selecting suitable applicants for its programs, so that the success rate for enrolled students is nearer 100%. EHC is as much interested in matching skills, dedication and passion levels most suitable for its programs, as each potential student wishes to choose a program best suited for their own needs and goals. For this reason, the application process has become much more in depth since the opening of the school in 2007.

Here is a summary of assessments:
1. Mastery of skills
a. Demonstrating good comprehension given a set of objectives
b. Showing a high degree of skill and competence
c. Achieving the desired level of competence through preparation and through training
2. Professionalism:
a. Skill and competence outcome expected of a highly trained professional
b. Pursues adequate research, and demonstrates creativity
c. Conforms to high degree of work ethic
d. Consistently achieves and produces the highest standards
3. Responsibility:
a. Able to be counted upon qualities of conscientiousness and trustworthiness
b. Accountable for actions and successful completion of duties
c. Mental and emotional characteristics associated with a well-rounded mature person
d. Shows qualities gained by development and experience
e. Courteous and sensitive to client needs

Also, some things that EHC has found to be common to those creative individuals that have successfully completed the programs, although not absolute, lists very good indicators.

1. Ability to spend long hours in solitude in full enjoyment rather than regret
2. Possessing high level of focused concentration, not easily distracted
3. Able to dedicate 40 plus hours a week for classes and homework
4. Rarely, if ever absent from classes (100% attendance expected)
5. Few commitments outside of school for the duration of the program
6. Able to work with self-imposed standards and time frames, highly self-disciplined
7. Emotionally resilient, open to constructive criticism
8. Take the long view to creating a fulfilling career
9. Interested in a self-designed lifestyle rather than ‘running with the pack’
10. Highly competitive with self, more so than with others
11. Has access to financial resources and an emotional support system
12. Ability to tolerate uncertainty and willingness to accept help that is offered

What is your score on the above? A high score doesn’t automatically assure you have what it takes, nor does a low score necessarily mean failure, but it does help to know what you are best suited for in terms of learning and expected outcomes.

 

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Couturier ‘String Theory’ – not just a Fable!

Most of the Students at Ecole Holt Couture have heard me tell a similar version of this Fable….

Once upon a time there was a very rich man and his wife spending some quality time together on their private south pacific island. Even with its remoteness it had every modern convenience. Solar panels for electricity, running water, and even 4G Internet access. Everything you could possibly need was there. A beautiful house, airstrip, dock, boat house, deep-sea fishing boat, and several guest cottages on its beaches.

He arrived following several strenuous business trips with his wife, who had completed a major shopping spree from Paris, Milan, London, to Tokyo. There was nothing that the couple could not buy. His wife had just procured lengths of the most elaborately hand-embroidered French silk, the softest Kashmir wool, the most luxurious Italian silk velvet, and the finest English worsted. The best that could be made, very expensive and all quite unique.

Because this man was also very generous he regularly invited friends and relatives to his island, but he also invited strangers from time to time to share in his good fortune. This time he invited three young, and very promising, fashion designers to the island as a reward for their contribution to one of the many charities he supported.

Each of the three individuals saw this opportunity differently. One was very ambitious and viewed each day as potential for new business and so brought an iPhone, laptop, latest look-book, and a few new design ideas to present, just in case. The other viewed this as a good time to get on with a project or two without distractions, and so managed to pack a compact sewing machine, sewing kit (thread, pins and scissors), and some new patterns but decided to investigate locally made materials on the island to experiment with. The third accepted this, as a time to relax and not worry about anything. To absorb, and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

While on the island, which was very tiny indeed, it became apparent just how remote it was from civilization. The owners of the island were very hospitable and made time to visit with each of their guests, making sure that everyone was quite comfortable. One night they invited the three young people to dinner at the big house. Nothing but the finest was offered, the freshest fish caught just hours earlier, the best quality vegetables and most exotic fruit flown in from the nearest islands, and the finest wines.

The conversation turned to each guest to find out what their hopes and aspirations were for the future. One was confident that someday they would become world famous, so that everyone would want to own one of their designs. The other was hopeful, that with experience and some help, they would be able to manufacture highly popular collections selling around the world. The third confessed to wanting to be creative every day, to being content, and wanting to make other people happy. The others all sniggered at the third’s response, and privately thought how impractical and unrealistic that would be.

Curiously, the rich man’s wife asked more questions about why this would be a considered career choice. After all, doesn’t one need a lot of money to be able to have everything one’s heart desires? “For instance, we have everything one could possibly want, a good income, good health, and access to the best of everything. This doesn’t come without hard work and sacrifice of course”. All had to agree, and continued to enjoy a pleasant evening of good food, conversation and exchange of ideas.

Later, the rich man’s wife was delighted to show the three young people her exquisite fabric finds, knowing they would share in her excitement. As expected, all three were indeed thrilled. Also, as an almost instant reaction, they offered to design something for her using these fabrics. “Oh, but, I couldn’t just let anyone touch these precious fabrics, only someone with considerable experience”. They asked who she knew, that had such experience. “Well, I don’t really. I’m a bit hesitant about asking anyone!”

The first young designer offered to create the most fashion-forward designs, and would start on it straight away. The second, began to research the latest trends to present. Meanwhile, the third asked questions about what the rich man’s wife dreamed for herself, what were her requirements for the coming year, and what type of things she loves to wear. “This is all wonderful, but it still leaves the dilemma of who will make these amazing designs for me?”

Not to worry the first designer said, “I have some really good people behind me who will get it done right”, the second designer remarked, “I will make it myself, it won’t take long. I can usually run things up in a few hours, a couple of days at most!” The third’s reply was “I would love to make it for you, it will take some time. I want to make sure everything fits just right, and makes you look marvelous. Your fabrics will deserve the utmost attention, for the most part they will be hand-sewn”.

That night a tropical storm knocked out the 4G Internet access, the docks were damaged, and the airstrip was littered with debris from broken branches. Fuel supplies were so low that the generators couldn’t be run for more than just the bare essentials – such as pumping fresh water. Repairs would take some time.

The first designer conceded, “Well that pretty much finishes my plans, without the internet I can’t communicate with my team, my laptop battery is low and in need of recharging, but I can’t do it without electricity”. The second designer complained that without power the sewing machine was useless, and it was too late to order patterns on-line. The third said, “No problem. Let’s get started”.

In wonderment, the rich man’s wife asked how this is possible without any equipment! “I have my hands, I never travel without my emergency sewing kit, and if you have a ball of string somewhere, that’s all I need.” And so proceeded to take her measurements with the ball of string, sketched some ideas on paper for her approval, and drafted the patterns on old bed sheets. After assembling the mock-up designs, they were fitted exactly to her figure. Then used as the pattern to cut her prized fabrics.

During the following days, the rich man’s wife witnessed how the garments were being created piece by piece, all with the greatest care and attention to detail. Every pattern was skillfully matched at each seam. The garments were fitted a few times making sure they were comfortable and flattering to her figure. Then – one day the clothes were complete! “Oh my, I have never in my life seen such craftsmanship, such beauty, but mostly I have not felt so comfortable in my clothes, and felt so good about the way they make me look! I could see your joy while you worked, and why you love creating such wonderful things! How can I thank you enough for what you have done for me?” The young Couturier replied, “The opportunity you’ve given me has been priceless! Here is a detailed invoice of what you have received in exchange for my expertise.” The rich man’s wife never again wanted what everyone else could buy! Do you?

(Not The End) Just The Beginning – Cheers J

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EHC – Calgary Richmond Knob Hill Community ‘business of the month’ October 2014

As we plan and prepare for the fashion event we also sometimes have other news to share. Ecole Holt Couture has been selected as ‘business of the month’ for October, in its home community of Richmond Knob Hill in Calgary.

Ecole Holt Couture’s Founder, Elfriede, has owned and operated her Couture and Tailoring business in this community for 60 years, and 7 of those years as Ecole Holt Couture. The school is well rooted and plans to stick around right where we are.

As with Making Changes Association, EHC’s community partner who we are raising funds for in support of their programs, it is a well rooted organization that has been active in Calgary for over 32 years.

Making Changes Association is one of the few remaining volunteer run organizations with only a handful of full and part-time employees in Calgary. Community donors, corporate retail and service partners along with volunteers help MCA to thrive. Their business model is proven sustainable and still feels like a large family, which is one of the reasons we love to work with them!

This time of year is very exciting for us at Ecole Holt Couture not only because of this annual event, but what the event means to us. We primarily experience working with the volunteers of MCA and witness how this helps others. It also gives our students a chance to expose their skills and talents to others during their school learning experience – not having to wait until they have graduated.

Speaking of Graduation, this is the time for EHC’s presentation to four year graduate’s of their well earned Diploma! Because we are a small school, this is the perfect opportunity to have an official convocation ceremony with like minded individuals who can appreciate what has gone into this award.

Many returning guests of the event may have been following our students for years through this event, and have an insight into their skills and talents ahead of the game.

Hoping that you will consider joining us on Sunday November 16th! Thanks Great News Publishing and Cheers! J

the knob hill review 2the knob hill review 1

 

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Tools of the trade

389x421We all love the latest in gadgetry or digital technology which most of us want to possess even if we don’t actually use! If you’ve ever observed an artist or trades person using their tools at work, you’ll have noticed that the tools are very simple or very special but, very well used. Painters use the same brushes over and over until the bristles have all fallen out or have broken off. Cabinet makers use the same planes, chisels and mallets that perhaps they’ve inherited or started out with. Hair stylists use their favorite scissors and combs. You get the picture.It is no different with dressmakers, tailors and couturiers. Once we’ve invested in the best tools we can afford, we use them constantly, and stay with us forever if we can help it.

A few examples of tools I mean are scissors, thimbles, sewing needles, yard sticks and tape measures. Tape measures drape around your neck, get rolled up and unrolled, the printed markings become worn, and they gain a few nicks along the edges, but getting a new one is one is just one big hassle after breaking-in the one you’ve been using properly. Yard sticks are good for setting hems, marking lines, and swatting flies when necessary.
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Sewing needles sometimes become visibly plate bare in spots along the shafts, and eventually do get replaced. But to lose one is irritating bordering on disaster and finding one that became lost is a near-on victory! Using cheap needles is total waste of time because they only bend and break.
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Thimbles actually become a comfortable extension of your middle finger. I’ve used very few in my career, only replacing two that acquired punctures in the tops from repeated needle pressure, and it takes a long time to warm up to a new one so I guard mine closely. They need not be pretty, but good quality metal is essential. In the studio, holding up your middle finger is not a rude gesture – it means ‘have you seen where I left my thimble?’ without speaking.
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Scissors and shears become your pride and joy when you’ve invested in high quality tempered steal. Purchasing them really hurts at the time, as they’re rather expensive items – which no one else will understand the value of, and hard to justify when you’re just starting out. Good ones will last 40 to 50 years and longer if you take good care of them!
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We don’t use special pattern drafting tools either, just the basics. Straight edge or T-square, triangle, pencil and eraser. We go through proper tailors chalk like crazy. Pens are banned from the studio. We use ordinary un-waxed wide width white butchers paper for drafting, only using tailors card for patterns we plan to keep and reuse – this 92lb card stock is sold in rolls and is extremely heavy and somewhat expensive.

Wonderful gadgets, fancy sewing aids and swanky drafting tools are a boon for sewing hobbyists. DIY stores offer a specialized tool for every conceivable do-it or fix-it job you might ever do at home. As appealing or impressive as they might look they’re not necessarily manufactured for the professionals. However, it seems everyone wants them and they do look terrific on the collector’s shelf!
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Pattern cutting, pattern making, pattern engineering.

At EHC pattern engineering

At EHC pattern engineering

Whatever you call it, is interpreting a design with an eye for detail, making pattern templates used to cut the cloth before any construction can begin. We often get approached by outside students of fashion and designers alike asking for theses pattern making skills.

We still draft patterns by hand at Ecole Holt Couture, an essentially combined science and art form without the aid of CAD programs, specifically for haute couture and bespoke tailoring – which is what we teach. Pattern engineering is integral and essential to a successful business as a couturier and tailor whether you work from home or operate a studio or boutique.

Every pattern is based on an entirely unique set of measurements first to create a mock-up or toile for design and fit adjustments. This ensures perfect fit, efficient use and adequate quantity of expensive and specially made fabrics for the final garment.

Interpreting the designer’s ideal fit and flair is what sets great pattern-makers apart from the masses and enables them to command high salaries. Being detail-oriented, style-conscious, perfectionistic, and hard-working, enables pattern-makers to earn upwards of $100,000/year in New York or Los Angeles as of 2013. Freelance pattern-makers may earn up to $40/hr or more in LA. Pattern-making services usually charge more than this, however. The time it takes to make any type of pattern is extremely difficult to predict, and few predictions are accurate.

The importance of having the skills to make original patterns cannot be understated. The following are comments made by professionals in the fashion design and production field.

Pattern engineering is at the cutting edge of design, processing flat designs into 3D form is as important as the design itself, and fundamental to the success of any design. Without the technician the designer cannot produce. Pattern cutters are equal to the designer and are crucial to success.

Even though pattern cutters work in collaboration with designers for many years, the credit normally goes to the designer. However, no famous designer would ever claim that their design was created without a great team behind them as they work hand in hand on every function to achieve final goal.

Cutters understand and are interpreters of what is in your head as a designer. Behind every designer is a very creative pattern cutter, a sort of marriage between art forms and expertise. They provide many more options than the obvious ones to achieve a design.

Pattern cutters are just as creative as the designer, but perhaps more practical. However, not enough technical people being trained for the fashion industry as the actual manufacturers move into other countries. There are plenty of designers around, but not enough technical creators.

Pattern cutters are open-minded and know the foundation rules, and understand how to break those rules. They can turn tailoring ideas on their head, are methodical and use good sense.

We live in a fairly celebrity obsessed society and perhaps most people want to be the high profile designer. But maybe you are the type that will follow your love and spirit for cutting. Pattern cutting is actually a highly respected career that you can make a decent living out of. (See: Canada. USA. UK. )

As a pattern cutter you won’t be on television or have a famous name, the same as if you’re a football coach or in the pit crew of a formula one race car – you are the support team. Pattern cutters are the unsung heroes.

It is very satisfying seeing a project through from the concept, its procedure of cutting and fitting, all the way to the runway or see someone wearing it, or in the shops.If you become a top pattern cutter you will become an even better designer, the best training ever to become an even better designer.

They are real gold to a designer, who needs to create what people want to buy and what they want to wear. Imagine if you are a designer and find pattern cutter you absolutely love, then you can feed all these wonderful ideas to them to be interpreted.

Imaging doing something you really enjoy for 8 hours every day. Pattern cutters understand you before you’ve even said something, even presented with a vague sketch. You don’t want to get rid of a good pattern cutter – ever!

Designers will come and go. That’s just the way it is. A creative pattern cutter will have great job security. If you are good, then you become in some ways, the mainstay of a successful creative studio.

You work with someone else and add your input to create the final garment. You turn great ideas into reality. There is a huge need for creative technologists in every single area of fashion design including pattern cutters, seamstresses, etc.

The fashion industry has changed, certainly from local manufacturing, but the front end part is not moving anywhere – business always need to be very close to the market that they are operating in.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough publicity of the icons of the past – we need more publicity of these very creative people. Careers for pattern cutting and sewing are still very much alive; you just never know where you will end up working – for a high street shop or next to a designer.

Comments condensed from video:
Sally Smith, one time Design Director, Coats Viyella
Michael Terry, Design Director and one time Executive Director at Dewhirst Group based in the UK,
Amanda Wakeley, Designer
Betty Jackson, Designer
Nicole Fahri, Designer
Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda, Designers recently well known for their innovative cutting techniques for British Fashion Council.

Many books are published on the subject, but it is rare for a pattern-maker to become a professional through teaching oneself. Apprenticeships are almost unheard of in North America, but would serve well to improve the transition from student to professional status. Because this occupation is relatively unknown outside of the apparel industry, there is a serious lack of pattern-makers who can accurately interpret designs in LA, and possibly other fashion capitals.

pattern cutter

 

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Is creative expression your living heritage?

Why is it that my love for creating and sewing stuck with me in this time of plenty? In this time of embarrassingly rampant consumerism when you can afford to buy almost anything – why bother!
The greatest satisfaction I get is from things that I’ve created myself, paying close attention to their purpose, quality and design. I appreciate and love to see beautiful things that are made with great skill, passion and attention to detail by other creators.
It may be from an unbroken history of skills transference that my mother, grandmother, and aunts all learned. To take care of themselves and their families included sewing, and the usual cooking and cleaning. Very importantly, they also learned how to manage money equally as well as how to manage with very little money.
Toys were crafted from available bits and pieces that not only entertained once completed, but enjoyment was extracted from the making of them. More than just quilts, other household furnishings too were often made – drapery, cushions, slipcovers and kitchen linens. And, wool and linen fabrics were home spun and woven in our family.
Clothing was sewn for rapidly growing children, if not for the ‘grown-ups’ of the family’s work and casual wear. Although, going further back into history, in my grandparent’s day, all adult members of the family wore clothing made by its female members, or the family’s tailor.
My ancestors had beautiful well-crafted clothing for every season. Nothing like the perpetuated images of amateurish, ill fitting, home-made sewing disasters that quickly comes to mind from TV programs such as ‘I Love Lucy’ of my childhood. Far from it! Fabrics were incredibly durable yes, but they were also wonderful lustrous wools and silks, furs and leather, linen and crisp cottons that stood up to wear and tear.
Everyone made an effort to look their best all the time, wherever they went; they took pride in their appearance. Clothing fitted extremely well, and was mostly alterable especially for children as they grew. New garments were re-purposed from ones that had a previous life, taken apart and redesigned. Handed down dresses and gowns with laces and embroidery, and suits with handmade buttons were all precious.
There was also a sharing of labour pool. Those that had become expert in one area, would trade with others of differing skills. It was personal. It was holistic, productive and meaningful.
Growing up with an appreciation for and practicing the skills I’ve learned from my mother who has always been a professional couturier, gives me immense satisfaction. To share them with young people wanting to learn, who haven’t had my advantage, is what living heritage is all about – the future.

“…here is to the future!” – J

hand beading on silk

hand beading on silk

quilted matlasse collar

quilted matlasse collar

hand twisted wool edging detail

hand twisted wool edging detail

hand made buttons

hand made buttons

french lace over silk

french lace over silk

 

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Me a model figure? Get real!

Kate Moss

Kate Moss – Super model wearing strapless summer beach frock

Ecole Holt Couture challenges the notion that couture made or tailor made garments should be presented by professional models on its runway.

Each year we hear a few strong opinions following EHC’s annual fashion event on this subject. And they make a valid point. If you want to attract your market sector, sell your designs or collections, you need to appeal to your audience’s strong desire to be this ‘beautiful’, ‘in’, ‘thin’, and ‘fashionable’ etc. so they will buy into your conceptualized vision.

Through all types of media, this is how style and fashion is essentially sold. Sample sized garments for each new collection are created specifically for professional models to display in incredulous theatrical settings.  You only need to open a style magazine or watch a fashion video to understand what I mean.

An advantage to using professional models is that they are well practiced walking the runway with supreme confidence implying that every woman should or will look this way when they wear this garment. Models are a predictable size, usually 5’8” – 6’0” (175 cm) tall, a size 0 – 6, age thirteen to twenty-two, right?

I love theater, and it is most entertaining!  But, as couturiers and tailors we take particular issue with the popular belief that most of us and you:  look all wrong, have the wrong hair, walk all wrong, are the wrong shapes, or are the wrong age, unless you aspire to or do look like the model image. Yes, glamor is still a tantalizing fantasy, but not the reality of most people’s lives.

Please tell me if you really walk the aisles at your office, sit at your computer, take the bus or drive to work, take your children to school, attend a business meeting, arrive at the restaurant or your friend’s wedding ‘strutting your stuff’ like professional models do on the runway? I thought not.

Couture and tailor made (fashion) both exquisite and practical is essentially different. It is the voice and vision of authenticity. Authenticity of your style, shape and personality.  Because, couture is created specifically for you, your vision, your lifestyle needs, and your shape and curves, the best model of course, will be you.

Here is some juicy insider knowledge. Collections shown on the runway or through look-books must ultimately sell themselves in shops. They must have superior ‘hanger appeal’, meaning they must grab your attention whilst hanging on the rail or over the mannequin, and the most effective way to achieve this is to produce styles that have little extra shape or size, and no complications in them.

How is this different from true Couture or tailored garments? It is well known, and most obviously seen when on the hanger, that couture made or tailor made garments truly have the worst hanger appeal! Why so? Garments fitting your shape and around your curves, and sometimes complex in construction, absolutely need to be filled-out by your body to show at their best.

At Ecole Holt Couture’s fashion event each year the students model garments they’ve made purposely for themselves or for their client model, to fit their own unique shape and not a typical model ‘size’.

The deliberate aim of using non-professional models is to affirm that couture made and tailor made is intended as exclusively for ‘you’. No matter what your unique shape, age, and lifestyle, you always look your best when the fashion you wear fits you well, suiting your personal style and makes you feel comfortable within your own skin. This in turn produces genuine self-confidence, helps you stand apart from the crowd reflecting your wonderful and beautiful true self – a concept everyone can relate to.

Although the projects shown on EHC’s runway are firmly part of the learning program in the curriculum, each student’s creations are completely unique in their presentation. The garments reflect students own personal style. We encourage you to follow the students’ progress through EHC training, pay attention to their developing skills and creativity. They will one day be the ‘designer makers’ helping you to create your own unique look. True couture and bespoke tailoring is not just for the rich and famous, it is for you!

Kelsey in Dress Code

Dress Code – Kelsey showing one first year robe project: brief – must be quality 100% cotton flannel, capped seaming, perfectly pattern matched, gladiator style shoulders, custom quilted shawl collar and cuffs, patch pockets, self twisted thread detailing, etc.

Ecole Holt Couture 'Dress Code' fashion event

Ecole Holt Couture ‘Dress Code’ fashion event

 

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EHC Back to School April 3rd

This ‘March break’ thing is passing by all too quickly! And I wonder when we will see some green buds on the trees here in Calgary? I understand that EHC students have been very busy during their time off and are preparing to return after the Easter long weekend.

New applications for the 2013-2014 Fall Term are arriving at the office, and so for registrants it will be quite busy  during the summer months, getting resources and home studios all lined up.

The last Term of the 2012-2013 school year, April to June, will be especially exciting for those who are graduating. A full day workshop is planned to develop their professional portfolios, led by Leela Jacobs experienced in producing and directing photo shoots across the country and down south of the border. Students will be working on Term 12 projects plus planning their final projects – which are entirely designed and created following a set of requirements – and will be involved in producing the EHC Fashion Show and Fundraiser Event held on November 17th, 2013, at the Calgary Winter Club.

As part of the curriculum we have been covering and reviewing the importance of creating your ‘business plan’ using Cultural Human Resources Council ‘the Art of Managing your Career’ manual, the only one developed for cultural workers in Canada, (specifically for artistic and creative types who work on their own or run their own businesses). As well, EHC incorporated much of what it takes to run an atelier with good customer service (and how that is defined), the typical paperwork that needs to be done in day to day operations, etc. as Ecole Holt Couture is a real couture and tailoring business as well as teaching facility.

Also, a workshop is planned in May at EHC School, led by a Business Accounts Manager from the Royal Bank of Canada, outlining what you should do in creating in your ‘business plan’, plus introducing resources for up and coming entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. This workshop will be open to all current and past EHC students, which is a unique opportunity to get information from ‘the horse’s mouth’ so to speak.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next week – Happy Easter! – J

working on the most comfortable shirt dress - 100% linen

working on the most comfortable shirt dress – 100% linen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

cashmere winter coat - in progress

cashmere winter coat – in progress

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working with fur and traditional tailoring methods

working with fur and traditional tailoring methods

 

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EHC Spring Break

Hi thanks for visiting our blog! Before you read on, please check out our video series on EHC YouTube channel – to subscribe at: http://www.youtube.com/user/ecoleholtcouture Couture sewing tips and secrets demonstrating couture hand sewing techniques that we use daily at Ecole Holt Couture; sharing with you what you can use on your own sewing projects. Useful tidbits not commonly known about couture and tailoring will continue to be added to the series!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

Friday was the final day of classes before Spring/March break [classes resume again in two weeks] and we started this momentous day by celebrating with takeaway coffee and pastries from Phil & Sebastion  www.philsebastian.com – a popular local coffee house – a rare treat for all of us during school hours.

While debriefing and reviewing the past 10 weeks revealed all our accomplishments, struggles, hiccups and advancements made since January, we checked where everyone is ‘at’ with their projects and where everyone is ‘at’ in their heads.

The pressure to finish projects and collate time and cost sheets is at its greatest right now, but we remain calm in the knowledge that we’re all friends in the same boat. We discussed what needs to be achieved in the next few days for submissions and then what everyone is planning to do during spring their break: travelling to sunny destinations, sailing on the west coast, sleeping, showing at Western Canada Fashion week in Edmonton http://www.westerncanadafashionweek.com/calendar , and catching up on paperwork were roughly the responses – guess which one was mine!

This term in review the fourth year students were introduced to several new cutting and construction techniques tried on half scale models, more full scale projects using expensive silks and wools, they created clutch handbags and fur muffs, tested new shirring and smocking methods, and created handmade flowers petal by petal.

First year students are currently mastering matching and joining patterned fabrics creating garments which almost appear to be printed after construction rather than before, much the way a sculptor chips away at stone revealing what is there after the excess is removed. Second year students are working with high performance sportswear fabrics creating Rubik cube type constructions in which sequencing is everything. Not just single points to become frustrated with but a multitude of points that all need to come together perfectly.

In spite of (or because of) the challenges everyone is anticipating next Term not only because of the amazing potential for mid-stream students, but also to clinch the final term for EHC fourth year graduates.  We will also be shooting more ‘tips and secrets’ videos, planning the next fashion event for November and the graduation ceremonies. EHC continues to develop and evolve. Asked what anyone else would add, their comments were:

“I’m in awe of how much we’ve have accomplished in this term…” – Hannelore, 4th year

“Where has the time gone… I can’t wait to continue in April!” – Chelsea, 4th year

“This has been completely unique to my past experience, and I’m really excited about learning more and more new techniques…also, looking forward to some sleep!” – Kelsey, 2nd year

“My greatest challenge is learning how to achieve my optimal state of mind for my best level of productivity.” – Hanny, 1st year

“Each student is so totally unique, it is a such pleasure to see their development and gratifying to see that this art will indeed continue” – Elfriede, EHC Founder

“This job is so rewarding on so many levels, it will be really interesting to being witness to future developments” – yours truly, J

 

 

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Discover the #1 thing stopping you from having the image you want!

Why get your tickets now to Dress Code!?  http://www.dresscode.myevent.com/

  1. Create a sense of clarity about the image you really want to have…
  2. Find out the essential building blocks for having the wardrobe of your dreams…
  3. Discover the #1 thing stopping you from having the fashion signature you want…
  4. Identify the most powerful actions that will move towards the image you desire…
  5. Feel the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to create the wardrobe you truly want!

Dress Code is EHC’s fashion event to raise funds for Making Changes Association’s Walk in Closet Program, by showcasing the talents and skills of EHC couture students work giving a rare insight into the secret world of couture fashion and how you can have your own signature couture wardrobe.

At the Calgary Winter Club, guests will enjoy the ambiance of an attractive sophisticated venue, the remarkable talent of local musicians, have the opportunity to mingle with other fashion aficionados, and win great prizes in a relaxing environment.

Our VIP event before the show will give our guests a rare opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes with EHC students and see the runway garments up-close, view all the great prizes available, meet our special guests Sabrina May and Calgary Stampede Royalty 2013: Stampede Queen Jessica Williams, Princess Danielle Kakoshke, Princess Catherine Morneau. Mix & mingle and enjoy inspiring talk while enjoying tasty tidbits and champagne. The VIP event starts at 2pm – get your tickets today!

Once seated for the main event at 3pm, you will experience what Couture fashion is all about, and how you can create the wardrobe of your dreams. Witness chic couture garments modeled on the runway created by the students of Ecole Holt Couture.

See Vintage Couture garments created by the Founder of EHC during her career modeled by the wonderful ladies of Making Changes Association. Also included this year are tailored bespoke riding suits, Men’s and Ladies Tuxedo’s created by the 3rd Year Couture students.

As well as the runway show will be booths of high-end fashion related products and services to complete the highly personalized look of Couture, fantastic raffle ticket prize items, plus the opportunity to connect with EHC students to perhaps get an early opportunity to book an appointment for custom Couture services.

Tell a Friend www.ecoleholtcouture.com See you there!

 

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