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Tuesday March 31st, 2015 – Back to class

We’ve just left two weeks of Spring break behind us. Well, it wasn’t so much a break as quiet work-time to catch up for most of us here, and part one of the final Certificate exam is being written today. The programs are pretty intense, and if you do get behind even for one or two days, the work piles up incredibly quickly. Students all work very long hours for the duration of the programs, and as an administrator as well as instructor, my job doesn’t end at the close of class either. It usually runs late into the evenings and into weekends replying to emails and keeping up with necessary paperwork. It didn’t get any easier when Ecole Holt Couture became a designated Private Vocational Training institution licensed by the Alberta government of Advanced Innovation and Education department.

We often get questions about EHC’s programs and the equivalency of its certificate awards to other degrees. So here it goes.

Both Ecole Holt Couture programs are recognized by the Advanced Innovation and Advanced Education government department of Alberta, Canada.

EHC’s Dressmaking Certificate program is designed for self directed employment as well as the prerequisite program to enter the EHC Couturier/Tailoring Diploma program. The Diploma program is designed for self directed employment or free lance work, as well as entry level positions for apprenticeships. As such, there is no equivalent to our Certificate and Diploma programs. The entire curriculum is unique and original, written by the Founder, based on her education and 60 plus years of professional experience in the trade of couture and tailoring in Europe and Canada.

The reason that Ecole Holt Couture was established and its sole existence is to preserve and pass on traditional practical skills with its related professional technical knowledge not currently being taught in fashion or design institutions. As we’ve ventured to more modern approaches, focusing on off-shore manufacturing and marketing, the nature of educational programs have evolved to meet the demands of the fashion industry.

What is being left out is formalized training in couture and tailoring. Expert mentoring, the transference of knowledge and sharing of experience, not least of which is teaching the fundamental skills for a couture and tailoring career alternative – not typically included in the ‘industry’ statistics today.

So where are the statistics for couturiers and tailors to be found then, if not in the fashion industry? In our research, we have found them to be placed squarely in the arts and culture sector as craftsmen and artisans. see Cultural Human Resources Council

At EHC we do not teach quick and easy step by step do-at-home projects, that follow trendy designs adapting ready made patterns for sewing enthusiasts nor do we teach how to manipulate CAD programs. This training is meant for the serious career-minded individual to gain the expertise to take an original design idea and craft it into a fully formed product, by your own hands. What then is the exact degree equivalent, remains a good question. Cheers! J

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in College degrees

 

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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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Ecole Holt Couture 2014 Presents – Youtube video trailer

Watch Video

Watch Video

At EHC we are very fortunate to have talented students with varied skills. ‘You’re Invited’ was created by one such student, Amy Zia, as a light-hearted look at what we do as couturiers! But, don’t be fooled, what we do is highly professional whether for special occasions or to create a functional and personal business wardrobe.

This fashion event is created to help raise awareness and funds for Making Changes Association, who provides hundreds and hundreds of women with functional and appropriate work wardrobes each year. Their clients are all making the effort to re-enter the workforce, and perhaps have few resources to do so.

Making Changes programs include guidance on writing resumes, and networking to gain employment, to those who perhaps may never have had to provide these qualifications before.

The wardrobes that are provided are all donated, recycled, reused, and up-cycled from high quality garments that are either brand new or gently used, giving the garments a new life as well.

So although, EHC teaches the skills to create brand new custom couture made garments, we support, believe in what and how Making Changes not only uses perfectly good clothing as their main program resource, but

More importantly, we support and share their values in how they treat women and teens struggling to improve their life situations, by treating them like family. Almost all of the day to day operations are handled by wonderful volunteers who have time and expertise to share.

You are invited, to attend this event! Just click on ‘buy tickets‘, and join us in supporting this wonderful organization.
Ecole Holt Couture School will also have a booth at the event if you would like to know more about us, and become part of this wonderful highly skilled, hand-made and crafted market!

If you can’t start the video, please copy and paste the URL into your preferred browser! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phgn-NzI-Ls
Enjoy and see you at the event on Sunday November 16th! – cheers J.

To get ahead you need to get started.

To get ahead you need to get started.

 

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Fish leather!

At EHC we are always looking to use 1) natural fibers, 2) environmentally friendly and sustainable fabrics, 3) to recycle, re-purpose and up-cycle already-made garments. And every now and then we come across very interesting new products! We are thrilled with sea fish leather, which is prepared from skins that would otherwise be discarded from commercial fish processing. Sea fish leather comes in all manner of surface textures and colors – and NO, it really doesn’t smell of fish at all!

Dress Code 2012 EHC Fashion Event

Dress Code 2012 EHC Fashion Event

Stanley Major: “The attraction of the leather has to do firstly with the re-use of a product that is normally discarded. The scale patterns, although different for different species of fish, all share the characteristic of having no counterpart in the animal world. The environmental aspect of the leather is also of interest to consumers” www.sealeatherwear.com

Please read the rest of the article: The Reel Truth About Fish Leather!

Glazed finish fish skins

Glazed finish fish skins

 

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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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Ecole Holt Couture – 2014 Applications Deadline

Send applications to the office of the Registrar, Ecole Holt Couture, 2227 – 20 Ave. SW. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2T 0M4 by  March 1st, 2014.

It is that time of year again, when we announce the invitation to make application for enrollment to Ecole Holt Couture – School of Couture Sewing and Design. So, gather up all your application requirements and send it to the Registrar. Applications are reviewed, followed by an invitation for interview, when you can meet and talk with the Founder of EHC.

But before you do that, you should know that all interested individuals are first required to visit the school, get a feel for the place, and attend the free-information seminar which is scheduled and made by appointment. This is so you can have your many questions answered about the programs, and to find out what is expected of students.

We feel that it is important that everyone is fully informed before making an investment and commitment to the program. After this information seminar, you will receive your application package.

If you are considering enrolling for this September, it may be a little late if you can’t get here in the next few weeks to attend your free information seminar. But, you can attend this seminar anytime throughout the year from September to June, for the next enrollment year. Just make an appointment with Hannelore Ponto, EHC PR Rep by email at hannelore@ecoleholtcouture.com to set it up.

Because the Certificate and Diploma programs are full-time for two years each, and fairly intensive, we like to allow enough time between confirmation of registration and the start of classes in September for new students to gather tools and equipment and prepare themselves as much as possible for what is ahead. The programs are best described as full-immersion learning experiences, in which there is little time for anything else but classes, homework, eating, and sleeping with limited time for zoning out and making sure that you stay healthy and well balanced – at least from September to June.

We always tell new students to Ecole Holt Couture, that the first 10 weeks are quite honestly the hardest to get through, a bit like boot camp. Getting used to the new school environment, new classmates, new ways of doing things, new schedules, and accepting that socializing will not at the top of your priority list anymore, for now, is much harder in reality than it sounds. No matter how ready you think you are, it has proved ‘difficult’ for everyone.

Congratulations if what I’ve just shared has not put you off! After the first 10 weeks, you and everyone else deserve a decent break leading into the  short dark days of the year and also, Christmas! But before you take this break, Ecole Holt Couture holds its annual Fashion Event Fundraiser mid November, for Making Changes Association Calgary, with the involvement of all the students.

This fundraiser is a runway fashion show featuring all the work of current students of EHC. Guests witness what students have accomplished, and frankly most love to see the student’s progress from year to year – like watching a flower grow and blossom – exciting at every stage. This year EHC featured its first Graduates of the Diploma program showcasing their amazing final projects as well as countless other pieces they’ve created over the past four years.

Classes resume the beginning of January and run for a further 20 weeks into June with about 12 days Spring break in between. It is amazing to us, when students return in January, just how much more prepared they all feel after the first slog. In the past, this is the period when classmates really gel and become comfortable enough with each other to open up and share thoughts, opinions and eureka moments with. And surprisingly, they really begin to enjoy the demands and expectations of the curriculum, and are able to demand more of themselves as they see their impressive results.

More about how things work at Ecole Holt Couture in future posts. Visit and Like our Face book page at www.facebook.com/ecoleholtcouture for regular updates.

Again, the Deadline for Applications is March 1st, 2014 for September 2014 start.

Chelsea, Diploma Graduate 2013

Chelsea, Diploma Graduate 2013

Hannelore, Diploma Graduate 2013

Hannelore, Diploma Graduate 2013

Laura, Diploma student 2013

Laura, Diploma student 2013

 

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ECO GLAM 2013 – EHC Runway show turned into standing room only event

ECO GLAM 2013 Sponsors

ECO GLAM 2013 Sponsors

Thanks to all the 40 plus volunteers from Making Changes Association, EHC students, friends and supporters, and our event Sponsors, ECO GLAM was a standing room only event after all the seats were taken.With a clear westward view over the City of Calgary to the Rocky Mountains, Los Morenos sounded the Latino beat, champagne and strawberries for the guests, and a great line up of Couture made Vintage, simple to sophisticated pieces featured on the runway. The best turnout yet as Ecole Holt Couture students showed their work from beginners to graduates. It turned into an emotional Graduation Ceremony for two of EHC’s first ever Diploma recipients presented to the audience with all the grace of an elegant debutante affair on a cold snowy but sunny November Sunday afternoon.

Show in Memory of Neil Edward White

Show in Memory of Neil Edward White

 

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