This past weekend I had the privilege of taking a mini vacation with Ryan to sunny Los Angeles/Santa Clarita where our dear friends the Merrell's live. We left early Friday morning so that we were able to catch a tour of FIDM L.A. Can I just say that the initial feeling of walking onto the campus was SO peaceful, satisfying and exciting! Everywhere I turned there were guys and gals with incredible fashion sense and creativity. Granted, I was probably one of the oldest people there because most of the students are directly out of high school, but what does that matter...I'm coming into this with a great background and experience of business, marketing and communications...right? haha...won't lie..it intimidates me a tad.
After chowing down some tasty Quiznos, we started on a tour that has lead me to a big decision (I'll get to that later). We passed by classrooms with industry standard sewing machines, pattern tables and dress forms. It was incredible! Then we headed into what I can only some up as library bliss...Just imagine every fashion magazine past to current kept for inspiration. I'm talking from the very first issue of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar until now! They even have a historic preservation room where you can read these old issues...It's the largest fashion library on the west coast.
Every floor had window displays of sketches, furniture, dresses, etc. that students have created. They even had a famous Dior "New Look" dress recreated from the original pattern kept by one of the original dress makers sent by the fashion house of Dior! I think I was so in awe I forgot to take a picture, but it was incredible!
We moved on up to the fifth floor where we got to see more of product development and their creations...Here is where everything turned around for me...All of the designs were computer generated. Not super surprising, but when the student tour guide continued explaining more of what the major entailed my heart sank. I thought to myself, "There is hardly any creativity within this major." Basically, the curriculum focuses finding price points, textiles and what it takes to get a garment to sell.
After talking with the tour guide, my adivsor and some other students, Ryan and I both thought it was very clear that Product Development isn't what I'm really seeking. It's ultimately design. I think what has detoured me from pursuing it originally is my lack of sewing experience. The students explained, however, that no one in the classrooms has ever used a industry standard sewing machine, and therefore, everyone starts at sewing 101.
So, for the next five days (two have already passed), I'm praying about this decision to make sure this is really the right one. Now, you're probably wondering why I didn't realize this sooner...I'm not sure if it's because product development is the newest major at FIDM or because they simply haven't sat in the classes, but I feel like my adivsor simplified product development down to the thought that it's what people that have a business sense should do and fashion design is for someone that wants to be behind a sewing machine forever, but talking with students one on one brings everything into a new light.
I'll keep you posted as to what I finally decide, but please pray for clarity for Ryan and I. Also, Ryan and I have already booked a plane ticket to San Francisco to go visit that campus in order to figure out where we should concentrate our efforts on finding employment.