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Majoring in chic at L.A.’s fashion schools

Majoring in chic at L.A.’s fashion schools.

This LA Times article by Susan Carpenter is an interesting resource for anyone considering fashion schools especially in Los Angeles. For those questioning what Academy of Couture Art is doing different, check it out. Here’s an excerpt about the New Design College of Haute Couture.

…Located in a Wilshire Boulevard high-rise, the academy’s curriculum is focused entirely on French couture techniques for making clothes that are luxurious, hand-sewn and precisely fitted. Its associate and bachelor degree programs offer students choices in two areas of specialization — pattern making and fashion design.

“By offering degrees in the specialized professions, we train in how the industry actually works according to the division of labor,” Été says.

“Haute couture means highest creativity, highest technique,” adds Été, whose students have gone on to work with couturier Roberto de Villacis, Nolan Miller and Badgley Mischka. “We want to take a student to the couture level to teach them the thinking process, creativity and technique. If you study at the highest level, you can always trickle down to any level in the industry,” says Été, whose curriculum includes work with beading, feathers and furs as well as classes in business development, manufacturing collaboration and trend forecasting. …


Pattern Designers explore Moulage at Academy of Couture Art


Comments Off on Faculty Spotlight: Costume History

Faculty Spotlight: Costume History

When National Geographic approached Academy of Couture Art for an interview about famous parties past and present and what was worn, we could not think of anyone better than our very own Costume History professor Douglas SPESERT.

At Academy of Couture Art, we go much more in-depth on costume. We break it down into three quarters and take it to the next level in the bachelor years to haute couture garment and accessory analysis.

When it comes to famous parties past and present fashion is certainly in mind. For the National Geographic series, particularly interest was on the woman that comes to a couture mind, Marie Antoinette.

Douglas SPESERT was thrilled. Questions of cost, make, and fabric were something quickly accessible. “I’ve been teaching this for years.”

“At that time, a typical dress that would be worn at a masked ball might be about 6500-8000 livres; about the cost of a Mercedes nowadays. The average tailor’s salary was only about 4 livres a month while the best paid seamstresses employed by other firms earned about 450 livres a year. You can see the astronomical costs for the materials and embellishments.”

“Connections from the past to modern with a human character and contemplating the decisions behind everything are fascinating.”

Douglas SPESERT for Costume History & Haute Couture Garment and Accessory Analysis










Douglas SPESERT holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Arts from a UCLA and a Bachelor in History from UC Santa Cruz. His professional background spans a broad range of theatre, television, film, opera including costume design highlights with Showtime, HBO-Def Jam, Lionel Richie Production, Reebok, Don Giovanni (LA Opera).

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Spotlight: Standing Out from the Crowd

 Founder Sonia ETE

Academy of Couture Art Founders Sonia and Thierry ETEFounder Sonia KIM ÉTÉ

Christian Lacroix; Azzedine Alaia; London Underground alongside Vivienne Westwood; Francois Lesage; SAGA furs; Harry Winston; Guess? Handbags; Von Dutch; Harley Davidson; Theodore & William (for St. John’s Knits, Richard Tyler, James Galanos, Geoffrey Beene, Nordstrom); Karl Kani; Jennifer Lopez; Candy Spelling; Aaron Spelling; Pam McMahon Inc at Nieman Marcus Department Stores; Ed McMahon; Paula Abdul; Jennifer Stallone; Catherine Bach; Coolio; Michele Lee; Tracy Danza; Lucinda Ruh

Placement/Internship Highlights

Couturier Roberto de Villacis; Lloyd Klein Couture; Nolan Miller; Badgley Mischka; Brian Lichtenberg; Henry Duarte; Rock and Republic; Leyendecker; Cerre; Nicole Miller (NY); Picasso Style Inc (Forever 21, Urban Outfitters); Louis Verdad; Nylon Magazine/ Nylon Guy’s Magazine; LA Fashion’s Night Out; Los Angeles County Museum of Art Costume Council; Braintree (UK); Des Kohan; Harley Davidson; Ed Hardy; Da Nang; LA Insider; Illustrator Running Press Publishing Company; Paul Mitchell the school Portland


Made with Swarovski; Solstiss-Bucol; PAD System

Honorary Members: Roberto De Villacis (LA based Couturier); Gillaume Cardoso de Sousa (Parisian Haute Couture Draper); Mahyar Mrok

Gala Distinguished Guests: Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark; Princess Dalal Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia; Baroness Kimberly Moore; Elizbeth Pitcairn “1720 Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius”; Ali Fedotowsky “The Bachelorette”; Max Ryan “Sex and the City”; Macy’s External Affairs; Harry Winston; Tiffany & Co.; GenLux; Lloyd Klein Couture

Click for more: ACA Who is Involved

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Comments Off on Academy of Couture Art Advanced Moulage receives special Parisian Haute Couture guest mentor: Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa

Academy of Couture Art Advanced Moulage receives special Parisian Haute Couture guest mentor: Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa


Advanced Moulage with Guillaume Cardoso De Sousa

Academy of Couture Art, West Hollywood – Pattern Designers (aka Pattern Makers and Custom Dressmakers) at Academy of Couture Art specialize in the modern techniques of construction from haute couture to mass market. Last Wednesday, January 5, 2011, Advanced Moulage (Draping) students received a special surprise for the start of their quarter. ACA Honorary Member, Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa, announces to the group that he will be mentor to the class.

Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa brings an exceptional background in Parisian haute couture. As a specialized graduate of draping from Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne he is an inspiration to those who pursue a similar journey at the U.S. Fashion Institute of Haute Couture, Academy of Couture Art. Guillaume has worked for Dior Haute Couture, Balenciaga, Kenzo and other great designers. He is currently aligned with fashion designer to the stars, Kevan Hall.

His greeting last Wednesday briefly touched on the collaborations and lectures to come with discussion on the various ways to approach pattern designing on a fitted body and the differences between fashion industries in the U.S. and Paris.

Last February 2010, Guillaume made a formal presentation to the Academy of Couture Art community about what it takes to perform with the greats as well as the difference in pursuing fashion design education in Paris where it is necessary to find a design entity sponsor for whom he could work as an apprentice for his education.

A key message, that he imparts to all aspiring and emerging designers, is displayed through his modest and respectful demeanor; to be a professional success requires dedication, punctuality, hours beyond the clock in clock out to ensure that work is done at its best, not getting involved with ego clashes, having eyes in the back of your head to learn from all, and the ability to solve problems and innovate solutions quickly.

Guillaume’s encouragement and positivity left all present full of knowledge towards a better way to think of apparel creation. Look forward to the collaborations to come.

For more information contact Academy of Couture Art at (310) 360-8888 or online at www.academyofcoutureart.edu.

Comments Off on Faculty Spotlight : Academy of Couture Art & PAD for Couture Digital Pattern Design

Faculty Spotlight : Academy of Couture Art & PAD for Couture Digital Pattern Design

JOINING FORCES: Kristine Gloviak of PAD with the Academy of Couture Art’s Thierry and Sonia Été
by Robert McAllister, Technology Editor, California Apparel News, December 26, 2008
The Academy of Couture Art is a Los Angeles–based fashion college that prides itself on the ages-old haute couture methods of garment construction taught in Europe. Yet, the school’s founders know that with today’s fast-paced fashion, a little technology can go a long way toward helping students get to the next level.
So beginning with the next quarter, the school will launch its first CAD courses using the PAD system. Kristine Gloviak, vice president of PAD’s North American distributorship, will lead off instructing the quarterly courses. It will be a different environment for Gloviak.
The academy is a specialized school where no more than 10 students sit in a classroom. The instructors come mostly from France and have worked in the top fashion and trend houses, including Promostyl.
“We start from scratch. We can teach you to make the perfect skirt—like Gucci,” said Chief Operating Officer Thierry Été, who runs the school with his wife, fashion design instructor and school President Sonia Été.
While the school is rooted in haute couture methods, “today’s designers realize that they are probably going to have to work with Asia some time,” Thierry Été said.
With that in mind, the Étés decided to combine Old World methods with the new and combine American business methods with French garment making. “You really need both today,” Thierry Été said, adding that the unique curriculum has put the college among the top five fashion colleges in the world in one Internet survey.
Fashion design and pattern-making are taught separately at the school, which is based in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Calif. The idea is that a patternmaker is going to be a patternmaker and a designer is going to design. Four-year students must take a total of six trend classes, and new students are required to learn to visualize using bold, deep colors. The curriculum is loosely based on the one found at the prestigious EsMod school in Paris. In fact, the school was supposed to become the first U.S. annex of EsMod until a new owner came in and changed the minds of the Étés.
Combining technology with haute couture is becoming more of the mode these days. Many of the fashion houses in Europe still resist technology to some degree but are warming up to the benefits, which are speed and efficiency. … Read More

Comments Off on Faculty Spotlight: ACA Faculty: Kristine GLOVIAK

Faculty Spotlight: ACA Faculty: Kristine GLOVIAK

It’s okay to change your mind
Posted by brianna Daily Fashion Diaries
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what you want to do with your life. Sometimes it’s easy when you have the passion for something. Even then, life can throw some unexpected opportunities your way that can push you in a new direction. I recently came into contact with an amazing woman who knows all of the aspects of the fashion industry. Seriously, she’s tried everything! Luckily, she wanted to share her story and her advice for those considering a career in fashion. I want to extend my gratitude to her for participating in an interview, and for providing so much insight and support on my journey.
With a passion for Art, Kristine Gloviak transformed from an Oil Painter to a computer Research Analyst for a leading Apparel Patternmaking software, with clients ranging from American Apparel to Yves Saint Laurent.
Attending high school in Chicago, Kristine spent her time oil painting. However, with a nudge from her father to pursue something that could pay the bills, she translated her love for classic art to the profession of Graphic Design. She attended the private midwest Art college of the Kansas City Art Institute. For her Senior theses to earn her B.A., she dedicated herself to creating the book design, The History of American Women’s Dress, which looked at fashion from the years 1920-1970. Contributing her photography and content, this project motivated her to eventually design clothes.
After college, Kristine began drawing sketches, which were recognized by Spiegel Magazine/Catalogue where she became it’s Art Director, and soon she even developed her own line of very Fitted Designer pieces. The concept was to emphasize the hourglass figure, which is why each piece was altered to its owner. Her line, Gloviak Chicago, was sold in select stores on Oak Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast area. Its success was more than she expected as she never expected to be so deep in the Fashion Design world being formally trained as a Graphic Designer. Realizing the difficulties of fittings the two distinctly amebic shapes of bodies and fabrics, she began research on the technological aspect of Body Scanning and Computer Pattern Making. Drawing inspiration from the computer designed sky rise buildings in Chicago, the Sears Tower and the John Hancock Center, she questioned why clothes can’t be designed in the same way. Turns out, they can.
After working with several CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) patternmaking companies, she came across the best. PAD System Technologies, invented by a creative Pattern Maker in Montreal Canada is dedicated to the process of virtual design and integrated production in the fashion world. In simpler terms, it is a modern way of making custom patterns and multiple sizes. Working in various apparel, textile, and leather industries, PAD has remained the leading supplier. Bebe, American Apparel, Rock & Republic, Hudson Jeans, BCBG Max Azria, Burberry, and GAP are all clients, just to name a few.
So, what does Kristine do? She is the VP, Senior Manager of USA Operations of the company, managing the training and implementation of the PAD software. On top of this, she is a partner in the research of body scanning Technologies at Cal Poly Pomona. She also teaches a class once a week on Intermediate Production at a French patternmaking school in Beverly Hills, The Academy of Couture Art.
Being incredibly involved in the fashion world, I had to ask who her favorite designers are. A fan of French designer, Sonya Rykiel, California-based designers of Rodarte, and Europeans Valentino, Chanel and Giorgio Armani for his modest, but modern business wear.
And of course, advice from someone with incredible experience is always a necessity. Read more

Comments Off on A look at Swarovksi in Fashion and Design

A look at Swarovksi in Fashion and Design

Academy of Couture Art designers had the unique opportunity to get to know the most inspirational company for fashion and luxury, Swarovski, under presentation by Erwin Wieser, VP Operations of Swarovski Gems.

“Viewing the company history from a small beginning in 1892 to the huge Billion dollar name brand success was truly inspirational!”

The presentation offered a deep look into the mind behind such an influential company. Marketing and product placement, open-minded and diverse research to push forward innovations, a passion to not only serve a function well but to make it exceptional, and even a call towards respecting our environment in everyday business functions are among many of the distinguished qualities that matches up to the Swarovski standards we all expect in the name.

For designers deeply educated in design, textiles, business, and manufacturing, Swarovski is a real-world example of just how feasible it is to be an influential leader beyond and under high standards of design. For our students point of view, finally all the piece of the academic experience came together. “I can see how everything we’ve learned, even the general study courses, have guided us to not only sustain ourselves as successful designers but also to inspire us and equip us to potentially be the next company like Swarovski making a significant difference in our world.”