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Academy of Couture Art designs couture Halloween at Playboy Mansion

The Playboy Mansion kicked off Halloween with a smashing party October 27th in Beverly Hills. The fairest of them all was Snow White; Trisha Frick, girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, looked enchanting.

“Such a  great opportunity to work on a special costume from measuring it to final fitting and … being able to make it for beauty, not just to complete it.” – Katherine ENYART,Academy of Couture Art Pattern Design Chairperson

The Academy of Couture Art was honored by a second commission from the Mansion to design and create Trisha’s couture Halloween costume. Her 2012 theme of Snow White was a very special dedication to her dear friend Halley.

“Excited and nervous, excited because you get to gain experience for the future, nervous because you know it has to be perfect.” – Valery MIRANDA, Fashion Design, Freshman

Perfection, beauty, and love was shared among the Academy of Couture Art community as the team crafted Trisha’s costume. We hear it first from our student designer Laura KIRANI:

“Snow white she said…Trisha Frick was her name simple and yet beautiful, she charmed us all when she walked in. An announcement was made, by the Saturday before halloween, a sexy Snow White was to be made. I dazzled most at the thought of being able to see the fabric, to be able to be apart of creating something so extravagant, so bold and original, being able to give life to a costume of such desire and grace. With each passing seam, like air filling a baby’s lungs for the first time, life takes the form of this costume, with every pressing of the iron giving it more shape, like opening your eyes and seeing for the first time. With each pin and connection of the pieces, giving me a feeling of excitement and feeling of flying that we did this, all of us. We gave life to that which starting as nothing less of cut fabric, lifeless and plain just awaiting the day in which to be whole.” – Laura KIRANI, Fashion and Pattern Design, Freshman

Thank you Trisha for the amazing experience! You are gorgeous both inside and out. With love from the Academy of Couture Art design team:


Mentor: Katherine ENYART

Nicole GRANT

Kym SHERMAN aka Kym Stylz

Lead Mentor:
Sonia ETE

Hear it from the Team:

How did you feel? What will you take from the experience? Would do it again?

“I liked working with passionate teachers, friendly class mates, and just over all loved it.” – Emma CHEN

“Admiration of others with years of experience to design a gorgeous Halloween costume.” – Kym Stylz

“Helped me by giving me the opportunity to work in a group and gain that experience for the future.” – Nikolle RAMIREZ

“Definitely do it, to have opportunity to work on an elaborate costume, to learn about the construction of the costume and to be able to work  as a team again.” -Nicole GRANT

“Love to, appreciate the possibility that Sonia gave us to help, very inspired to help work on future projects.” -Anna SOTNICHENKO

Comments Off on Academy of Couture Art Le Reve Gala celebrates next generation of haute couture

Academy of Couture Art Le Reve Gala celebrates next generation of haute couture

Beverly Hills — The Academy of Couture Art, recognized as being one of the leading accredited schools upholding the time honored tradition of haute couture technique and craftsmanship in made-to-order fashion design, hosted it’s annual gala at the Sofitel in Beverly Hills.  

Hosted by Rachel Bailit of the Conan O’Brien Show the 2012 event, Le Reve, celebrated achievements in design from full Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design degree graduates through to the teen couture program.  


Fashion Designer Angela Wu from the Academy of Couture Art

 Many special guests supported the special evening with the next generation of haute couture designers including the beautiful star of Tim Burton’s “Planet of the Ape’s” Miss Estella Warren; the stunning leading lady of Simon Wells’ “Time Machine” and multi-award winning recording artist Samantha Mumba; Leading fashion designer Louis Verdad; Miss Lois Aldrin; Miss Terri Gans in official capacity representing the French Consulate General in Los Angeles; Miss Southern California Fehbe Meza; Elizabeth Matthews from the LACMA Costume Council; Paul Mitchell’s John Paul deJoria II; and 45x-Gold Medalist, 3x-world Tae Kwon-Do Champion, 5x European Champion, 5th Degree Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, former Ford model and co-star of Warner Brother’s “Tekken”, Anton Kasabov.

Red Carpet Interviews with VIP Guests

The Academy of Couture is a genesis of true haute couture.  In developing their role in the global fashion community, the Academy of Couture Art created for 2012 an Honorary Board of Directors for the College inducting two members at the Le Reve Gala: Her Royal Highness Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark and Her Excellency Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz und zu Morzin.   Honorary Membership shows support for the ACA community and the mission of couture. Some members offer to make special guest appearances at our events or even hold intimate guest lectures in the college. Others choose to represent their support simply through the listing of college Honorary Members.

Founded by Sonia Été and Thierry Été, the Academy of Couture Art in Los Angeles provides an exclusive education in haute couture technique and design formerly unavailable outside of the leading European fashion houses.  Students learn the delicate process of creating one of a kind pieces.  From pattern making to handcrafted lace and beading, the program is an homage to the beauty, sophistication, innovation, intelligence, elegance and harmony of the creation.  

Graduates for their Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design including Maxfield Freiermuth, Sarah Kim, Mariana Romero Tejeda, and Angela Wu  presented their thesis collections.  Justin Howard, fashion columnist for the New York Times commented that his “ones [designers] to watch” list will be growing with names from the Academy!

For more on the show and key looks visit: http://www.academyofcoutureart.edu/success/

Academy of Couture Art

5700 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 275

Los Angeles, CA  90036

T   310 360 8888 x 120  |  F   310 857 6974






Comments Off on Majoring in chic at L.A.’s fashion schools

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 Winter Wonderland: A Couture Wedding by bride and designer Michelle OH

Winter Wonderland: A Couture Wedding by bride and designer Michelle OH

When it’s Christmas in Los Angeles, you have to make it white. Thankfully we sit in the home of U.S. fashion manufacturing and are surrounded by all things couture at Academy of Couture Art. For us, a Los Angeles winter is wrapped in embroidered white sequins and beads with feathers flurrying like snow all made-to-measure for a very special bride.

Newlywed Academy of Couture Art fashion and pattern designer Michelle OH, made her wedding. With a team of emerging designers coordinating, by hand, all the décor, Michelle took the time to craft a gown she will cherish forever.        Since very young, Michelle had planned to be married under a Chanel inspiration. This year her dream came true. Her gown was designed in cutting edge Chanel-inspired style blending the traditional coat of queens worn when ascending the throne and a fashion forward look fitting her petite size that broke the boundaries for wedding attire. A mesh embroidered jacket lift high on the neck as the tailcoat draped into a snow sparkling train. From the front the gown sat delicately on a short petty coat adding a air of daring chic. Michelle’s wedding moment was captured in winter wonderland beauty displaying all the magic that crafts a couture design.

Michelle OH with Academy of Couture Art's Sonia ETE

A fashionista snow bride is queen of her day. She sits in a world of luxury and glows in a rain of elegance. For the occasion, Academy of Couture Art designers took lead. Table stands and décor in Swarovski crystals were royal with doves of elegance signifying hope, promise, and God’s love. For Michelle’s occasion the dove shares meaning with feminine, creative energy as Academy of Couture Art students, Anna BAZHAEVA, Michelle PARSADAYAN, Rahel SHAREW, and Raquel VAN DAALEN WETTERS honor her talent.

In Spring of 2012 we will see the snow bride transformation as Michelle presents her couture gown in collection for the Academy of Couture Art runway. You’re invited to be ahead of trend as a member of the couture movement; friend the Academy of Couture Art Facebook community.

Comments Off on Career Highlight: French Couture For Ready-to-Wear: It’s all in the Eye

Career Highlight: French Couture For Ready-to-Wear: It’s all in the Eye

Academy of Couture Art (ACA) congratulates graduate Heidi AN as she takes a bold, confident step to build her own line in NYC.

Heidi’s journey since graduation was surprisingly an easy one for career opportunities. She was placed right away as Assistant Designer in Downtown Los Angeles with a starting salary of $800 weekly.

Most people are now probably thinking, sure, that’s because of the school’s network. Well, building a name in the industry goes beyond the school. That takes skills and rich, marketable creativity.

Right after she started her first job, Heidi presented a collection that was, well, ahead of its time. It kind of surprised her company. Having been to Premiere Vision in Paris with ACA she suggested that the Head Designer visit the show in NYC which was actually scheduled just a few weeks ahead. When the Head Designer returned, Heidi was right on spot and her salary showed it.

It didn’t take long before she was scouted by another company with immediate entry as Head Designer. This time her designs would reach Urban Outfitters and Forever 21.


Being the best requires a lot of passion to endure the long hours, serious training to sustain creativity, eye for producing collection after collection with timeless “I’ve got to have it” quality, and a centeredness that is the sign of true leadership.

Heidi excelled in the industry and revealed a confidence in her art that gave her platform to move forward with her message to the world. This summer Heidi moved to NYC to begin her own line.

Academy of Couture Art congratulates you Heidi on this amazing journey and cheers you on as you transform fashion one collection at a time!

Comments Off on Career Highlight: Life Moves Fast for Couture Minded Designers

Career Highlight: Life Moves Fast for Couture Minded Designers

Congratulations to Fashion Designer Victoria CATES (Academy of Couture Art Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design) winner of the 2011 Velvet Brigade Design Competition (http://www.velvetbrigade.com/design/postmodernist-babydoll-dress).

Victoria CATES moved back home to NY right after graduating with a specialized Associate Degree in Fashion Design. A bit uncertain what the future would bring in this new job market, Victoria reached out with her distinct portfolio and high energy to produce. It was only a couple of months later that she landed an internship with Nicole MILLER (NYC).

Victoria CATES Fashion Design Winner Velvet Brigade 2011

On the side, Victoria sketched; entering her design in the Velvet Brigade design competition: Postmodernist BabyDoll Dress, a sexy, sheer, little babydoll dress inspired by the band ‘Hole’ in the early 90’s.

As the votes rolled in, she announced the re-opening of her shop Gilded Cat on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/GildedCat) featuring vintage listings of cute summer stuff.

“Excellent! I’m finally getting down to business here!” She prepares for the launch of her own website with runway looks from her graduation debut at Academy of Couture Art, a course included in her degree program.

When you are born for it, highly trained professionally, and passionately productive, the doors open for much more to come. Her design will now be manufactured and sold under the Velvet Brigade competition win. One more design for the website and a name that you should watch.

Comments Off on Costumes and Couture: A Magical World of Design

Costumes and Couture: A Magical World of Design

Academy of Couture Art Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design students Sarah KIM (Stylist/Fashion Designer) and Brenda RAMIREZ (Fashion Designer) have a behind the scenes look at the creativity and complexity of Costume Designer Philippe GUILLOTEL of Cirque Du Soleil.

In June the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Costume Council hosted a truly inspiring lecture: The Costumes of IRIS from Cirque Du Soleil: Characters by Design with Costume Designer Philippe GUILLOTEL. The Council reached out to two emerging artists of couture design mind and technique to intern for the event. Two Academy of Couture Art students were selected to be inspired by the creativity and innovation that mark the magic of the Cirque Du Soleil experience.

Costume Designer Philippe GUILLOTEL presented from sketch to fruition characters from two important Cirque Du Soleil performances: Love and IRIS. What is so inspiring about Philippe’s creative process is the juxtaposition of clothing with technological function. His designs evoke the grand and open the mind to new possibilities. The results present another world.

“His work is remarkable. What is fascinating about his costumes is the fusion of the costume with the tool that serves the role of the actor wearing it. He blends the avant-garde with retro; late 19th century technology with a flair of a decadent futuristic world. This gives us a revolutionary futuristic vision of what could become the fashion of tomorrow with technological outfits serving the precise function of the individual client,” audience member, Thierry ÉTÉ, Academy of Couture Art.

Philippe touched on the similarities in his creative process highlighting stories of couturiers touched by his work and his atelier. John Paul GAULTIER commented on Philippe’s workshop as the ultimate couture house. In fact, as Philippe illuminates, his creative and construction process is very much in character with the couturiers’.

This July the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood premieres IRIS: A Journey Through the World of Cinema™. Costume, much like couture, pushes forward fashion and art. Come and experience a new world of cinema and design.

Comments Off on Career Highlight: Fine Art of Fashion

Career Highlight: Fine Art of Fashion

Michelle SHIN, Academy of Couture Art student (Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and Bachelor of Science in Pattern Design) is recognized for her talent in the fashion illustration skills that distinguish an haute couture education.

Michelle was commissioned to do an illustration for a book on Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn in Fashion: The enduring influence of Marilyn Monroe, with never before seen images of the darling doll who had a major impact on entertainment and fashion.

She was originally asked to create a fashion design illustration in the spirit of the fashion sketch for that time. The sketch includes a particular gown worn by Marilyn during a uniquely celebratory occasion in the young actress/singer/model’s life.

Having a deep education in period fashion as well as modèle vivant, Michelle took the sketch to a personalized couture level that captured not only the garment but also Marilyn with her distinct personality and proportions.

As a couturière, Michelle would not let her client be compromised by the sketch fashion figure; after all, Marilyn was a major fashion figure. As a result, Michelle was awarded a bonus on her artwork.

The book entitled Marilyn in Fashion: The enduring influence of Marilyn Monroe by Christopher Nickens & George Zeno is to be published in Summer 2012 by Running Press a division of Perseus Book Group of Philadelphia.

Be sure to check out this momentous book for fashion!

Posted in: Fashion Careers
Comments Off on Career Highlight: Freelance in Couture Design

Career Highlight: Freelance in Couture Design

Christina MANOLESCU, BA Fashion Design, BS Pattern Design

Having achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and a few quarters away from achieving her Bachelor of Science in Pattern Design (Pattern Making), Christina Manolescu embarks on a career that is “…beyond what I ever thought I would achieve.”

Last quarter she began working freelance as a pattern maker for several different design companies. Her first experience was with couturier Roberto De Villacis on a few garments that were made-to-measure for his fit model. “She was so stunned by the fit that she wanted to take the muslin cut home!” At the same time, Christina embarked on her first custom wedding gown, embroidery and all.

Next adventure in the industry, children’s wear. “This will be my first time to integrate the methods of modern haute couture, which is typically calculated for the woman, to children’s wear.” Easier than she thought, she introduced an elegant basic pattern block that the company had not yet developed to bring consistency in production. Her first project was the cutest little coat you can imagine. “I really like this kind of work. I can work when I want, where I want.”

Currently she is employed part-time in the company atelier and freelance in her studio creating patterns and leading consultations between fashion designer and seamstress for a local Parisian luxury leather clothing company.

Her first project brought in a few hundred dollars. The second one received reviews that were unimaginable a few years back when she transferred fashion colleges to specialize in modern haute couture practices. “Our seamstress, who has been over thirty years in the business, said that my pattern was the most elegant and simple to execute that she has ever seen.” This came on the same day that the owner, former fit model for the couture runways in Paris, tried on the muslin of her second project. “No fitting was needed, and I believe she’s keeping this one for herself. It cascaded down so elegantly; It was gorgeous!”

More projects are on the pattern table. Christina has just been approached to make custom garments for a lady with unique proportions. “Her size is bigger on top, making it challenging to find anything becoming for her type of figure.”

“I never thought I would be able to make pieces like crazy complex motorcycle jackets and custom garments to bring out the unique beauty in all. The techniques at Academy of Couture Art are so easy and so elegant. This is awesome! To the students, take lots of notes; this is your bread and butter.”