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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 Academy of Couture Art gets a double take from Monaco!

Academy of Couture Art gets a double take from Monaco!

From Los Angeles to Monaco, the Academy of Couture Art designers are causing a double take within the industry. Able to hold their own on the couture circuit, this June 23 at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles (near Beverly Hills) the secret to haute couture and the Academy of Couture Art will be revealed.

In Monaco, ACA designers presented a collection paired with red carpet couturier, Gilbert Chagoury Couture, at the Monaco Charity Film Festival held outdoors at the beautiful Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The designs went beyond expectations.

Academy of Couture Art Pattern Designer Rachel NOURMAND (Images courtesy Lord Byron Photography)

Couture is not only a very specific and unique way of designing and making clothes, but it’s also a way of viewing the world. What makes the Academy of Couture Art so distinct is how it weaves couture through all aspects of the fashion industry. If you stick only to tailoring in couture, you’ve most likely missed the point.

So, what does it mean? Check it out! Le Rêve 2012 fashion show and gala by ACA tells the story of couture in perfect construction, design balance, mood of the collection, and special techniques to create magic in clothing from our graduating designers. You’ll even find looks that push forward what you would expect at a department store or large retail boutiques. After all, it’s about changing what we see everyday!

Pattern Designer Rachel NOURMAND (Academy of Couture Art) (Images: Lord Byron Photography)

Be sure to see it before the press. For more on tickets visit www.CoutureShows.com

Comments Off on Le Rêve Haute Couture Fashion Show and Gala 2012

Le Rêve Haute Couture Fashion Show and Gala 2012

Academy of Couture Art designers are back in the atelier for a few major runway events. Designers Angela CHUY WU, Katherine ENYART, Sarah KIM, Rachel NOURMAND, Margaret ROBERTS, Mariana ROMERO TEJEDA, and Raquel VAN DAALEN WETTERS are in atelier in honor of Grace Kelly and a collection in presentation at the 7th Monaco Charity Film Festival in France this May.

This collection will make its U.S. debut at the Academy of Couture Art and Couture Guild International gala, Le Rêve, in June 2012. Le Rêve is in loving memory of Monsieur François Lesage, Maître d’art who was a influential friend of the ACA community.

The event includes haute couture looks from 12 graduate students. From the 2012 Academy of Couture Art Collide fashion show we saw amazing support from the community including the awarding of HRH Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark for her outstanding role model to the next generation of designers. She is also in attendance for Le Rêve in continued support of the fit, elegance, and creativity that is haute couture and how that can transform fashion industry production as we know it. We will also see special looks from mentorship programs with Parisian couturiers such as the notable Guillaume Cardoso de Sousa.

You are invited to join the movement as the Academy of Couture Art shares the celebration in an afternoon show. For more information and a peak at what the designers are doing for Le Rêve, visit www.CoutureShows.com.

Comments Off on 2012 Oscar Red Carpet Couturier Gilbert CHAGOURY in Fashion Show Prep

2012 Oscar Red Carpet Couturier Gilbert CHAGOURY in Fashion Show Prep

Just after the 2012 Oscar weekend, Academy of Couture Art continued the festivities with a special red carpet couture designer guest, Gilbert Chagoury of Chagoury Couture, in the atelier of Fashion Show Prep.

Mr. Chagoury’s meet and greet with our upcoming summer gala designers was priceless inspiration and motivation. Having just dressed Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell and Mingle Media TV’s Kristyn Burtt in stunning Oscar red carpet gowns, the maestro shared perspective on how to cope, work with, and make a beautiful presentation on such a momentous occasion.

The first audience question hit right on business and success. “How did you get started?” His double major in design and marketing took him from design with Dior to PR. Yet, on the side, he continued creating in his atelier. Orders kept growing and soon he was launching his own line. A very valuable example of being born as a designer and finding success in what you love to do. If you are a creator, you create!

As you can image, a common occurring question among designers in the premiere U.S. Couture fashion school looks at the relationship between custom, one-of-a-kind and ready-to-wear. Mr. Chagoury perfects his craft primarily in custom evening and wedding gowns but is growing his ready-to-wear. He has vision for touching more lives with beauty by extending his line to incorporate accessories and other collections.

For inspiration, sometimes one looks far and pulls from the magic and fantasy of the theatre. One source that has recently touched Mr. Chagoury comes directly from Vegas.

And what about taking risks? How does a designer be courageous working with color and fabrics you think don’t match but you love? How do you move forward when people say it won’t work?

“When you have a collection, one bold piece can be balanced by the 24 others. There is one lime green dress in my collection that the industry said would not work. Now it’s my best seller. I was telling everyone, “I see it!” and those are the pieces that work best. For ready-to-wear, it may be different, but for me, when someone wants couture, they want different. When you see a couture dress, you want Wow!”

In final thought we come to the question served in Academy of Couture Art’s degree programs and, more importantly, fashion show preparation and manufacturing courses. Does a designer need to know about pattern making? “Now, I simply do not have time. I have my pattern maker who knows my style and what I like. Yet still I go back and make changes to the pattern. A designer has to understand and know how to work with the pattern.”

Mr. Chagoury’s visit with Academy of Couture Art marks the budding of a growing shared mission to teach, inspire, and promote the next designers. We anticipate with excitement more to come in couture collaboration.

Academy of Couture Art Founder, Couturier Sonia Kim Ete, honors Red Carpet Couturier Gilbert Chagoury in Fashion Show Prep guest lecture

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 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 In the Atelier: Modern Haute Couture in Hollywood

In the Atelier: Modern Haute Couture in Hollywood

Blending European haute couture tradition with the fast-paced American fashion system, Academy of Couture Art offers specialized higher education degrees that recognize the separate professions of Fashion Design (Illustrator) and Pattern Design (Pattern Maker, Custom Dressmaker).

The future of fashion is highly creative, impeccably fit, and always inspiring. Welcome on the journey to touch lives as the createur of haute couture or the nouvelle couture designer of prêt-à-porter.

Join the movement at  www.intheatelier.tumbr.com

Comments Off on Inspirations for the Future of Fashion

Inspirations for the Future of Fashion

Last week Academy of Couture Art had the wonderful opportunity for inspiration at the invitation of the LACMA Costume Council.

Andrew Bolton, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, shared his insightful perspective on the spirit of the American woman through her ever evolving dress (critically acclaimed exhibit at the MET: American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity).

Through his amazing exhibit and presentation, Andrew Bolton reminded us that costumes are very strong tools to convey an “Art de Vivre” to the community.

As commented by Thierry ÉTÉ, Academy of Couture Art, “As we could see through this exhibit, among each era, style, and movement, uniformity in the silhouette was a collective convention. The fashion of today is heading to a dilution of uniformity serving more creatively the unique personality of individual clients. This is exciting for woman who leads the movement for freedom of expression and strength of personality!”

After the event, I met a lovely woman who, upon hearing of Academy of Couture Art, was brightened with joy to reminisce on her experiences viewing haute couture runway shows in Paris perhaps over forty years ago. “Back then the runway was not filled with over the top costumes.” What you saw was pure beauty that you could instantly see yourself wearing. They were garments you dreamed of owning and when you did you cherished them forever because they fit so beautifully, were made with such care, were enriched with even the simplest of detail, and always made you look and feel gorgeous. It was magical. “I had pieces that I wore for almost twenty years.”

This is a perfect example of what couture is all about. It is, before anything, a concept of perfection, of uniqueness, of detailed craftsmanship, of impeccable, elegant fit that should not be reserved only for an elite, but supporting the entire fashion industry at every level. As a matter of fact, the fashion industry has no other choice than to follow this path of quality where fashion art, defined by haute couture, is reflected in the unique personalities of the broader market.

–          Because we care

Academy of Couture Art

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