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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