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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.

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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

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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.”

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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

Posted in: Inspiration
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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.

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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

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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

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Summer of Couture Fashion on Grand Fashion Runway

Teen Designer and Model Kalia BORNSTEIN

The group of girls came into camp to give their personal fashion sense a lesson in Haute Couture. Every day of the camp, each artist was being challenged in her own way to think outside of her fashion box. Surrounding them, the walls, rooms, and tables spoke openly of the discoveries of other students, present and past. Discoveries that had resulted in art and nature inspired fashion collages, hand-embellished textiles, sketches of concept collections. This was an environment ripe for breakthrough.
Each student spent time to study under their well-trained instructors, learning the fine art of fashion and pattern. Watchfully cutting and measuring to Haute Couture standards, training their eyes to acutely observe images from the minds of the masters, and disciplining their instruments to sketch fashion figures the proportional and naturally elegant French way. Also, the students felt their ideas and expressions come to life with the use of European color theory, in addition to American, providing them with an entirely new and innovative color palette!
The progress that each girl felt as she watched her skills and design concepts become more refined and matured just added to the spirit. Every girl watched and invested in each other’s progress, getting excited and encouraged to encounter their newfound abilities in fashion. Excitement that built with each new fashion sketch, each experiment with color, each hand-measured muslin skirt, each carefully chosen final fabric…All leading to the height of the Summer Couture Camp achievements- the Red Carpet!
The girls were a burst of exhilaration, modeling their handcrafted skirts in front of the long ornate mirrors, teasing and primping their hair to decide the ultimate impression, tossing questions over their shoulders to others for their insider opinions.
Almost the moment. All feverishly lined up and waiting, smoothing their skirts, listening for their music cue. Then it’s time.
Music compels as each girl strides down the runway, pride in her eyes while she shows off her perfectly fitting, personally hand-made skirt to the eager onlookers. Everyone is thrilled to be experiencing this satisfying unveiling of the month-long program’s culmination.
A job well done (and exciting!), all the girls agree at the end, surrounded by admiring family and friends. When asked what they learned about fashion that was fresh and brand new, they beamed, and each answered with her own enlightenment. From the importance of knowing American and European techniques, to learning how to make their own patterns as well as concept sketches, to the value of piecing a garment together from scratch, to learning how to make garments that fit perfectly and capture a vision. Parental feedback was also revealing, one mother noting that during their last shopping trip, her daughter had immediately assessed a garment to find if it had a luxury finish (it did not). And another mother thoughtfully describing her daughter’s “evolution and refinement of taste” visible in her fashion sketches and still life drawings, as well as her garment design and construction.
Testimony after testimony reveals young artists flourishing under instruction at Academy of Couture Art, the only fashion design school in the U.S. teaching the height of fashion technique, Haute Couture.

 

Posted in: Design Prep
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Academy of Couture Art Premiere Gala the stars Collide

Designer Kay ENYART

Academy of Couture Art’s 2010 Collide Grand Fashion Show Gala was definitely a breakthrough fashion event.

I was able to attend the show after having been anticipating the event for weeks. I’d heard about it through a friend and wanted to follow up to learn more about what an Haute Couture Fashion Show could actually mean for the American fashion industry. Now I’m realizing it means revitalization, promise, a new cutting-edge, and inspiration. I was truly inspired.

Sonia and Thierry Ete, CEO and COO respectively, are passionate and vision-driven leaders of this fast-emerging Haute Couture movement in America. Michelle Myers, the Director of Admissions, introduced me to them and was very generous with her time and knowledge about this work as well. I had been able to reach both of them before the event to ask them to shed some light on the importance of organizing an event like this. This event incorporated the fine art of fashion (Haute Couture) with the art of drama (actors and actresses) and the fine art of music (Red Violinist), as well as introducing these art forms to royalty (Princesses and Baronesses). I learned that it was crucial to re-introduce Haute Couture fashion to America through an event that represents it as a distinctive fine art among and alongside other influential art forms. Art inspires art, and art, in turn, inspires society and culture. Thierry Ete told me this about Academy of Couture Art’s aspirations for its students, “Haute Couture creates major statements and identities through clothing. It’s an expression of the soul, and an even more significant statement of a human being. It’s expressing the magnificence and purpose of your existence. This allows our students to realize they have an important piece of the puzzle: a deep connection to their creative mind that is also serving the community and creating a legacy. They are enhancing and multiplying the most important truths about the human purpose.”

The impact of Haute Couture is that it’s the highest of fashion technique. Until Academy of Couture Art, this level of fashion education was not even available in America. And I think everyone will agree, with the pervasiveness of sportswear and the fact that most high-end designers are being imported, America is in obvious need of its own capability to create, produce, and have a presence in luxury fashion. After seeing what I saw from the Academy’s Grand Fashion Show, I’m finally believing this could be an answer to break the cycle.

The garments I saw coming down the runway were timeless, beautiful, each with its own personality and presence. I was grateful to these young designers for putting their minds and hands to garments fresh and original, each with a dedication to the highest of quality and craftsmanship. Some standout designs were Boris Ramos’ creations of navy, lace, and apple green, flowing and swirling their flawless fit. Also, Angela Chuy’s pink creampuff bubble dress prancing down the runway with tiny white shorts just peeking out from under. I love these personal identities coming through, both from the designers and on the models.

For a premier fashion show, Academy of Couture Art’s 2010 Collide Grand Fashion Show Gala exceeded my expectations. And ACA’s next fashion show, I can assure you, I am anxiously awaiting.

Designer Sabrina YADEGAR

Designer Angela CHUY

Designer Mariana ROMERO

Designer Collaboration Tribute

Posted in: Fashion Shows
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Haute Couture Celebrated by Royals & Celebrities: Los Angeles

ACA Founder Sonia ETE and Lloyd KLEIN of Lloyd Klein Couture

In a stunning display of fine Haute Couture collections, the Academy of Couture Art hosted a première Haute Couture fashion show last Saturday July 24th at the Sofitel Los Angeles. With one-of-a-kind garments expressing creative sophistication, refinement and elegance, designers amazed the celebrity filled ballroom at the grand gala.
Hosted by Viviana Vigil of NBC’s 1st look, the extravagant evening included a performance from the Red Violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn as well as celebrity attendees including: Max Ryan, Scott Elrod, “Bachelorette” Ali Fedotowsky, “Bachelorette” producer Cassie Lambert, world renowned pianist Carter Larsten, Jake Collins, Mason Canter, Marc Chamberlain, ABC’s “On The Red Carpet” Bruce Reynolds, NYPD Blue’s Charlotte Ross, former supermodel Elizabeth TenHouten, Baronesse Bettina von Schimmelmann, Consul General Daniel Kumermann of the Czech Republic; Deputy Consul General Iris Valverde of Peru.

This was also a royal occasion honoring Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. Princess Dalal Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia was also in attendance. Baroness Kimberly Moore, stunning in her Roberto Cavalli original, presented the award for Miss Teen Couture to one young aspiring designer. The stunning PK Applegate looked ravishing in her slate grey silk J. Mendel original gown sat next to the irrepressible stylist to the stars and Editor at Large for GenLux Magazine George Blodwell.
It was truly an amazing audience as Countess Michelle Czernin Von Chudenitz remarked, “I believe this is one of the first events where every single “celebrity” on the tip sheet attended!”

The show was as remarkable as the audience. Phenomenal garments graced the runway in collections that highlighted the talent of ACA graduates and members of the pre-college Teen Couture Club. Conveying the essence, principles, and concepts of Haute Couture, ACA designers’ collections exuded beauty, elegance, perfection, and uniqueness.
The couture show all but started concurrent with the arrival of leading Couturier Lloyd Klein and John Arguelles, and the collections gained much applause and attention from the high-profile audience.

The models looked remarkable with hair by celebrity stylist Sean James; and the make-up by Madonna and Gisele Bunchen’s celebrity artists Tiffany Saxby and Gina Brooke.

The event, produced by Eva Di Shanni of Fabulous, was a grand success. The talented designers of the Academy of Couture Art impressed the high-profile audience in a show that paves the way for making waves in fashion.

HRH Princess THEODORA of Greece and Denmark

Ali FEDOTOWSKY of The Bachelorette

Max RYAN of Sex and The City 2

Scott ELROD of The Switch

Charlotte ROSS of Glee

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Posted in: Fashion Shows