Photographer: Helena Van Der Westhuizen

There are many people with different ideas of what a fashion collection is. Most people often think we designers wake up, go onto our machine and sew something. That’s not the case, in this article I will be teaching you how a designer collection is actually created.


Just like any other form of art, before anything is created, a theme and inspiration must be made clear. It can be in form of images, vision boards, audio, visual, a story, the list goes on and on. Your theme is what speaks to your audience and also keeps you going when you feel like giving up. You will feel like giving up.


Photo Credits: Patrick Ferguson Designs

Fun for some, unbearable for most. Patterns are crucial for the creation of any garment, if something as simple as a measurement is wrong, your pattern most probably will not fit the model. If you’re worried about this stage then you will love the next one.


Photographer: Helena van Der Westhuizen

What is calico? Calico is a 100% cotton blend fabric mostly used to determine whether a garment will fit or not before sewing your actual fabric together. This is commonly done when expensive fabrics are being used to make garments e.g. bridal and couture. You do not want to sew a sequin dress and realize that it doesn’t fit!


The moment everyone’s been waiting for! After establishing the fit of your garment, you can then cut and sew your garments together. So no, sewing is not the only important stage of making a collection.


Photographer: Helena van Der Westhuizen

Depending on the company or the designer, a garment can have one to four fittings before it is finally completed. North West School of Design does three main fittings namely; calico fitting, first fitting and final fitting.


Photo Credits: North West School of Design

Let’s talk about the most interesting part. The audience, cameras, models, judges, the list of glam is endless. That’s not even the best part, any designer will tell you that seeing your looks walk on that runway is the best feeling in the world! I bet you want to be a fashion student now.

Apply to North West School of Design.

–  Stembinkosi Ngulube

Stembinkosi is a 3rd-year Fashion Communication and Buying student at North West School of Design

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