The Devil wears Prada is, without doubt, a much-celebrated fashion movie. It brings Paris into our living rooms. Although one might be compelled to detest Miranda Priestly for mocking Andrea Sachs for not understanding the brass tacks of fashion, we can later understand why Miranda cannot stand people who disrespects fashion. Her famous monologue on Andrea’s cerulean sweater sums it up—“…that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of ‘stuff’.”
What Miranda meant to say was that no matter how far you think you have distanced from fashion you are really not that far. Fashion is an irreplaceable factor in the evolution of culture and lifestyle. One person who understood that fashion is universal, long before Miranda, was Alexis Guerre-Lavigne.
The Visionary Behind ESMOD
Alexis Guerre-Lavigne was a French tailor and innovator who invented the couture mannequin and the supple measuring tape. In 1841, Lavigne created ESMOD, the first fashion school in the world; accessible to all and specialised in clothing design. Lavigne was also the master tailor in the royal court of Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.
In 1847, Lavigne invented the soft metric measuring tape and took ESMOD internationally by publishing his cutting methods manual in German and English. The manual contained principles of pattern drafting and illustrations catered for various body types and postures, and later became a learning requirement in fashion schools of that era. Lavigne went beyond his textbook publications and invented vital tools for the fashion industry, among which were the draping mannequin, rulers, set squares and more.
Fast forward to 2019, the visionary’s establishment, ESMOD, celebrates its 178th anniversary with a network of 20 schools in 13 countries around the world. The year 2012 saw The One Academy’s ESMOD Kuala Lumpur open its gates to young aspiring fashion designers of Malaysia. The institute offers education that tops international standards, thus ensuring that all its graduates have a fair chance at standing at the creative industry’s frontline. ESMOD aces in providing industry-driven syllabuses with practical-coaching approach.
It bodes well for the students of ESMOD Kuala Lumpur that the institute is the only Paris fashion design school in Malaysia, as Graduates of ESMOD Kuala Lumpur will be able to pursue their degree and master’s programmes in other ESMOD schools around the world.
Efficient Teaching–Learning Practices
At ESMOD Kuala Lumpur, the classrooms are engineered in such a way that enables students to absorb and immerse themselves in an efficacious setting while interacting effectively with lecturers. Students learn fundamental skills from the best industry-driven lecturers, such as how to combine ideas and techniques with elements of design, colours, patterns and more.
ESMOD Kuala Lumpur has fully embraced the teaching ideas, content, methods and materials of ESMOD Paris and has also brought in French lecturers and resources to compliment the teachings of ESMOD Paris. The institute’s teaching staff are comprised of actively practicing professionals in the fashion industry. Only top-notched professionals are invited to conduct the lectures, thus enabling students to be exposed to the contemporary practices of the real-world fashion industry. All teaching staff are approved by ESMOD International to maintain a high standard of academic quality.
During lectures, the comfortable classrooms encourage students to exchange and brainstorm ideas and opinions. In fashion design, all ideas are valuable as tastes are eclectic and fads are ever-changing. ESMOD Kuala Lumpur sees that the classes are kept small and focussed in order for lecturers to communicate better with the students. The lower lecturer–student ratio allows for more effective immersion and practice.
The Big Berg
The Berg Fashion Library is a unique online portal of ESMOD Kuala Lumpur that offers fully cross-searchable access to an expanding range of Berg content collections including the Berg Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion online, e-books, reference works, images, and much more. Students and scholars in disciplines as diverse as anthropology, art history, history, sociology, geography, folklore, museum studies, theatre, and cultural studies as well as fashion and textiles can find the Berg Fashion Library a treasury of fascinating insights into people and cultures all over the world.
For a career in fashion, textbook knowledge can teach only so much. Hence, ESMOD Kuala Lumpur assure the students a multitude of opportunities to interact with industry professionals. The young fashion minds are exposed to international seminars and sessions, visits to fashion houses, and intercontinental fashion scenes via events that are arranged annually. The students are provided internship openings with several companies thanks to the institute’s fruitful industrial collaborations.
ESMOD Kuala Lumpur provides a fully equipped Pattern Making room for students to train hands-on pattern drafting and sewing techniques with high quality industrial electronic machines and the famous imported ESMOD draping mannequin. The state-of-the-art machinery facilitates the students’ hands-on training and also allows them to apply and execute their ideas and fashion theories.
What Gives ESMOD Kuala Lumpur Its Edge?
ESMOD Kuala Lumpur’s students learn patternmaking concurrently with fashion designing. In this aspect, ESMOD Kuala Lumpur has an edge over its peers as most fashion design schools only teach either the creative aspect of fashion designing or the skill-based tailoring. However, students of ESMOD Kuala Lumpur learn how to do both—to design their full personal collection and to produce their own patterns, thereby increasing the graduate’s employability in the industry.
At the end of their education at ESMOD Kuala Lumpur, the young designers must present their collections along with visual merchandise to a panel of national and international fashion professionals. Being able to present and communicate personal ideas and concepts in English is an important component of the course as a whole and is an indispensable skill within the fashion industry. This is, therefore, a crucial element of the course thus contributing towards the final degree classification.
The conclusion of the third year is celebrated before graduation in the form of a fashion show which takes place in the most creative venue of Kuala Lumpur. Along with the general public, press representatives and national and international panels will be invited to the show. The best collections are rewarded with prizes and guests from the industry often take the advantage of recruiting new talent. The event gives graduates the opportunity to network and often students find themselves being signed off to exclusive studios.
The Vade Mecum of Fashion Industry
ESMOD Kuala Lumpur missions to nurture young fashion talents in Malaysia with the help of international fashion experts so that the students can stay true to their dream of being renowned fashion designers. Glancing at the institute’s history and past success, it is safe to say that not only will ESMOD Kuala Lumpur produce incredible graduates that can ace the complex fashion industry requirements, but also the institute will continue to be a beacon of innovation and genius for the fashion industry.