When one muses over the life of an UW Stout Apparel major, I’m sure images of Project Runway can easily over take the thought process. Its fairly easy to assume that the life of a fashion student is spent sketching ball gowns, seeking divine inspiration, cutting pattern pieces out of expensive fabrics, and carefully sewing them together in order to create flawless wearable works of art.
And some days this is the life of an apparel student. However, a commonly over-looked truth is that as students, it is our job to drastically expand our knowledge of the industry in any way we can in order to appropriately prepare ourselves for the approaching battles of the workforce. Just because you can make something look pretty, doesn’t necessarily make you good at what you do. In order to achieve success in today’s growing fashion industry, every technical aspect must be understood as well. Fortunately, the UW Stout Apparel Design and Development Program does a fantastic job of guiding its students through fashion boot camp in order to explore every nook and cranny of the industry, that we may graduate unscathed and ready for battle!
This past week, my Functional Design class has been learning about how to protect the body from impact and hazardous substances. In order to test some Kevlar (the material bullet-proof vests are made of), we took a field trip to CVTC in Eau Claire to fire some bullets for ourselves! We were also educated in the needs of the Police Force as far as apparel goes, in order to spark ideas for future projects and opportunities to apply innovation.
Not sure if I’ll take up shooting as a hobby, but actually holding a gun and sending off some bullets really puts the needs of the police force into perspective. Some of the best research I’ve ever done is to step into the shoes of the target market and feel their needs first hand and this was a great example of that. Overall, it was a fantastic day and an inspiring experience that filled up a few pages in my sketch book and broadened my apparel horizons.