Saturday, May 26, 2012

Academy of Couture Art gets a double take from Monaco, France!

From Monaco to Los Angeles, the Academy of Couture Art designers are causing a double take within the industry. Able to hold their own on the couture circuit, this June 23 at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles (near Beverly Hills) the secret to haute couture and the Academy of Couture Art will be revealed. 

In Monaco, ACA designers presented a collection paired with red carpet couturier, Gilbert Chagoury Couture, at the Monaco Charity Film Festival held outdoors at the beautiful Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The designs went beyond expectations. 

Couture is not only a very specific and unique way of designing and making clothes, but it's also a way of viewing the world. What makes the Academy of Couture Art so distinct is how it weaves couture through all aspects of the fashion industry. If you stick only to tailoring in couture, you've most likely missed the point. 

So, what does it mean? Check it out! Le Rêve 2012 fashion show and gala by ACA tells the story of couture in perfect construction, design balance, mood of the collection, and special techniques to create magic in clothing from our graduating designers. You'll even find looks that push forward what you would expect at a department store or large retail boutiques. After all, it's about changing what we see everyday!

Be sure to see it before the press. For more on tickets visit

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Majoring in chic at L.A.'s fashion schools

Majoring in chic at L.A.'s fashion schools

This LA Times article by Susan Carpenter is an interesting resource for anyone considering fashion schools especially in Los Angeles. For those questioning what Academy of Couture Art is doing different, check it out. Here’s an excerpt about the New Design College of Haute Couture.

…Located in a Wilshire Boulevard high-rise, the academy’s curriculum is focused entirely on French couture techniques for making clothes that are luxurious, hand-sewn and precisely fitted. Its associate and bachelor degree programs offer students choices in two areas of specialization — pattern making and fashion design.

“By offering degrees in the specialized professions, we train in how the industry actually works according to the division of labor,” Été says.

“Haute couture means highest creativity, highest technique,” adds Été, whose students have gone on to work with couturier Roberto de Villacis, Nolan Miller and Badgley Mischka. “We want to take a student to the couture level to teach them the thinking process, creativity and technique. If you study at the highest level, you can always trickle down to any level in the industry,” says Été, whose curriculum includes work with beading, feathers and furs as well as classes in business development, manufacturing collaboration and trend forecasting. …

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Couture in the City: West Coast Fashion goes Haute Couture

Bright white sun on the modern mid-rises makes the greenery distinct and the couture garments elegantly bold. For a Saturday afternoon downtown Portland you can feel glamour all around.

Not many would put those two together: Portland and glamour. This is an achievement that only the two best schools of beauty could create. Academy of Couture Art, Los Angeles and Paul Mitchell the School, Portland have redefined west coast fashion and beauty which has usually tended on the side of surf wear or woodland chic.

The Fest in the Square event makes a mark in the movement of couture in the U.S. It is a movement of education in what is couture. Too often couture gets lumped into either the unobtainable wild and crazy creativity that is solely for inspiration or the occasional bows added here and there to make something look cute like Chanel.

Couture is an aesthetic. It is a sophisticated training of the eye. For fashion, it is also a method of designing and creating clothing from the highest to the lowest. Balance, proportion, line are brought out from a different perspective. Couture is where creativity meets beauty. Let's face it, not all creativity is pleasing or moving, yet all couture is artistically stimulating or attractive to the eye. That's technique.

The show in Portland was the first time Academy of Couture Art designers partnered with the talent at Paul Mitchell the School, Portland. The whole team of hair artists, models and designers where inspired to take it to the max for elegance; an experience you do not often see in mid day Portland.

“What's amazing about this experience is seeing even the models transform. Not only did the team at Paul Mitchell bring out the most sophisticated chicness in the ladies, the luxury fit garments of Academy of Couture Art had the girls experiencing a new totally view of who they are as women. You can see it in the photos.”

That said, we have to agree and let the photos speak. Cheers to the west coast woman!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

French Couture for Ready-to-wear: Alumni

Academy of Couture Art (ACA) congratulates graduate Heidi AN as she takes a bold, confident step to build her own line in NYC.

Heidi’s journey since graduation was surprisingly an easy one for career opportunities. She was placed right away as Assistant Designer in Downtown Los Angeles with a starting salary of $800 weekly.

Most people are now probably thinking, sure, that’s because of the school’s network. Well, building a name in the industry goes beyond the school. That takes skills and rich, marketable creativity.

Right after she started her first job, Heidi presented a collection that was, well, ahead of its time. It kind of surprised her company. Having been to Premiere Vision in Paris with ACA she suggested that the Head Designer visit the show in NYC which was actually scheduled just a few weeks ahead. When the Head Designer returned, Heidi was right on spot and her salary showed it.

It didn’t take long before she was scouted by another company with immediate entry as Head Designer. This time her designs would reach Urban Outfitters and Forever 21.

Being the best requires a lot of passion to endure the long hours, serious training to sustain creativity, eye for producing collection after collection with timeless “I’ve got to have it” quality, and a centeredness that is the sign of true leadership.

Heidi excelled in the industry and revealed a confidence in her art that gave her platform to move forward with her message to the world. This summer Heidi moved to NYC to begin her own line.

Academy of Couture Art congratulates you Heidi on this amazing journey and cheers you on as you transform fashion one collection at a time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Life Moves Fast for Couture Minded Designers

Congratulations to Fashion Designer Victoria CATES (Academy of Couture Art Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design) winner of the 2011 Velvet Brigade Design Competition (

Victoria CATES moved back home to NY right after graduating with a specialized Associate Degree in Fashion Design. A bit uncertain what the future would bring in this new job market, Victoria reached out with her distinct portfolio and high energy to produce. It was only a couple of months later that she landed an internship with Nicole MILLER (NYC).

On the side, Victoria sketched; entering her design in the Velvet Brigade design competition: Postmodernist BabyDoll Dress, a sexy, sheer, little babydoll dress inspired by the band ‘Hole’ in the early 90’s.

As the votes rolled in, she announced the re-opening of her shop Gilded Cat on Etsy ( featuring vintage listings of cute summer stuff.
“Excellent! I’m finally getting down to business here!” She prepares for the launch of her own website with runway looks from her graduation debut at Academy of Couture Art, a course included in her degree program.

When you are born for it, highly trained professionally, and passionately productive, the doors open for much more to come. Her design will now be manufactured and sold under the Velvet Brigade competition win. One more design for the website and a name that you should watch.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fine Art of Fashion: Students

Michelle SHIN, Academy of Couture Art junior student (Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and Bachelor of Science in Pattern Design) is recognized for her talent in the fashion illustration skills that distinguish an haute couture education.

Michelle was commissioned to do an illustration for a book on Marilyn Monroe, Marilyn in Fashion: The enduring influence of Marilyn Monroe, with never before seen images of the darling doll who had a major impact on entertainment and fashion.

She was originally asked to create a fashion design illustration in the spirit of the fashion sketch for that time. The sketch includes a particular gown worn by Marilyn during a uniquely celebratory occasion in the young actress/singer/model’s life.

Having a deep education in period fashion as well as modèle vivant, Michelle took the sketch to a personalized couture level that captured not only the garment but also Marilyn with her distinct personality and proportions.

As a couturière, Michelle would not let her client be compromised by the sketch fashion figure; after all, Marilyn was a major fashion figure. As a result, Michelle was awarded a bonus on her artwork.

The book entitled Marilyn in Fashion: The enduring influence of Marilyn Monroe by Christopher Nickens & George Zeno is to be published in Summer 2012 by Running Press a division of Perseus Book Group of Philadelphia.

Be sure to check out this momentous book for fashion!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Couture makes for Exceptional Careers: Alumni

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.”