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  • Writer's pictureVyy Bui


Updated: Jan 12, 2022

After part 1 of this topic, hopefully everyone has understood to some degree the inner mind of a fashion design student. In actuality, they face many other problems not yet mentioned in the previous article. Even if you love fashion, are you ready to face these problems for your entire professional career?

7. Art block - being unable to produce creation ideas and designs.

This is one of the things that even though most design students are afraid of, everyone has experienced it. Even famous designers, or those with a strong hand in drawing, will have times when everyone feels like they can't really come up with anything new. That is when you suddenly lose creative inspiration, no matter how much you draw, you are not satisfied and the reasons can come from many sides.

The mental blockage of ideas can come from the fact that you have not researched deeply enough for your concept, so you do not have enough creative materials. The second reason can be sourced from a mind overloaded and pressured at the same time, rendering your brain incapable of creating interesting and new things. Next, you are stuck with ideas because of your low self-esteem and self-doubt, so you don't dare to break through to find your own way. Whenever you think of an idea, you dismiss it for fear that it is not good or impressive. You may not realize that it could be your next breakthrough.

The best advice I can give is try not to worry too much and suppress your negative thoughts; it's not that you can't do it, it's just that everyone needs a break to be more productive. When you encounter an art block, what you need to do is take a break and don't try to force yourself to think of something at that moment. When your mind is more relaxed, you can continue to research the topic you are working on. You can also go read books, watch fashion movies or fashion shows for more inspiration.

8. Feeling dejected and hopeless when a sewing project goes wrong.

According to my observations, most fashion design students face many obstacles with pattern and sewing. Except for those of you who have good sewing skills and love the techniques, most of us find it extremely difficult. I still vividly remember the time when I first learned to sew, I removed the sewing thread so much that I cried at night. I used to feel very self-conscious about myself, doubtful about my ingenuity, annoyed because the results I made were not as good as the drawings. In fact, I still haven't gotten over this feeling yet! Because I don't have the advantage of sewing myself, maybe over time I can gradually improve this mentality. Deviating stitches, scratching the fabric, pressing the machine too much, not knowing the material... All of these take away a lot of patience and effort from design students.

When something is messed up, it may take days to fix it. Even miniscule details on the outfit take up a lot of your time, especially when you’re starting out. Especially with layered apparel, sometimes trying to perfect every single layer will result in a disappointing look. Sometimes, many students will switch to hand sewing when they don’t feel compatible with a machine and this ends up taking even more of their time, especially with difficult and complex designs. You can even get injured when sewing if you’re not careful. The designer Phan Dang Hoang once said he has shed blood, sweat and tears to complete his collection at Milan, Italy.

Our chosen path of fashion design will for sure have these obstacles along the way. The only way to get better at sewing is to practice, practice and practice, to experiment on the fabric and suppress any negative or intrusive thoughts that come your way. I have also mentioned this in the article “5 things to avoid when studying fashion design”. I know from experience that it will be rough, but channel your energy away from complaining and negative thoughts in your sewing process. Mistakes will be fixed, just sew and sew until everything goes your way.


9. Difficulty in coming up with 2D patterns.

Making patterns is one of the crucial steps and a deciding factor in whether your real product looks like your sketch design. Your designs are represented as flat and 2D. Because students can not directly produce fabric like a 3D pattern, they encounter the problem of not being able to imagine the design. There are many details you draw that may look entirely different on a rendered 2D pattern.

To draw the right pattern for your design, you need to have a very good understanding of the structure and processing techniques of that outfit. This becomes even more difficult for freshmen, sophomores or those who do not have much experience with production. With 2D patterning, you need accuracy on every centimeter; if drawn wrong, the proportion of clothes when sewn will no longer be accurate when worn on people. In particular, many of you will misalign the line to lower the waist, extract the cup, lower the chest…

I myself used to inaccurately draw a lot and I'm still trying to fix it. However, you can take additional short courses on patterning if needed. Everyone has different strengths in different areas of the fashion industry, so don't be too self-conscious about yourself! When you know that your abilities are limited in some areas, find ways to improve in the rest.

10. Psychological struggles when choosing raw materials.

I still vividly remember the first time I went to the fabric market, it was 10th grade, I was really overwhelmed and lost my way the next time I went. I felt that the Hom market is like a maze. The first time took me a while to choose my fabric, but later on, everything happened much faster when I mastered it. Have you ever found it difficult to choose a fabric? Before going to a market, I always pre-determine the types of fabric to use. But before the choice of countless materials and colors, sometimes I am moved unexpectedly.

There are times when I have chosen the material I like, but my mind thinks what if I keep going and I will find an even better material? Being attentive to detail, I often take time to compare the colors carefully; even if the tone is a little off, I don't want to buy it. In addition, if the material is thinner or a little thicker than expected, I won't be satisfied. For accessories such as buttons, zippers, attachments, the feeling of confusion sometimes culminates when a friend once spent an entire afternoon choosing and still decides to buy another one because he no longer likes it.

Confusion can come from your lack of understanding of your design, but it can also stem from your perfectionism. Whatever the reason, this feeling also makes design students take a lot of time when choosing fabrics and materials.

11. Learn to be less detailed.

This at first glance seems to contradict the design philosophy of unleashing creativity. It is true that when designing, we need to fly, go beyond our limits and go to the end of our creativity. However, that does not mean creating unrealistic designs. For first-year students, second-year students, or those who are new to fashion, they often run their hands freely with the ideas in their heads. Later, closer to graduation time, there will be subjects that make us more aware of the market, fashion business or collide with specific criteria for graduation projects. Applicability is one of those criteria.

In some respects, we need to moderate and gradually remove cumbersome details in the sketching process so that the final design can become the sharpest. When you first learn and learn about fashion, just be yourself, explore a lot. But gradually, in each design, there needs to be a certain calculative mindset, more or less. By doing so, you will limit the possibility of being overwhelmed after graduation. According to personal experience from part-time work, designing for a brand or starting a brand by yourself will be very different from designing at school, even completely different. From now on, let's realize this together to have a stronger foundation for the future!

Are there any truths about the psychology of fashion design students that I have missed? Please share more with me!

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