As a dedicated follower of fashion (check out journalist Holly Brubach‘s book with the same phrase!), I find it thrilling that there is an endless list of skills to learn, concepts to master, and creativity to execute when it comes to all things fashion-related. No matter how novice or experienced you are when it comes to the industry, I have found that there always is more to know, which in turn, can also help to influence your blog writing and subject matter, letting your site further develop into a reputable and insightful source. Here are some course options that encourage hands-on learning and may come in super duper handy when it comes to enhancing your knowledge and skill set, with no degree necessary! Being based in New York City, some of the resources pertain to living/visiting here, however I'd love to hear what options may be available in your hometown via the comments section.
Classes are just $25 and under at this online-based site, which uses industry expert working professionals to teach a variety of subject matter, with a dedicated “fashion and style” section with 36 options just in that category available (other blogging-related categories could be “photography,” “writing & publishing,” and “business”)! Blog-applicable classes may include Intro to Fashion Photography, The Fashion Pitch: Techniques to Make Your Fashion Brand Stand Out, 20s Inspired Beauty: Recreate the Look of the Decade, along with design skills such as sketching, garment construction, and a CAD (computer aided design) course. Additional supplies may need to be purchased outside of the class fee.
If you are looking to refine your DIY skills for the blog, Craftsy may be the place for you! Learn how to make items, such as jewelry, patternmaking, designing your own handbag, or even specifically a tweet jacket, ala Chanel, or a vintage-inspired dress. You can also learn the skills that relate to knitting, weaving, embroidery, or even making fashion-inspired fondant for cakes! Prices vary for the courses on the site, and the additional purchase of supplies may be necessary.
FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City offers credit and non-credit options through it's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, which are a great value for course work that is on-par with an esteemed collegiate level. Here, you'll find which particular sections may have an online component available, so you can partake in the coursework no matter where you live. Over the years, I've taken a bunch of courses there and found a great mix of students in the classroom, ranging from 19-year-old undergraduates to seasoned fashion industry professionals. Some courses can be taken on an individual basis or part of a certificate program, so if you are serious about taking your learning to the next level and having something to show for it, you can easily pursue that as an option. Prices vary for the courses on the site, and the additional purchase of supplies may be necessary.
LIM College, also in New York City, has a strong focus on the business aspects of fashion and recently started a Continuing & Professional Studies program with classes revolving around the category of Creative Technology and Business Skills, Career Development and Discovery, and “Happenings-Talks-Sights in the City.” I teach new media/fashion blogging related courses in the program, while my fellow colleagues share their expertise through workshops in visual merchandising, fashion photography, Adobe Photoshop, and luxury marketing. Prices vary for the courses on the site, and the additional purchase of supplies or transportation may be necessary.
Don't Forget About Museum Talks, Lectures, and Walk-Throughs
If you keep your eye out for them, chances are there will be more opportunities, and largely free ones, than you probably thought were possible! For example, there's a free, guided walking tour of New York City's Garment District you can take, while museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and FIT offer special programs, lectures, talks, and tours around the time an exhibit opens, which tend to be free most of the time (although you may need to sign up in advance). The 92nd Street Y holds the extremely popular “Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis” lecture series (this week is with Kenneth Cole), while previous guests have included Tom Ford, Donna Karan, and Michael Kors (there's usually a small registration fee to attend). Again, be on the look out for streaming options to bring these insightful events to you without having to leave home, such as the Showstudio.com In Conversation lecture/film series (check out the Alber Elbaz one!)
Have you experienced some fashion-related educational opportunities that you'd like to share?
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]