Garment Review Survival Tips

Finals are stressful. They take the wind out of our sails, the bounce out of our step, drain the rum out of our coke. For fashion design majors at Lasell, we get the special honor of turning in final garments mid-April. These garments are assessed and reviewed by a professor who scores us on different categories like overall look and construction, on a scale of one to five. Five being the highest.

For those new designers, or those who haven’t yet been able to handle going to reviews without a meltdown or two (trust me, we have all been there) here are some tips to fly through.

Finish your garments at least three days ahead of schedule. Full construction. Fully pressed. Threads completely clipped and closures stitched on. Even leaving the little stuff to the last minute can cause unnecessary stress.

Meet one on one with your professor before review and ask them to be mean. Ask them to be as critical as possible. By doing this in a one on one private setting, you have the chance to fix all the nitty gritty details before having to present the garment in front of a professor. And just take their advice. All of the staff in the design department, all of them, they want you to succeed. They want to make sure that what they’ve been teaching is going through to you.

Pay attention to details; all of them. And have multiple fittings with your model before Garment Review (including having them walk and pose) to ensure nothing is puckering or pulling in the wrong place. (Also make sure they know when garment review is as well, it is your job as their designer because they are essentially a piece of your final work).

Walk into Review with confidence. Not the kind of “I’m better than everyone else” kind, but the “I put work into this piece of art and I am proud to show it to you” kind. Take critiques with grace. Don’t waste time arguing or feeling like it’s personal. It’s not. The professors in review want the best possible work shown on the runway. They also have faith you can do it, after all, they are the ones that taught you.

Be willing to improve. And understand that this is still a learning process and none of us are experts yet. So if someone says you used the wrong hem, ask them which one and how for next time. If the fit is off, see if they have time to meet with you before the runway show to get it just right.

Most of all, don’t stress. As long as you have taken the time to put effort into your work, asked for help/clarification when it was needed and are willing to improve, you will be fine. Better than fine.

There is nothing that beats the feeling of pride seeing a piece of art in action,  especially when it’s yours.