How to Become a Wedding Dress Designer
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Take your creative doodles of beautiful, flowing white dresses to the next level by getting training and gaining experience in wedding dress design. An education in dress design and an internship or two can provide you with the experience you need to build a portfolio that will impress prospective employers. Drape yourself in to the innovative world of bridal dress collections, photo shoots, marketing and design techniques to reach your career goals.
People working in the fashion world typically complete a bachelor’s degree program, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but some professionals instead earn associate's or master's degrees in fashion design. Wedding dress designers can specialize their degree programs in fashion design for special occasions or earn certificates in bridal wear. Working in wedding dress design takes several specific skills, such as computerized pattern design, machine knitting and business licensing. Designers learn to create the intricate designs needed for the bodices of wedding dresses by studying haute couture sewing techniques, and they also study how to select fabrics and textile lace.
Complete Hands-On Training
You must have hands-on training in designing and embellishing wedding dresses. You can enroll in such programs, which you pay for, or apply to an internship program through a known bridal dress creator, who might pay you. No matter which path you take, make sure you will assist the designer through all of the processes of creating a wedding dress, including finance, marketing, photo shoots, design and display through fashion shows. Use these changes to build networks with professionals in the bridal fashion world. You will have to travel to a fashion epicenter, such as Paris or New York, to complete such programs.
Build Your Portfolio
A portfolio can make or break your career in wedding dress design. Your portfolio should contain five completed projects and several sketches of collections. With the increased emphasis on the digital world, you must have a digital portfolio to complement your traditional portfolio. Make sure that every aspect of both your traditional and electronic portfolios display a variety of your strongest work.
Land a Job
Careers as wedding dress designers are available through bridal gown companies, specialized design services and wholesale markets. Expect to start as an assistant and try to work your way up to a full-fledged designer. Using your portfolio and the contacts made through your internship, apply for job openings through bridal companies or apparel retailers. Some bridal dress designers also work on a freelance basis, creating collections or designs as needed before launching their own businesses. However, be aware that the fashion design profession in general is expected to decrease by 3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Michigan-based Jennifer Betts has been writing and editing education and career articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared on several educational training websites and blogs. She graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design and a minor in English. Betts’ first writing job was working as a ghostwriter creating list articles for blogs.