By Paige Mysliviec
On Tuesday, February 10th, the students of the art department had the unique opportunity to visit Los Angeles's Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (or FIDM as it is more commonly known) for a school tour, followed by Louis Vuitton's Series 2 exhibition. Led by La Cañada's ROP Retail Marketing teacher, Ms. Foshee, this small and exclusive field trip catered well to our art students as it presented a possible art school in place of a traditional university.
At FIDM, students learned of the extensive possibilities of majors from Visual Communications to Textile Design to Beauty Industry Management, which were appealing in their specific mastery of one area of fashion. Students received a traditional tour, in which they saw graphic design classrooms full of computers, window displays of student work, and a library chock full of fashion knowledge.
This was not a typical library. It contained nearly every edition of Vogue (which dates back to 1892), a plethora of other fashion magazines, and collections of materials. Most notably, the trend report for Spring/Summer 2015-2016 sits on display like the Holy Grail. A brief explanation: this book contains the colors, patterns, styles, cuts, and shapes that will be in fashion for next year in Spring and Summer. What is in style today-- crop tops, nautical, ankle boots, oxfords, etc.-- industry experts knew a year ago. Our quick preview failed to give a clear idea of the following year's fashions, but expect culottes, muted neutral tones, and geometric shapes.
Luckily, our tour was followed by an exhibition to fortify the artistic importance of fashion. Located in the heart of trendy LA, this exhibit was located in an ominous matte black building with simple white signs stating "Louis Vuitton Series 2." Upon entering the building, students could see an illuminated red neon sign of the classic "LV" logo. A small doorway led to a mind-warping hall of holographic people speaking with mirrors on either side. Students were laughing, while slightly overwhelmed, trying to decide whether to whip their phones out for a Snapchat Story or find a way out. The small, succinct exhibit included more holographic displays of Vuitton's recent runway show. One hall contained videos of people creating the signature shoes, bags, and clothes by hand in a painstakingly tedious process. These previous rooms, still black and ominous, were relieved by an all white room containing displays of trunks, shoes, and other pieces. Following, there was asterisk-shaped room with a video display of a collection of Louis Vuitton's runway shows at each end. A discrete, small side room mimicking backstage at a show showed polaroids of the models, labeled hangers with collection pieces, and a panoramic photo of "backstage madness."
Courtney Wagner, a Photo 1 student who values the fashion industry, said, "It was a really cool exhibit that showed the art of fashion and really gave me an appreciation of the craftsmanship that goes into making the Louis Vuitton line!"
Students left with a free poster and a new appreciation for the fashion industry. Gaby Gomez, a senior Photo 2 student, recognized the many facets of this industry and said, “If you’re interested in fashion FIDM is a good place to go because they have a wide range of options.” This personal field trip gave these artistic students a better understanding of the alternative possibilities of college as well as the results of working in this comprehensive and eccentric industry.
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