Janelle Monae

Sania Josiah was born in Liberia and grew up in Ghana. She came to FIDM to study Fashion Design in the Professional Designation Program after she had earned her B.S. degree at the University of Rhode Island. We were so honored to have her participate in our FC Prom Challenge this year where she transformed a thrift store find into a prom ensemble inspired by Janelle Monáe!

"I was born is Monrovia, Liberia in 1990. Due to the Civil War, my parents, siblings, and I moved and settled in Ghana which is where I grew up. But by the grace of God, my family and I started a new chapter of our lives here in the United States of America and now reside in Providence, Rhode Island. I fell in love with fashion as a young girl because of my mother. She was a seamstress in Ghana and owned her own business where she worked from home.

When I got to college, I pursued and studied fashion at the University of Rhode Island. After graduating with a Bachelor's of Science from the Textile, Merchandising, and Design program, I decided to move to Los Angeles, California to continue my education at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. At FIDM, I am majoring solely in Fashion Design, in the professional designation program. I am currently in my last quarter and I am open to working freelance or permanent jobs in the fashion industry."

Read her entire interview on FashionClub.com.

Blake Patterson FC Prom Challenge

In FC’s Prom Challenge, FIDM Advanced Fashion Design Student Blake Patterson was challenged to do a redesign of a thrift store dress inspired by PLL actress Lucy Hale. He had six weeks to do it, and a $50 budget!

Name: Blake Patterson

FIDM Major:
Advanced Fashion Design

What did you like best about Fashion Club's Prom Challenge in which you designed a dress inspired by celeb Lucy Hale? Taking something unwanted and turning it into something fabulous. 

Why did you select Lucy Hale as your celeb to design for?
I choose Lucy Hale because I like her style and she is an amazing actor. 

Where did you find your thrift store dress? 
I found my dress at a Goodwill. The color spoke to me. It was an eight dollar Diane Von Furstenberg day dress with a bunch of ruffles. 

Describe your finished prom dress design: My prom dress dress if fun and flirty. She can dance in it and play with the layers if tulle. 

Tell us about your experience in DEBUT: DEBUT has been good. A lot of work. But, definitely worth it. 

How did you choose your major? I love art. And fashion is my medium to express it. 

What are your career goals?
My goal in life is to have my own successful fashion house specializing in high-end evening wear. 

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM?
Be prepared for the amount of work you will be doing. It's not as easy as everybody thinks.

Want to see more prom designs inspired by celebs? Check out FashionClub.com!

Jade Thompson

In FC’s Prom Challenge, FIDM Fashion Design Alumna Jade Thompson was challenged to do a redesign of a thrift store dress inspired by Chloë Grace Moretz. She had six weeks to do it, and a $50 budget!

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. I grew up being involved in everything creative I could be—all the art classes, painting and drawing on my own, playing piano and drums, high school yearbook (designing pages), creative writing, and sewing. In the past year and a half, after graduating FIDM, I worked for multiple indie films as head costume designer, one of which went on to win multiple awards at international film festivals and was in theatres in Switzerland. I currently work freelance in the FIDM Public Relations office in between costuming jobs and other work. I also work as an independent contractor doing design work for menswear company Ace Rivington, an upstart company created by Beau Lawrence, former Product Development Director at GUESS.

What did you like best about the FC Prom Challenge? I really enjoyed taking inspiration from Chloë Grace Moretz, and creating my own one-of-a-kind design. My favorite part about designing is illustrating, and then putting in the work to see it come to life. 

Why did you select Chloë as your celeb muse? I chose Chloë Grace Moretz because I love her personality and her acting. She always plays these incredibly strong female roles, which I admire.

Where did you find your thrift store dress? I found it at Goodwill in my neighborhood in Los Angeles. It was a painfully simple red dress with terrible '80s shoulder pads and no shape.

Describe your finished prom dress design: Quirky and polished. I wanted to create something whimsical and fun, but still easy to move and dance in. 

What is it about your design that reflects Chloë's style? Her personal style is quite fantastic. She has a personal style not far from my own. Her day-to-day style is edgy, with a touch of femininity. She chooses to wear quirky, colorful, and youthful designs on the red carpet instead of gowns—she has fun with her outfits. Instead of trying to channel old school Hollywood red carpet dresses, she embraces her individuality and youthfulness.

How did you hear about FIDM? I fell in love with Los Angeles as a little girl, and always had my heart set on moving here. A family friend works as an interior designer and some of her friends went to FIDM years ago for interior design. She suggested I tour it for Fashion Design. I toured it, fell in love, applied my senior year, and received a scholarship to attend FIDM. FIDM was perfect for me because it’s a no-nonsense kind of school. FIDM is hard, hard work. They have amazing instructors, and they teach you so much in so little time. FIDM is the perfect environment for meshing learning with an industry standard structure.

How did you choose your major? I grew up with two siblings and not a lot of expendable money.  My favorite place to shop was Goodwill, I would buy outdated clothing and take them home to redesign them or style them in a modern way. Being an artist of sorts my whole life, I realized my sophomore year of high school that fashion design was a perfect way to merge my love of the arts with my skills. I’ve loved designing everything from clothing to costumes ever since then.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I’ve been blessed with incredible opportunities since my graduation in June of 2012. My career goal is to find my niche and be both happy and successful, whether that road leads me to costuming full time for film and TV, working under a great designer, or even starting my own design company. I think what’s most important at 22 years old is just accepting every opportunity for experience, and eventually success will come as long as you have a passion for what you do and the tenacity to prove yourself and your artistic vision.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? If you love fashion design, interior design, graphic design—whatever it is that you love—this is a great school to teach you what you need to know to work in the industry. It’s hard work; it’s not typical college life. But if you have the passion, you’re picking the right place. You’re worth the best education and FIDM is just that for artists of all kinds. FIDM gives you the tools and knowledge you need to succeed.

Want to see more prom designs inspired by celebs? Check out FashionClub.com!

Erica Williams

In FC’s Prom Challenge, FIDM Fashion Design Alumna and Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design Student Erica Williams was challenged to do a redesign of a thrift store dress inspired by Lana Del Rey. She had six weeks and a $50 budget!

Tell us a little about yourself: I am originally from Dallas, Texas, and grew up in a huge family where creativity played a major role in everything we did. I just graduated from FIDM with my degree in Fashion Design, and will be starting the Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design program this July.

What did you like best about the FC Prom Challenge? I absolutely loved designing for it! At first glance, it seems like it would be easier since you are starting with a finished garment, but if anything that is where the real challenge is. As a designer, I'm used to starting from scratch, choosing the fabric, creating each pattern piece to best achieve my design, but when working with a finished garment, it almost tells you what to do, you have limitations and have to flexible. I loved that challenge, and my favorite part was seeing what all of the other designers came up with, the most interesting thing to me is that we could all look at one thrift store dress and all see completely different designs. Everyone did such an amazing job, I really blown away by their talent!

Where did you find your thrift store dress? I found my dress at an amazing thrift store called Jet Rag near the Grove. I was looking for something that had a lot of room for improvement, but offered great fabric and colors to start with. The garment I chose was a lavender dress with a short sleeve bodice and a long skirt. I didn't realize it when I bought it, but after working with my dress, I discovered that it had already been re-imagined once before! There were strange seams going down the front and it was obvious by looking at the inside waist seam, that a tulle underskirt had already been cut out. I wish I could see what my dress had looked like from the very beginning. It was definitely an old one though. I had to be careful with it because the fabric would deteriorate while I was working with it.

Describe your finished prom dress design: My finished prom dress has a vintage-made-modern silhouette, with romantic lavender floor-length chiffon, overlaid with a black Chantilly lace bodice.

What is it about your design that reflects Lana Del Rey's style? When I think of Lana Del Rey, I always envision pastel colors and a romantic vintage vibe. I definitely captured that facet of Lana through the color of the original dress and all of the soft fabrics, but I also wanted to incorporate her darker slightly edgier side with the black lace.

How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I always knew that I wanted a creative career, but was never sure what would be the best college for me to do so. I first heard about FIDM at a college night through my high school. Amongst the sea of black and navy tables the colorful FIDM booth first drew my attention! That night after talking to the ambassador, I watched the DEBUT Runway Show, and from that moment I knew FIDM was where I was meant to be. I’ll never forget the night a few month later when I sat in the crowd at DEBUT. Overwhelmed with excitement, I looked at the students and made a silent promise to myself that one day, it would be me up there. And now I will be—two years in a row!

How did you choose your major? Deciding my major was an easy choice for me. I knew from a young age that I wanted to do costume design, and FIDM offered, not one, but two different costume design programs. Since they are both Advanced Study Programs, I had to first get my degree in Fashion Design in order to qualify later on. 

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I plan to be a costume designer for period pieces, or for a major network like HBO. My absolute DREAM job would be to work on set of Game of Thrones, the costume department is even in Ireland, talk about amazing! FIDM has helped me in so many ways not only through the skills I have learned, and the confidence I have gained as a designer, but through all of the work opportunities and people I have been able to meet—it has truly helped me lay down the path to my career. I may or may not have devoted one of my portfolio collections to designing costumes for the show, so if Michele Clapton were ever to call I'd have something ready.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? For anyone thinking about going to FIDM, I would say that as long as they have a passion for what they aspire to do, the "ifs," the "hows," and the "whens" will all fall into place. FIDM has truly helped me flourish both as a designer and a confident professional. I have had amazing opportunities working on set for films, making light up TRON costumes for AT&T, and working with amazing professionals in the industry, just to name a few! I've had the ambition from the beginning, but FIDM gave me the resources and the opportunities to bring my goals to fruition.

Want to see more designs inspired by celebs? Check out FashionClub.com!

Gold by Jay Z

Fragrance designer and FIDM Instructor André Barnwell is our guest beauty blogger, reviewing fragrances and reporting on fragrance trends. André says...

Hip hop icon Jay Z introduces a fragrance for men that is subtle, but surprisingly long lasting for an eau de toilette. Gold by Jay Z has top notes of ginger, grapefruit, blueberry, and cardamom; middle notes of vetiver, pink pepper, lavender, and violet leaf; and base notes of amber, teak wood, vanilla, and myrrh. Gold in available in a 1, 1.7 and 3 oz. eau de toilette spray as well as an after shave, after shave balm, alcohol free deodorant, and shower gel. 

André Barnwell is a fragrance designer and instructor at FIDM who teaches Fundamentals of Fragrance in the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Program.

Exotic Jasmine by Halle Berry
Fragrance designer and FIDM Instructor André Barnwell is our guest beauty blogger, reviewing fragrances and reporting on fragrance trends. André says...

Halle’s latest fragrance is a homage to the classic scent Jasmine. Exotic Jasmine by Halle Berry is an intoxicating, sensual, and very feminine fragrance. Exotic Jasmine has top notes of neroli, violet leaf, and airy cyclamen; middle notes of jasmine sambac, plumeria blossom, and fluid hediove; and base notes of white cedar, vetiver, and musk. Exotic Jasmine by Halle Berry is an eau de parfum strength and is available in a 1 oz. spray and 2.5 oz. body lotion and shower gel. 

André Barnwell is a fragrance designer and instructor at FIDM who teaches Fundamentals of Fragrance in the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Program.

Under the Gunn


A new fashion competition show, Under the Gunn, starring Tim Gunn premieres tonight at 9/8c on Lifetime. We are super excited about it because it was filmed at FIDM's Los Angeles campus!

Project Runway's Tim Gunn, also on FIDM's Advisory Board, will oversee the work of three Project Runway alums: Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and FIDM Instructor and Red Carpet Commentator Nick Verreos as they mentor 15 up-and-coming designers.

The judges include celebrity stylist Jen Rade, designer Rachel Roy, and fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi. 

We'll be watching! What about you?!

At the age of 14, she landed a modeling contract with Chanel. Later, she created fashion label Baby Phat. She starred in Style Network’s TV show Kimora: House of Fab, and is currently the President and Creative Director of global fashion ecommerce brand JustFab. She is Kimora Lee Simmons, and this week FIDM launched the first of a series of an exclusive set of videos and downloadable desktop and iPhone wallpapers featuring her fabulous career advice.

Kimora personally visited FIDM’s Los Angeles campus last year for a screening of Kimora: House of Fab and a Q&A session with FIDM Students. She spoke honestly and directly about her life, career, and the fashion industry—and the Kimora's Life Lessons series was born.

Visit the FIDM Blog to download the free wallpaper. There is also an amazing FIDM Career Planning Guide, so don't miss it!

Kirsten Dunst for L'Oréal Professionnel

This just in! Kirsten Dunst has been named the first-ever L’Oréal Professionnel spokesperson. This year, you will see her as the face of Wild Stylers from Tecni.Art, Beach Waves and Absolut Repair Lipidium. "I feel very close to L'Oréal Professionnel," WWD reported Dunst saying. "The brand is strongly connected to fashion, and I admire its commitment to innovation, constantly creating new professional services and products to achieve the most on-trend styles."

Go Kirsten! Her hair is looking quite awesome, by the way.

We are loving this new video celebrating the holiday collaboration between Diane Von Furstenburg and DJ Harley Viera-Newton. It's inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's, and features Harley's muse and little kitty, Marmite. (I'm thinking Harley never calls her kitty "poor slob" though. What about you?)

Watch the video 'til the end. Tell me if you've ever seen anything cuter than those shoes! HG is for Holly Golightly and Harley Golightly. But, I'm pretending it's for Hooghkirk Gigi!

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