TEACHER
INTERVIEW

Modelism

We believe that our mission is training students to be a patternmaker with ability to propose new ideas

Chieko Aoshika has various experiences from haute couture to ready-to-wear, and Sachiko Toki works actively in wedding industry after careers in famous brands. The two modelism teachers talk passionately about patternmaker job and classes.

Chieko Aoshika

Modelism teacher

Sachiko Toki

Modelism teacher

Patternmakers’ goal is to create comfortable garments that people want to wear again and again

-First of all, why did you decide to become a patternmaker?

Aoshika : It’s already about 40 years ago, but I fortunately had a chance to see a wonderful haute couture garment. I was really impressed and felt “I want to work in such a great industry!” That’s why I decided to become a patternmaker.

Toki : I love first of all realizing garments. It’s interesting to see how garments change their form with a different waist position, and that’s why I felt that I can be a good patternmaker.

-What is the most fulfilling experience of patternmaking for you?

Aoshika : I’m very happy and become really motivated when I see people wearing a garment which I made a pattern for.

Toki : Me too! I’m really happy when I see a bride wearing and enjoying a dress I made just in front of me, so I cannot stop working as a patternmaker.

Aoshika : Yeah exactly. Patternmakers’ goal is to create garments which customers want to buy at any costs once they try it and which are enough comfortable for them to wear again and again. Garments should be always comfortable and make a wearer’s proportion better, no matter how wonderful its design is. It’s what only skilled patternmakers can do.

Toki : Yes. I want students to be a patternmaker who can create garments surpassing expectations with their own proposal. Seeking for cool shapes and pursuing beautiful silhouettes to make a pattern that expresses your originality and ideas leads you to find how patternmaking is fun and interesting. It’s important for patternmakers too to propose their ideas and to discuss with designers and other staffs.

-That why it’s important too to learn both modelism and stylism.

Aoshika : Patternmakers cannot make patterns without ability to interpret design illustrations. It’s not an exaggeration to say that skilled patternmakers can imagine a pattern on paper and the complete garment using it only by looking at a design illustration.

Toki : It means that people who don’t know structure of garments can never be a designer. Whether we want to be a patternmaker or a designer, we need basic knowledge and techniques of patternmaking and designing.

Aoshika : Our job needs collaboration with designers, merchandisers, planners, textile stores and factories to make one garment. Therefore, the most needed thing is to have an understanding and good communication skills.

Get a sense of front-line jobs through a program on the basis of professional workflow

-What are features of the modelism curriculum of ESMOD?

Aoshika : Our program is based on real jobs in companies to enable students to work as a professional just after graduation even if they have never used sewing machines and needles at the beginning of the first year.

Toki : I think the reason why many students enter ESMOD after graduating from a fashion university is that they can work as a professional just after graduating from our school.

Aoshika : It’s easy to start learning by using a dress form with pads, but ESMOD adapts dress forms without pads. It’s difficult to estimate and create good rooms with them, but once you get used to them, then you soon learn a sense of rooms. And as a matter of course, we make actual size patterns. Making a pattern on a big piece of paper enables you to cultivate your sensitivity to volume and proportion. Then we make a half-sized toile, modify it to make a full toile and refine it to make a sample as fashion professionals do to learn real workflow in early steps of the program.

Working as a designer or patternmaker is not an impossible dream!

-What do you care for as a teacher? What is your motto?

Toki : ESMOD is a small school, and that’s one of the reason that it’s not like a school, but like a workshop. I give individual advice to students along their goal. I think together with students by seeing things from their perspective, which is a little different from traditional way to teach. My motto is first of all doing a class easy to understand. I talk with students with perseverance until they understand.

Aoshika : I show students many garments as an example. For example, I bring a lot of jackets I bought to explain how the item changed during this 20 years, or make students try a first-rate maison garment made with great a pattern. It’s important to see and touch top-tier work, but it’s also meaningful to try a garment made with a pattern drafted by yourself. Trying a garment really enables patternmakers to learn something, because it allows them to find defects of the garment.

-Finally, please give a message to people who are thinking about entering ESMOD.

Toki : Many ESMOD students work hard, and ESMOD is not a group of students who are already competent at the beginning. There are students who don’t have manual dexterity or excellent sensitivity, but if you don’t give up, you will definitely improve. Becoming a designer or patternmaker is not an impossible dream, but it’s a dream that can actually come true. If you keep in mind your goal, you can overcome difficulties with us!

Aoshika : Exactly. It’s really important to admit your weak points and know your current situation. It’s because you are a student that you can make full use of your failure. Even if you haven’t decided your job in the future, if you love garments and want to work in fashion industry, I want you to think about entering ESMOD. I believe that it allows you to find a job that you really want to do and that it is the best place to do so.

Chieko Aoshika

Freelance patternmaker. Graduated from Japan Women’s University and Hosono Fashion School. Studied under Mr. Hisashi HOSONO,a haute couture designer. After working for several prêt-à-porter companies as chief patternmaker, nowworking as a freelance patternmaker for Tokyo Collection.

Sachiko Toki

Worked for COMME des GARÇONS and TRENTA as a patternmaker.Currently working as a freelance patternmaker for wedding dress.

Interview
Stylism
(Design)