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Expand what you know about fashion with a short course

A fabric cut out of a neon green bra
  • Written byYusuf Tamanna
  • Published date14 May 2021
A fabric cut out of a neon green bra

When Mireya Gomez de la Torre came to do the Introduction to Pattern Cutting Online Short Course with Central Saint Martins, she had already worked within fashion design as the creator of TAARACH®.  She sells unique fashion products that rescue and uphold indigenous textile patterns and traditions while giving back to local communities.

Born out of her love for fashion, folklore and crafts, Mireya believes in the power clothing has. "I believe that each product that becomes part of our lives brings more than just a look. It reveals who we are, makes us unique, comes with a history, an energy and generates impact. I develop all my pieces with respect, love, and ethics,” Mireya explains.

A photo of Mireya Gomez

Image of an orange fabric belt sold by TAARACH®

With degrees in business and marketing and technical certificate in fashion design from an institute in Ecuador, Mireya admits that she always wanted to study fashion design when she was younger, but life got in the way, and she followed a different path. But she’s now actively working on pursuing her passion with TAARACH® and doesn’t want to stop there.

“I took the Introduction to Pattern Cutting Online Short Course to learn more and continue pursuing my dream – as they say, ‘we are never too old to restart’. I know that Central Saint Martins is one of the best places to learn fashion pattern, and I wanted to make sure to have the pattern cutting knowledge to expand my brand.”

Similarly, Natalie Kate Lloyd also attended the Introduction to Pattern Cutting Online Short Course. An art practitioner with a multi-disciplinary approach, Natalie Kate has been working in the creative field since 2009.

A black and white photo of Natalie Kate Lloyd

“I have always been an explorer of all avenues. After studying a foundation degree at the West Wales School of Art, I decided to combine my passions of dance and visual cultures, while studying Performance and Visual Arts at the University of Brighton. I continued to live and work in the forever, vibrant Brighton and found a love for performance and costuming,” Natalie Kate says.

Natalie Kate says through her creative studies and work, she’s tried her hand at everything from filmography to performance to sound technology. She believes that her colourful set of skills is part and parcel of being a successful creative.

“I’ve found that it’s important to be open to possibilities and change. It’s a skill to allow yourself to take risk, to fail and to reimagine. This can be in creative development or simply in lifestyle change. As a creative professional I have not ended up in the place I aimed to be, but I’ve learned to move with the ebbs and flows, accepting the creative path placed in front of me.”

In recent years her focus has primarily been on costume and fashion design. It’s this focus and interest that led to her own clothing brand; NKLatex.

A photo of a red latex skirt placed upon a measuring table

“NKLatex is an exploration of latex garments, inspired by street wear and sci-fi culture. My aim is to transform this unconventional material that has been traditionally used as fetish wear, into something accessible, something that can be used in both everyday wear and costuming.”

With all efforts being put into NKLatex, Natalie Kate says doing the short course was an opportunity to develop her pattern cutting skills.

“I decided to study this course because I wanted to refine my self-taught pattern cutting skills. Even though I had experience in making clothing, I lacked the confidence and training that I felt I needed to create structurally solid garments,” Natalie Kate explains.

During their time on the course, both Mireya and Natalie Kate say - along with enjoying the entire short course experience, they were both impressed by the tutor Donna Kernan. Natalie Kate found her “inspiring” adding that her enthusiasm, knowledge and support allowed Natalie Kate to expand her skills.

Mireya adds: “What I appreciated most was the teacher's openness to share information, tips, and resources with us during the short course.”

A photo of two models wearing items of clothing sold by TAARACH®

A photo of a model wearing a TAARACHI belt

When asked what their favourite discovery on the course was, Mireya says learning that a fundamentals of pattern making book from 1985 still holds up as the best book to refer to when starting your collection was a satisfying realisation for her.

Natalie Kate tells me that it was finding the fire again to create beyond the norm that was her greatest discovery. “It’s granted that the skills I have learned are priceless, however the short course has reignited my passion to create beyond my boundaries. Since studying and being inspired by others, I have gained the eagerness to explore many more avenues of creation that are reflecting on all areas of my creative practice.”

With their new-found skills in hand, Mireya says doing the course reaffirmed the work she is doing now with TAARACH® and it's given her much more confidence in her ideas and skills. “I’m planning to use all that I learned on the course to expand my brand and launch new products in the future.”

A boost in confidence is what Natalie Kate is also enjoying since doing the short course, but more than that, with a solid foundation Natalie Kate is now able to try her hand at different design ideas and techniques to continue offering the most unique latex wear.

Natalie Kate Lloyd dressed in a pink latex ensemble holding a Pokemon ball

Natalie Kate Lloyd dressed in a blue air hostess outfit made out of latex

Natalie Kate Lloyd wearing a pink and purple latex top and skirt while holding a microphone

“While studying, I learned that core skills can open up so much opportunity for development and design. Whereas before I would have struggled to develop a design, while keeping structural integrity of a garment. I can now have confidence in my base garment so that any adjustments I make will work. Having a good foundation has given me so much more room for design and has ultimately given me the ability to offer much more variety to my customers!”

If given the opportunity to recommend a short course to others, both Mireya and Natalie Kate would happily jump at the chance. Mireya would suggest students who want to improve their skills to investigate how a short course can help. Additionally, Natalie Kate says it’s important that people use the resources around them.

“Research beyond where is required, give yourself an extra task, the more you put in the more you get out! I’d also say be open to the possibilities and enjoy the process, allowing yourself to develop in ways you might not expect. I found the experience to be incredibly rich and I am eager to study again without doubt!”

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If fashion design is your career goal, or maybe just a hobby you want to pursue further, our article How to Become a Fashion Designer has information on what skills and qualities you need to get started. The article covers everything from business know-how to why your creativity is your greatest asset.

Have a look at our diverse collection of short courses and see how you can refine your existing skills as well as develop new ones along the way.

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