A recent student essay by Michelle Landis, in her own words. What is Fashion Design?

When I was first asked what fashion design meant to me I went straight to the obvious answer of creating clothing using various fabrics consisting of lines, colors, patterns and silhouettes. However, the more I thought about the concept, I realized fashion design went much deeper than what I had thought originally. We all know fashion design can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Ask one person and they may see it as an art form and a way to express who they are as an individual. Ask someone else and they may see fashion design as a purely functional concept that provides coverage for the body. I personally see fashion design as an important factor for making women and men feel better about themselves.

The ability of fashion design is a concept that should be explored with an open mind. I find it incredible how a particular article of clothing can change the way a person feels about himself/herself on the inside and what is displayed on the outside. I will take myself for an example. To this day, I still have an extremely difficult time wearing sneakers with jeans unless I am doing a physical activity (and even then is pushing it) because of the way it makes me feel mentally. The combination totally changes the way I carry myself while wearing the outfit. Sneakers paired with jeans make me feel like a child who should be running outside on the playground, plus it does not help that I stand at only five feet two inches. The entire concept just makes a chain reaction of various undesirable thoughts swirling around my mind that definitely puts me in a foul mood.

On the other hand, fashion design can give me the greatest feeling of confidence. My favorite go-to outfit is a killer pair of high heels, fantastic fitting dark blue jeans paired with a white t-shirt and black blazer. Add a colorful bag and neutral makeup and I feel like I am ready to take on whatever difficulties may cross my path that day. Feeling wonderful on the outside really improves my mental capability. I believe when a person feels good about himself/herself and portrays confidence, it can be life changing. The way others view that individual and the treatment they receive can all come from what is perceived by looking at the exterior. We know that it only takes a few seconds for others to begin judging who we are and forming opinions in today's society.

I am well aware of the superficiality I may portray with my fashion design meaning, but I believe personal satisfaction and overall happiness is an important part of our mental health and well being. Taking the time to put on appropriate fitting clothes everyday is an important task that only takes a few minutes. Regardless of your personal feelings toward the concept of fashion design, there is no denying that it certainly is a part of our culture that has stood the test of time and will continue to be a part of our future.