April 19, 2014

Teaching in Taipei

I was invited to teach Bra Design & Draft at  Shih Chien University in Taipei and I have been here for a week. I had no idea of what to expect - I was only told they were fourth year students.  Also, two of the pattern drafting teachers were in on the class to evaluate my teaching skill and course content. No pressure, there!


I  learned  from one of the students yesterday that Shih Chien is the top rated  fashion school in all of Asia. If you want a fashion degree with a pedigree, this is the place! But they haven't had bra or swimsuit instruction...until now! But here are a few projects they did in their second year. Apparently they do two years of creative studd while they are learning to sew, then the final two years are very technical. So this assignment was to create 3D sculpture into a garment. 









The final collections done, this class was available as an extra credit. It is "only" two days, but I have come prepared to teach 5 days worth of Bra Design & Draft. The morning lecture covered all the basics of bra styles, types, ready to wear sizing, measuring, industry standards, fabrics and findings. Whew! That's a lot of learning in four hours, but material absolutely necessary before the drafting can begin. Here they are examining suitable fabrics for the cups with a fabric swatch kit I provided. The watch kits had all different cup and band fabrics, as well as elastics so they could  feel the differences between them. Of course, I also included a pink Bra-makers Supply pen. Of course!


In the afternoon we started on the drafting of the frame. I hoped we would get the frame done in the time allowed, but these students not only got the frame done but also did a second frame assignment before they left for the day!





On the second day, we started right in on the cup draft. Once again, these students were up to the daunting challenge of not only following instruction, but following in English! We had two students who did translation of the tricky parts. Many thanks to Agneta and to Vanessa!








On the second day, we finished the cup draft by noon, so I talked out changing the cup style lines. They all did their own designs in paper and some taped the paper together to see what the cup would look like. I encouraged them to go the fabric markets and buy some sheet foam to make the 3D versions of the cups. Sheet foam (we call it spacer fabric) is available in every colour of the rainbow here!  Here I am measuring Vanessa  so she can make a frame to her own measurements.


The teachers and I went to lunch and since lunch is the biggest meal of the day, this is what I had. baked sea bream with lemon and mustard sauce. The plate was artistic as well as delicious! The orange bit is caviar and the other colors are edible flowers!


Finally after the afternoon break, we did have time to do cloning so I showed them how to clone a bra without taking it apart. They found that very interesting, but some expressed doubt when I said it could be done in half an hour. Not that anyone questioned me outright - they are far too polite! Here's a picture of the class.



At the end, every student wanted their picture with me and most wanted autographs! I defineiltely felt like a Superstar! Several students commented that I was willing to tell them why something was done, and that they could change things according to their design. Well...of course...I wouldn't have it any other way! Here I am with Agneta on the left and the teachers Sue, Lumi and teaching supervisor, Fina.


I have loved my time here in Taipei interacting with a super group of students and teachers, all willing to learn what I have to offer. They went above and beyond to make my stay here memorable and enjoyable. Best of all...they have asked me to come back, but for two weeks next time, so I can teach some hands-on workshops too!

4 comments:

  1. You really are the fairy bra mother! What an amazing experience.

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  2. We're all so very happy that you agreed to take the long trip over here. It's truly been an amazing experience to have you here as well. I can't wait until it's time for classes in Sweden and later when you're coming back to Taipei! :) I hope this is the beginning of a great collaboration. :)

    /Agneta

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    1. It was all thanks to you, Agneta! I hope you are able to stay in Taiwan for many years!

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  3. This looks like an awesome time, really fun to share your skills with students who are so into it!

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