We recently sat down for a Q&A with Julian Guthrie, faculty for our Clo3D Virtual Fashion Design Certificate. Professor Guthrie is a fashion designer, patternmaker, and educator, and utilizes a range of skills in his work: handwork; Photoshop; Illustrator; and the virtual fashion design software Clo3D. He is a freelance patternmaker for Occhii, Autumn Adeigbo, and DiOMi. Guthrie has also worked for brands such as Fleur Du Mal, Coach, The Donna Karan Company, J. Crew, Perry Ellis and the Calvin Klein Women’s Collection.
What is Clo3D and why is it so interesting and essential to you right now?
One of the greatest things about Clo is that I find that it’s very user friendly, as well as a complete package. In Clo you get animation, you get the pattern making, you have the ability to work with lighting, customizing fabrics, print-layout for fabrics, and more. I think it's really great that all that is in one program.
Tell us about yourself as a designer and how you came to this tool.
For me, making is very much a part of how I design. I know that there are some designers who are typically more sketch designers but for me the making and construction elements really go hand in hand. What I really gravitated towards with Clo was the fact that it is three dimensional, that I can do the pattern making, and the program, and also try more experimental things. It really goes as far as your imagination wants to go with things.
Why do you think this tool is a critical asset for someone looking to get into this industry?
Clo3D is a critical tool for someone entering the industry or even someone who’s currently in the industry because it gives you the ability to visually see what something looks like before actually spending the money or time to cut it and make it. It provides the ability to see different cutaways, different prints. So I think it really helps with the visual communication aspect of it.
What does the Clo3D certificate program teach and how does it work?
Our Clo3D Virtual Fashion Design Certificate is designed to give you the fundamentals and understanding of Clo3D in and of itself, as well as to introduce you to fashion and garment construction. It offers four courses. There's Fundamentals of Clo3D, Clo3D Pattern Making Construction, Clo3D Surface Design, and the last one is Clo3D Presentation which focuses on animation and styling. I think it really even benefits people who may currently be in the industry, with years of experience as a pattern maker, as a designer, even just to freshen up their skills.
You can look at the videos at your own pace. I think it’s great because it gives you a sense of responsibility like any type of classroom environment in knowing you need to get things done. Though it is an asynchronous course, I’m really making an effort to make sure that I meet with the students synchronously for at least an hour every week, just as a touch-base.
How do you bring your personal and professional experience to your teaching in the certificate?
For me, the personal and professional here are intertwined. I am trained in the program professionally, but at the same time, I too didn’t know the program at one point in time. I too was a learner.
What is the range of students who apply for this certificate program?
I’ve had students who are currently in industry, some of them being tech designers who want to brush up on their skills and want to give this technology a try. I have also had some recent graduates from Parsons, maybe two or three years out who are still at the beginnings of their career.
What hard and creative skills are students taking away from this program?
In the students, I see more willingness to take risks design-wise. And seeing them be able to really open up creatively. To apply that not only to the designing of their clothing but also just even other visual aspects of the presentation of their work.
Why should people do this certificate at Parsons?
Part of the benefit of doing this certificate at Parsons is its history in fashion education. Also Parsons' reputation around the world. That just ends up being a big pull in and of itself. In that, I do think we’re really offering something that is cutting edge. One of the instructors who’s heading up the construction class used to do pattern making at Prada and Missoni. So I know that they’re also getting working professionals who are from reputable brands.
What topics does the certificate cover?
From the beginning, we cover the fundamentals of how we get up and running in this program, so we know what the tools are. Then we go on to dealing with pattern making and starting to get a sense of how to, for example, build out pants or a blazer jacket. We deal with surface design and those elements, how to create embroideries and patches in Clo3D, also working between Clo3D and Photoshop, and maybe Clo3D and Illustrator. And then ultimately dealing with situations such as lighting and animation recording.
What are the benefits of learning and using this tool in a global fashion landscape?
You get the ability to communicate faster in terms of what you want visually in a design. Some of the features in the program, for example, allow a factory to understand exactly how a garment is constructed. I’m just thinking back to experiences I’ve had locally here in New York, dealing with sample-makers, and now we can say to them, "this is what the garment already looks like," on an avatar.
Could you give us a sense of Clo3D's role within the fashion industry?
I do think it’s the future. Like this is the part where I do think it’s really revolutionary: the sustainability, the saving of time, the saving of money in that regard, the saving of space. It can really cut down on the amount of resources that need to be consumed in order to make things. It would be hard to see how fashion design would not proceed, would not embrace this going forward.
If you are an aspiring fashion designer looking to keep up with the best and newest practices of the industry, enroll now in our Clo3D Virtual Fashion Design Certificate. Browse our courses to learn more about this certificate and other related course offerings.