Special Occasion, Bridal and Couture Techniques – Fashi 2205 starts Friday August 25th. Register today

Fashi- 2205 Bridal and Couture Techniques meets on Fridays from 9AM to 2:50pm for 17 weeks starting next Friday, September 25th at College of DuPage.  Join Pamela Powell, Fashion Designer, Author and Couture Technique specialist in creating a special occasion or bridal dress with emphasis on inner support and construction of a bustle, bustier, and train construction.  Students will use specialty fabrics, laces, embroidery and couture embellishments.  An invaluable opportunity, Pamela’s year of experience in London and Australia’s fashion industries will be shared in a workshop environment.  Fashion study students must have completed. Fashi 1202 or 1302,  Community students should have sewing experience including dress making and should contact powellp@cod.edu for a permit to register.

designer: Ibitisam Youner.  model: Deidre Cericola

Lingerie……by Pamela Powell

If you have recently visited the Fashion Studies department at College of DuPage,  original garments from Pamela Powell’s book, “Lingerie” are on display.   Pamela is a faculty member at College of DuPage where she teaches Draping, Couture Techniques, Illustration, Tailoring and Design Studio.

Her newest book Lingerie is available on Amazon,  along with her book Fashion Tailored Design.

Pam has worked for Fashion houses in London and Australia and has taught Fashion Design at College of DuPage.   She will be teaching the following classes this fall semester starting the week of August 22nd:  Fashi 2301-001 Draping and Fashi 2205-001 Bridal and Couture Techniques.  For additional information about the classes contact Sharon Scalise at scalise@cod.edu.

Window display by student Quang TranIMG_7677

Pamela Powell’s Step by Step Double Piped or Bound Pocket

pocket finished

Are you making a new jacket or coat, or perhaps a pair of tailored pants and what to put in a Double Bound or Piped pocket, but your direction sheet seems to be skipping a few steps.   Join Pamela Powell, the Fashion Studies Tailoring expert on her blog pamela-powell.blogspot.com for a step by step tutorial: http://wwwpamela-powell.blogspot.com/2014/07/pockets-getting-technical.html?spref=fb

Pamela will be teaching Fashion 1160 Tailoring on this Fall semester.  Students should have intermediate clothing construction skills or complete Fashion 1156 Clothing Construction II before signing up for the Monday/Wednesday evening class.  If you are interested in taking the course without the prerequisite, please contact Sharon Scalise  scalise@cod.edu for assistance.


Pamela Powell’s Christian Dior New Look jacket

Do you follow Pamela Powell’s blog?  http://wwwpamela-powell.blogspot.com/2014/05/christian-dior-part-2-inside-new-look.html

Pam teaches a variety of courses at the College of DuPage’s Fashion Studies Department, including this summer’s Bridal Couture and Fashion Illustration and Fall 2014’s Tailoring and Draping courses.  She is the author of “Tailored Fashion Design”.

To register for one of her courses at the College of DuPage, go to www.cod.edu  Need more information: please contact Sharon Scalise at 630-942-2619 or send an email to scalise@cod.edu

Fashi 2204-001 Bridal Couture I will explore many fine hand and sewing techniques that are incorporated in beautifully made garments for bridal and luxury garments.  Learn the techniques from Pamela Powell, who worked for couturier customers in London.   The class starts on Monday evenings 6-8:10pm, May 28th through July 30th. The cost of the class is $260 including 1.5 credits and fees. REGISTER TODAY!

Fashi 1160-001 Tailoring – learn to make a tailored coat from fine materials,  students will use traditional tailoring techniques including pad stitching, inner and underlining, press, bound pockets and buttonholes, along with fine fitting skills.  You will be wearing the most stunning coat for fall. The class meets on August 25th through December 17th, Monday and Wednesdays 6-8:50pm. The cost of the class is $482, including 3 credit hours and fees.  The prerequisite for the course is Fashi 1156 Clothing Construction II, but if would like a prerequisite waiver, email scalise@cod.edu for additional details.

Dior bar jacket

Faculty Spotlight: Pamela Powell

pamela_powell Faculty Spotlight: Pamela Powell


Pamela Powell’s background in fashion is based in Europe and Australia, where she worked in high-end and couture workrooms on garments for high-profile and celebrity clients like Margaret Thatcher, Tina Turner and Stevie Nicks.

“My work involved the complete end of the design process, from illustration to finished garment,” she explained. “During this time, I built up my own client base in bridal, special occasion and evening wear. I also have experience in lingerie and swimwear, having owned a small company in Australia. In 2001, after moving to the U.S., I showed a bridal collection under my own name at the Couture Bridal Show in New York and the National Bridal Show in Chicago.”

This reflects a love of fashion that can be traced back to Powell’s family. Her grandmother, great-aunts and aunts knitted, embroidered and sewed, and while her mother professed a hatred of sewing, she was very good at it. In fact, her mother would reminisce about a time when she lived in Fiji and had everything made to measure, from hats to shoes.

Both of Powell’s parents were interested in fashion and loved movies, music and theater, while her father encouraged her to read.

“As a child, my father had the philosophy of as long as we read it we could have it, so from very early on I had subscriptions to different ‘girls’ magazines, plus weekly visits to the library,” she said. “My first sewing machine was a Christmas present and trips to the fabric store were encouraged as I copied the clothing from such places as the magazines and movies for myself.”

When Powell thought that she might teach one day, she studied in London at the University of Arts, London College of Fashion, after taking classes at the English couture school. She was sent to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York for three months to set up an exchange program, and it was during this time that she decided to teach for a career.

Once she moved to Chicago, Powell began teaching and has been doing so ever since, including in the Fashion Studies program at College of DuPage.

“I do not find teaching in the classroom much different from heading a workroom,” she said. “In a workroom, you are responsible for figuring out how to make it happen and getting it done, which translates over to being able to communicate this to those working under you. As I teach mainly lab classes, I am passing on technical information in much the same way.”

To answer questions that both students and friends have asked, Powell wrote “Tailored Fashion Design,” a college textbook on tailoring published by Fairchild Books.

“This book begins with researching the inspiration and design, selecting the fabric to the fit and constructions of a jacket for both genders and covers different construction methods for different price points in the fashion market,” she said. “I also was asked to write an article for Threads magazine that was published as a six-page article in the February/March 2013 issue. I’ve signed a contract with Laurence King Publishing, UK, for my second textbook, ‘Lingerie and Foundations.’ My career started with lingerie and swimwear, so writing this book brings my career full circle.”

Powell encourages her students to build confidence and follow their dreams.

“Experiment and explore design as far as possible,” she said. “Think outside the box and do not be intimidated by others opinions. Express yourself for who you are.”

More about the Fashion Studies program