UFV fashion design program goes 3-D

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is leading its students down an advanced path – on and off the runway.

Deanna Devitt (left)

Deanna Devitt (left)

The University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) is leading its students down an advanced path – on and off the runway.

With a program called OptiTex, students will soon be able to create their collections with a new 3-D feature.

The technology will provide a sustainable approach to fashion design, while saving time and money as it prepares students for employment.

While UFV has been using OptiTex’s 2-D format in computer-aided design for years, it’s the first school in western Canada to adopt the 3-D version.

When it becomes available to students next summer, the program will allow them to convert their 2-D patterns to 3-D by dressing a virtual mannequin.

With a few clicks and some precise measurements, students will be able to see right away if their design is correct.

The process eliminates a number of steps, such as printing the pattern, cutting it and fitting a live model.

It also saves money and fabric, added Deanna Devitt, the fashion design department head at UFV.

In the fashion world, the program proves beneficial when working with clients overseas, said Bev Fanzega, a faculty member in the fashion design program.

By cutting out the middle steps, which can take weeks, it also permits designers to create their collections closer to the season, allowing for last-minute additions depending on the latest trends.

The program not only offers a 3-D still mannequin, but also a moving model that struts along a runway to showcase outfits.

The virtual fashion show offers a realistic simulation of the outfit’s movement and fit, as the program takes into account the material’s characteristics.

“It’s real fabric in a virtual world,” said Fanzega.

The versatility of the program makes it a great marketing tool as it allows a collection or design to be showcased to a client immediately.

By arming students with this the latest fashion technology, UFV is ensuring its students are job-ready and employable, said Devitt.