We’re well into summer 2017, and I hope you’re all enjoying a well-deserved break! Some of you may be preparing to go to university in September to study fashion, some of you may be preparing to get into your final year of sixth form/college to start your university applications and some of you may just be interested in what it’s like to study fashion design. Whatever stage you’re at, I thought it may be useful to share the typical week of a fashion student from my own experiences. Of course, each university’s fashion course will be organised slightly differently, so see this as a guide to what you could expect if you choose to study a fashion design course.
10am – 1pm: Fashion Drawing/Illustration Workshop or CAD Workshop
Most fashion courses will offer a drawing/illustration class as part of their course. In these classes, you may learn how to draw a fashion figure and how use fashion figures in your design work. You may also learn about drawing technical drawings (by hand) of your designs and learn about different fashion illustration techniques. In the first year, these classes tend to be a lot more structured, but as you progress through the course, they become a lot more independent and focused on your own drawing style.
Most courses also teach computer skills, mostly focused on using the Adobe software including Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
All day: Independent Study
University courses are a lot more independent that courses at sixth form or college. Typically you’ll get at least one full day to work on your project brief independently. Depending on what stage of the project you’re at, you’ll spend an independent study day in the library, in the fashion studio, at fabric/haberdashery shops, at museums, galleries, or at home working on your project.
10am – 5pm: Pattern Cutting or Manufacture Workshop
A key part of any fashion design degree course is pattern cutting and sewing. These classes are where you’ll learn the basics of flat pattern cutting, draping on the stand and using industrial machinery. When you start working on your individual projects, it will be in this class that you’ll learn how to bring your design drawings to life! These classes are crucial to attend, it’s your chance to learn new skills and to ask specific questions about how to create your designs.
10am – 11am: Cultural and Historical Studies Lecture
11.30am – 1.30pm: Cultural and Historical Studies Seminar
Fashion design courses will also typically include a unit on cultural and/or historical studies. This usually consists of a lecture with all the students on the course, and then a seminar with smaller groups. You’ll learn about the history of fashion and important events in fashion history that have influenced where fashion is today. You may also learn important aspects of cultural studies that have an impact on art and design. The outcome of this unit is usually a report or essay, so you’re expected to engage with academic texts and you’re taught the fundamentals of academic research and academic writing.
10am – 5pm: Design Workshop 10am – 10.30am: Design Tutorial
10am – 10.30am: Design Tutorial
Every fashion design course will have classes or tutorials based around learning the basics of fashion design. In these classes or tutorials, you will learn how to answer project briefs, how to do good research and how to best your research to create interesting and contemporary designs. Depending on the university and which year you’re in, these classes/tutorials may be quite hands on, where you are designing and working on your project during the class, with your tutor there to offer advice and feedback. Or, it may be more about showing your work each week to your design tutor, getting feedback, asking questions and then going away to work on your project independently.
I hope this post has offered you guys some insight into what it’s like to study a fashion design course. As you can see, it’s a lot of hard work! But, it can be really fun and rewarding if you work hard, stay organised and engage with all your peers and tutors.
If you have any more questions about studying fashion design that I didn’t answer here, tweet me @tizz_tazz and I’ll try and answer your questions in a future blog post.
Thank you for reading!