Why study Design and Fashion?
The world of fashion has a prominent place in our society, with a reputation for glamour, status, creativity, and sometimes, controversy. On the brink of revolution, ladies of Versailles were scrambling to emulate their famed queen Marie Antoinette and keep up with the latest fashions, even as the walls of the palace were being torn down by social unrest and inequality. ‘Sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ fashion are buzzwords of our times, and many other polarising issues have surfaced in between. Perhaps this is because fashion is something that – whether we like it or not – we are all a part of, and we are casting our own votes and opinions every time we buy a garment. It is an expression of ourselves that we wear daily, informing the world who we are and what we represent. Far from superficial, fashion can define the individual as well as a nation and era at large, and reflect the times in which we live.
As a fashion and design student, the prospect of tracing the evolution, design, fabric, structure, functionality and the aesthetic of clothing is a fascinating one. New fashions are being born as we speak, new styles are evolving, and boundaries are being pushed further. As a student of fashion, you will be at the forefront of these trends, and may one day even play a part in determining them.
What will you study?
Although the fashion industry can be accessed though different routes, a university degree typically gives you historical and contextual knowledge that other paths might not provide.
You can also expect to complete a placement in industry as part of your course, which will give you invaluable experience while you’re studying, and allow you to form useful contacts with working professionals. In addition, as part of a university course, you will be surrounded by other creative minds and collaborate with your fellow students, which can provide a great source of inspiration and an interchange of ideas.
You may have the option of studying the following modules:
- Theory and interpretation in fashion studies
- History of art and design
- Modernism, ideology and the avant-garde in the twentieth century
- Postmodernism and beyond
- Research methods
- Image object text
- Visual culture, art and design in a European city
- Fashion and film in Britain and America
- Women’s dress in Britain and internationally
- Fashion on film sets and stage productions
- Art, culture and commerce
- Critical Approaches
- Art, design and modern life
- Interpreting objects
Although the course might start with the theory and background of fashion, expect a lot of practical work, such as attending workshops with industry professionals, watching fashion shows, undertaking internships with fashion companies, and assisting designers in their work.
Careers in Fashion
Broadly speaking, commercial fashion has three branches which students can choose to transition into:
Mass market – clothes are made in bulk to a fixed cut and standard.
Prêt-à-porter – clothes are ready to wear but they are made in smaller batches to a higher standard and quality.
Haute couture – ‘high-sewing’ in French, these are clothes tailored using the most expensive materials and exclusively for a client.
Fashion is a notoriously competitive industry to break into, but studying fashion and design puts you in good stead for a variety of roles. These might include in-house fashion designer for a large high street brand, costume designer, fashion stylist or pattern cutter. Alternatively, you may choose to move into the business or media sides of the industry and work in roles such as fashion marketing, buying, fabric and trims purchasing, fashion show production, quality control, image consulting, fashion journalism and editing, photographer, and many more.
https://www.universityoffashion.com – Free online lessons and tips for fashion designers
https://www.dexigner.com – Online design directory
http://etn-net.org/index.htm – The European Textile Network
http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk – London Fashion Week
https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/project/fashion – Google’s Art and Culture platform
https://www.vam.ac.uk – Victoria & Albert Museum
http://designmuseum.org – The Design Museum
http://www.ftmlondon.org – Fashion and Textile Museum
https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk – The Fashion Museum in Bath, UK
http://www.moda.mdx.ac.uk/home – Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture
https://www.csd.org.uk – Chartered Society of Designers
http://www.britishfashioncouncil.co.uk – British Fashion Council
http://design.britishcouncil.org/projects/ifs/IFS2015/ – International Fashion Showcase
http://ukft.org – UK Fashion and Textile Association
http://www.designcouncil.org.uk – Design Council UK
https://www.textileinstitute.org – The Textile Institute