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Fashion Design Courses

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Fashion Design Courses overview

Fashion design is artistic expression applied to clothing and accessories. It requires an eye for detail, aesthetic appreciation and knowledge of past and contemporary social trends. Postgraduate study has students make invaluable industry connections, as well as providing a creative space to develop theoretical and practical design capabilities for later use in the industry.

It’s hard to trace the exact origins of fashion design, but its beginnings are often attributed to Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman born in 1825. His relocation to Paris in 1945 saw impoverished beginnings, but this changed with his ever-increasing notoriety as a designer. Demand for luxury goods soared as Napoleon III turned Paris into a cultural capital, thus improving Worth’s career prospects and eventually the entire fashion industry.

The city is still central to fashion design through renowned events like Paris Fashion Week. Professionals in this field work tirelessly to realise their visions of beauty and creative expression through state-of-the-art design techniques and theory.

Is fashion design for me?

Fashion design demands exceptional creativity of its practitioners. Original ideas and reinvention of old ones are keys to success. In addition, professionals must be exceptional at networking, as it is a ruthless industry to the unconnected. Therefore if you’re creative, highly ambitious and charismatic, fashion design could be for you.

Study pathway

Master degrees are the most common pathway, providing a well-rounded knowledge of the craft. Institutions like RMIT offer these courses to students with a prior bachelor degree in fashion design so long as they obtained a credit GPA (65%). The course itself takes two years of full time study to complete, or up to four years part time. Units offered are fairly distinct from other master programs, offering time in a fashion studio, professional engagement practice and fashion design research to name a few features.

Employment options

The following are just some of the options available to fashion design postgraduates.

Fashion designer

These professionals design clothing under any one of the three main schools of fashion design.

  • Haute couture: Derived from the French term for ‘high-sewing,’ haute couture refers to the design of clothing designed specifically for one individual. Entering this field is highly demanding and famously difficult, but those that do reap exceptional rewards.
  • Prêt-à-porter: This term translates to ‘ready-to-wear,’ representing a cross between high end fashion and mass market clothing. Ralph Lauren Corporation is known for its high-end consumer attire, making it the perfect employer for aspirants to this school of design.
  • Mass market: This is for widely produced garments and accessories, as the term denotes. Graduates will experience the least resistance entering this field and can seek employment for companies like H&M or Adidas.

Retail buyer

These professionals must select which items to sell at retail outlets. They are responsible for sourcing new merchandise and ensuring it will appeal to customers. Graduates are well-suited to this field due to their comprehensive understanding of fashion trends and design. Those with business administration qualifications alongside fashion design are particularly well suited.

Textile designers

Unlike fashion design, textile design is about producing the two-dimensional plans used in the production of clothing and accessories. Professionals work in one of two specialisations.

  • Interiors such as carpets or upholstery, or
  • Clothing for fashion or specialist purposes

Companies like Poco Print or Fashion DNA Studio thrive on employing fashion design graduates.

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Institutions offering Fashion Design Courses