The Fashion Design course has a clear structure and is divided into a foundation phase, with programmes such as Fashion & Costume, Fashion Sketching and Fashion Design, and a specialisation phase, in which the main focus is on collectioning, Collectie Arnhem and graduating.
The first and second years constitute the foundation phase of the study, during which assignments focus on clearing away stubborn stereotypes about fashion. Students learn about various design methods and are stimulated to develop their own ideas, while acquiring the necessary knowledge in art and professional theory.
Collectie Arnhem, photo: Meinke Klein
The assignments during the Propedeuse (first year) are experimental in nature and content. It acts as an introduction to visual arts programmes in general and to fashion in particular. Programme courses include: Experimental Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Sketching, Textiles, Model Sketching, Visual Grammar, Pattern Sketching, Implementation, Computer Skills, Fashion and Costumes and Art Theory.
In the second year the emphasis is on broadening professional knowledge and learning profession-oriented skills: Fashion Design, Fashion Sketching, Pattern Sketching, Implementation, Technical Drawing, Textiles, Pattern Design, Graphic Design, Computer Skills, Fashion and Culture and Art Theory. In addition, a number of Clinics will be organised for the students in which they will receive information on specific areas they can specialise in within fashion such as knitwear, fashion photography and denim. The second year is very intensive with even more contact hours than the first year. A study load of sixty hours or more per week is not uncommon.
Beginning in the second year, students have the opportunity to apply for admission to the Honours Programme, which is supplementary to the regular courses of their own Bachelor’s programme.
The third and fourth years are the specialisation phase, during which the focus is on in-depth training: the development of a personal style, but also in-depth preparatory professional training through the Collectie Arnhem and the external internship (optionally abroad), and by learning how to create a collection.
The first semester of the third year is taken up with the programmes Fashion Design, Machine Knitting, Fashion Sketching, Pattern Sketching, and Moulage. There is also Collectie Arnhem: a project in which third-year students work together to develop a fashion collection, which they sample, style, and present. This project culminates in a show, fully organised and designed by the students, for an audience of fashion professionals during the Amsterdam Fashion Week in the second half of January. In addition to the practical programmes, the students also write an Art Theory thesis.
During the second semester, students complete an internship of at least three months in the Netherlands or abroad. Designers and companies where students complete these internships include Balmain, Lanvin, John Galliano, Maison Martin Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Sharon Wauchob, Giles Deacon, Preen, Hennes & Mauritz Stockholm, A.F.Vandevorst, Christian Wijnants, and Alexander Wang. After returning from their internships, students conclude the third year with an intensive design workshop.
Designing, designing, designing: this entire year is focused on students developing their own style. Four design lecturers highlight different aspects of the design profession and supervise the design process. Additionally, a great deal of attention is given to developing a portfolio. In the graduation year, two collections are created: the Toile-de-Luxe during the first semester – a pre-collection in preparation for the graduation collection – and the graduation collection in the second semester. In addition to the permanent team of lecturers, external experts are also involved in assessing the graduation project.
Fashion and the Sea, second year