The term ‘Fashion Designer’ embodies a broad spectrum in the design arena. Studying fashion design not only equips students with the knowledge and skills required to design and manufacture clothing, but also trains students in the various fields associated with the fashion industry. Career possibilities become endless once the student has completed the certificate, degree or diploma course in Fashion Design.
Fashion designers not only make beautiful garments but need to see themselves as the future of the design world.
Fashion trends change and evolve at a rapid pace, developments take place every moment of everyday and for this reason students are taught how to research the latest trend and develop designs around these trends.
Creativity cannot be taught, it is nurtured and developed. It is important for our students to believe in their designs and trust their natural design instincts. Many of the great fashion designers were shunned for their outrageous creations at first, yet were recorded in history for being brave inventors. The SDC fashion design course focuses on development and guidance rather than instruction. For this reason fashion design students leave equipped to look at the world with a greater awareness and appreciation for detail.
The course is structured to include all the vital skills students need when they enter the world of fashion, from pattern making through to starting your own label. The course is structured as follows:
Visual Communication 1:
The design world is highly dependent on visual stimulants and inspirations – it is important to develop and awareness of one’s surroundings and being able to use elements from your direct environment to inspire beautiful creations. For this reason, students are taught vital artistic skills, namely:
1. Fashion Illustration
Fashion illustration 1 is aimed at teaching the basics of drawing by focussing on form, shape, light, shadow, perspective and the human form. It is vital for a designer to translate their designs onto paper, in order for the designer and client to visually agree on the same design goal. Students learn various drawing techniques and experiment with different mediums.
2. Creative Design
Creative design 1 introduces the student to the exciting world of design. Students learn to appreciate the importance of colour in fashion and embark on trend research. The fashion cycle, which influences the entire design world, is also outlined to the student. Creative design involves the creation of a vital aspect of design – the story board. Students will learn how aesthetics dictate the success of a story board, as well as composition.
3. Technical Drawing
As a fashion designer, you are not only required to dream up exotic designs, but it is also important to describe these designs to a manufacturer. Technical drawing teaches student to take their designs and illustrate them in a manner that is universally understood by manufacturers.
Clothing Technology 1:
Fashion designers are not only artists; they also need to be scientists of their craft. Pattern making, garment construction and textile theory equip students with the knowledge to produce their designs.
1. Pattern Making
Pattern making 1 introduces students to basics blocks, dart manipulation and styling. Basic pattern manipulation educates students in the movement of space and how that effects pattern construction. By the end of first year, students would have drafted all basic blocks required for future years in the industry.
2. Garment Construction
This is where the fun happens. Students can now take their designs and begin making garments. The first year of garment construction involves the students creating basic tailored garments, skirts blouses, sleeves, cuffs, collars and corsets. Styling possibilities of these basic blocks are endless and students learn that classic garments are always being re-invented and re-developed as a result of trend.
3. Textile Theory
In order to understand how to create garments, it is important to understand where fabrics originate from what they are made of. Students will receive a general introduction to textiles, fibre classification and properties. The student should then:
Digital Design 1:
The world is advancing on a daily basis. Designs are no longer only drawn by hand – the world is going digital, and so should our students. In the first level of digital design, students are introduced to the basics of rendering designs digitally. Students are given an introduction to Photoshop, Microsoft office and coral draw. Students are encouraged to use the internet to research trends and discover various fashion websites.
Fashion History 1:
Understanding the past helps us understand the future. In the fashion world, past trends almost always influence new designs. For this reason it is important for students to delve into the fascinating study of the past. History of clothing 1 highlights great historical events and how political, social, and cultural factors influenced clothing.
Inndustry Practice 1:
Fashion means business! And being business minded and business savvy is an important skill to cultivate. Being one step ahead of the competition and learning the tricks of the trade. Industry practice 1 shows students the ins and outs of the fashion business. They are introduced to merchandising, buying, running a business and even how to import and export products.
Visual Communication 2:
Now that students have completed their first level, the foundations have been laid. It is now time to build on these foundations.
1. Fashion Illustration 2 :
Students are encouraged to develop their own personal drawing style. Fashion figures are tweaked and stretched versions of reality; each artist has their own unique drawing style and is becoming comfortable with their individuality. Students are encouraged to think out of the box and work in different mediums. Styling of fashion figures is research and put into practise. The second level of fashion design focuses mainly on menswear, and for this reason illustration follows suit.
2. Creative Design 2:
Menswear is now introduced. Students are required to develop designs which reflect menswear trends, research is conducted through store visits, presentations are facilitated and storyboards produced. Students are also are given a dye workshop and encouraged to explore the endless possibilities of dying. Not only is menswear covered in second level, but also children's wear, swimwear and lingerie.
3. Technical Drawing 2:
Technical drawing 2 goes hand in hand with Creative design, and students are guided in the correct presentation of menswear, children's wear, swimwear and lingerie storyboards.
Clothing Technology 2:
1. Pattern Making 2:
Students draft their menswear blocks, children's wear blocks and lingerie which will be used throughout their second level in garment construction. Styling of the various blocks are outlined and developed.
2. Garment Construction 2:
The Durban July competition is a major event for fashion designers around the country. In 2nd level students are encouraged to participate in fashion design competitions. Students also construct their menswear, children's wear and lingerie collections.
3. Textile Theory 2:
2nd year Textile Theory builds on the foundations laid in 1st level. Aspects which are covered include: Yarn fundamentals; spinning systems; folded yarns; piled yarns; fancy yarns; textured yarns; yarn numbering; yarn properties and sewing threads.
A recap on illustrator is completed, and an introduction to rendering technical drawings in a digital format. Illustrations of the male figure with a background on photoshop is explored as well as a T shirt design using digital artwork. Students also digitally design and create their own swing tag label.
Fashion History 2:
In second level fashion history we examine the 1900’s and examine events in history and art that influenced fashion. We focus on the roaring twenties and discover the birth of cocktails, jazz and luxury, cubism and Bauhaus Influences, the Russian Ballet, the slender silhouette and the freedom of sexuality. We examine the 1930's looking at the great depression and how this affected fashion. We move into the 1940's and see how the world war influenced fashion of that decade. With the 50's we see the interest of Paris fashion and research fabrics of the time. 60's take us throw us into the beetles and pop looks. When studying fashion of the 70's we enjoy the nostalgia of this era and have fun with the disco and trash culture. Our study into the 80's takes a turn for the bizarre and absurd as we move into the hip hop and retro looks.
Industry Practice 2:
Industry Practice 2 focuses on business skills, TAX, VAT, marketing your product and developing a corporate identity.