Fashion Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts
in Fashion Design

With a lifetime of experience of fashion, in front of and behind the curtain, I am convinced that Paris should be at the heart of a fashion education. No other place in the world has the diversity you find here – from Haute Couture to Ready-to-Wear to market-driven fashion.
– Donald Potard, Chair of Fashion Design

The art and business of fashion give form and function to clothing, a basic human need, imbuing it with meaning in the ever-evolving language of style. The Fashion Design courses at PCA are intimate and hands-on, allowing for each student to be closely followed by his or her instructor. Our classrooms emulate the working process of a professional design studio from conceptual drawings to the selection of colors and fabrics, as well as pattern-making and the construction of finished garments.

Students acquire an understanding of tools, materials, construction techniques and textile design methods, enabling them to express their individual creative visions. Intensive concept and design courses, weekly critiques, workshops with industry professionals and the study of Parisian prêt-à-porter help students to develop originality and acquire an understanding of their craft. Beyond the school atelier, exposure to trade fairs, designer shows and museum exhibitions all foster a keen understanding of the European marketplace.

Visiting critics help familiarize students with the design requirements and specificities of various markets, while company-driven projects expose students to the real world challenges they will face in the business of style. Senior year culminates with the construction and presentation of a personal collection and design portfolio.

Faculty

Donald Potard

Donald Potard

Chair of Fashion Design
img_1897

Maria Fors

Professor
patricio sarmiento

Patricio Sarmiento

Fashion Design Senior Coordinator/ Professor
Damian Yee

Damian Yee

Professor - Fashion Design Dept.

Curriculum

Credits

Foundation

fall

Drawing I

Code
FFND 0176
Description

Drawing–across all first year studio courses and in every progression track at PCA–is considered a fundamental discipline for creative practice. The aim is to give students both a vital course in traditional skills and an introduction to contemporary and emerging approaches to drawing. Included in this class are subject specific workshops such as: digital illustration, gesture/dance, experimental fashion drawing, drawing and film. The purpose of this course is to instill a lively and inspired discipline that students will continue to practice in many forms beyond their foundation year.

Materials and Dimensions I

Code
FFND 0110
Description

This course is an introduction to dimensions in art and design (2D, 3D, Photography and Moving Image) through material processes. Over the course of the semester students rotate for one month through three discipline areas. A common theme links the three courses and projects overlap and develop progressively. All first years take part in a joint critique of their work. Students are taught how to use practical tools and shown methods for handling materials that provide concrete starting points for creative practice. These include, but are not limited to: book-making, basic printmaking, black and white printing, sewing inductions, moving image workshops, and the operation of woodwork machinery.

City as Studio

Code
FFND 0174
Description

Students explore their immediate neighbourhood and the city at large as a site of inspiration. The city and its spaces become an extended classroom. Students respond to a theme designed to encourage interaction and integration with their surroundings and new, unexpected ways of looking at their environment. Site visits, walks, lectures, readings, and practical exercises guide students through different approaches to the creative process with the aim that they develop their own methodologies and engage with the city as potential artists and/or designers.

Introduction to Digital Media I

Code
FFND 0170
Description

This course aims to equip all first year students with the necessary skills and confidence to be able to use digital tools. The curriculum is project-led and structured so that students can apply their growing skill-set to realize their ideas. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. Students are introduced to the possibilities for digital tools as part of their creative work.

Personal Project

Code
FFND 0175
Description

All students are given a common theme from which to design and create their own project over the course of the Spring Semester. ‘Personal Project’ is a seminar-led course where students present their ideas and the evolution of their work for critical feedback to their peers. This course is run by Instructors with specialist knowledge in areas of art and/or design and students are allocated a group according to their emerging interests.

Introduction to Art & Design

Code
FHCA 0103
Description

This course introduces students to themes and topics relevant to the production and reception of the art and design disciplines taught at PCA. Using art and design objects located in Parisian collections as the basis for visual, contextual and cultural analysis, students will develop ways of seeing, contextualizing and describing art and design, while tackling a common set of issues, including but not limited to: chronology, style, authorship, form, function, composition, originality, narrative, and the decorative. Students will be guided as to how to conduct research in local collections and libraries and will produce a short contextually-oriented research paper on an art or design object or an artist or designer based on first-hand access to the object, artist, designer and archives.

Critical Thinking & Writing I

Code
FLIB 1011
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

spring

Drawing II

Code
FFND 0177
Description

Students require the fluency and confidence in the act of drawing developed in Drawing I in order to engage in more ambitious work. ‘Professional’ drawing classes are designed to relate directly to art and design specialisms (Fine Art, Illustration, Fashion, Interior Design, Communication Design and Photography). Students are encouraged to take a self-motivated and questioning approach to drawing; equipped with the basic skills they become increasingly open to experimentation and the potential to communicate in many forms. Through a series of workshops stereotypical ways of thinking and seeing are challenged so that students understand drawing as an activity that continues to be relevant and re-invented.

Materials and Dimensions II

Code
FFND 0111
Description

Building on the practical knowledge acquired in in ‘Materials and Dimensions I’ students develop their ideas with more autonomy whilst being supported by the technical expertise of their instructors. In this course students focus on the relationship between design, process and final outcome in 2-Dimensions. After an introduction to color theory and symbolism, students learn about color through print. Students are taught to question and analyze the image-making process. Through set assignments students explore different media and techniques and learn how to select the most effective methods to communicate their ideas.

Introduction To Digital Media II

Code
FFND 0171
Description

Students develop projects with a growing complexity, employing the computer less as a tool and more as a medium to be manipulated with greater confidence and control. The aim of the course is to create an awareness of the potential for digital techniques to solve visual and communication problems. Advanced skills are taught during the Semester that support and encourage an ambitious approach to the digital field. Students integrate digital and non-digital practice and explore mixing different softwares and media. All projects are contextualized with examples of work by contemporary artists and designers who are working with digital media. By the end of the course all students are confident to use digital tools as part of their creative work.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Personal Project

Code
FFND 0175
Description

All students are given a common theme from which to design and create their own project over the course of the Spring Semester. ‘Personal Project’ is a seminar-led course where students present their ideas and the evolution of their work for critical feedback to their peers. This course is run by Instructors with specialist knowledge in areas of art and/or design and students are allocated a group according to their emerging interests.

Artistic Migrations: Paris

Code
FLIB 1104
Description

This course introduces students to the notion of the city as palimpsest and the center of cultural and social exchanges. It will expose them to a selection of writers and artists who have travelled to and from Paris, and help them understand the role played by this city in relation to cultural and political capitals throughout the world. The city itself will be the subject of a visual and intellectual inquiry via themes that focus on Paris as a historically significant urban social, political and cultural center past and present.

Students will learn about key moments in French history, from the Romans on, via the Middle Ages and the Revolution, they will be introduced to such themes as political migrations and colonialism, and will explore the city from a variety of points of views including literary and artistic exchanges, urban history, architecture, and ecology. Active exploration of the environment is strongly encouraged and students are asked to observe and analyze phenomena of the city through site visits, the examination of texts and images, and first-hand encounters with museums, galleries, and libraries, as well as other art and design-related resources in the city.

Critical Thinking & Writing II

Code
FLIB 1012
Description

This year-long course is designed to improve critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students learn to understand the inherent argument and logic of a text, to think more systematically and critically, and to write more effectively by developing skills in the structure, grammar, and mechanics of writing. Students also work toward the more focused goal of situating design and art practices within larger intellectual, historical and philosophical frameworks by exploring the indissoluble connection between ideas and the products of human culture. This is achieved by introducing students to texts representing and describing various methodologies applicable to art and design, which can then be used to critique and analyze visual and material artifacts.

Sophomore Year

fall

Fashion Drawing I: Hand

Code
FFAS 0205
Description

This course teaches fashion hand drawing techniques mainly from live fashion models; first it will focus on body proportions, body details and body movement to later concentrate on the stylized fashion figure, allowing students to synthesize and create their own ideas.

Students will analyze the behavior of the fabric on the body, how different types of clothing hangs and reacts to movement.
Volume and perspective will be a subject of study through lights-shadow and forth-shortening techniques, which help students to situate their fashion figures in the space and prepare them to design clothes as “soft sculptures”, a bridge from 2D to 3D.

Prerequisites: foundation core studios – semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Fashion Drawing I: Digital

Code
FFAS 0207
Description

Practical application of appropriate computer software is a must to meet the demands of a hectic fashion market. This course explores CAD software techniques used in the fashion industry to enrich the possibilities of communication skills. Students will learn how to use vector drawings to create technical flats of garments, and basic rendering textile techniques to enhance digital image presentation.

Prerequisites: foundation core studios – semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Fashion Research Design Concepts I

Code
FFAS 0210
Description

Students are trained to fully explore and exploit various multi- and interdisciplinary sources in order to creatively apply investigative research to a conceptual design process. Students use sketchbooks as documentary tools and through market research gain awareness of fashion and design products and market categories as well as with current issues in international fashion. The second semester includes different methods and conceptual techniques for implementing effective design directions.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Pattern Drafting I

Code
FFAS 0297
Description

Students develop an understanding of professional pattern making, metric pattern cutting, and drafting skills. They learn about the architecture of garments and the technical implications of flat construction for the fit and construct basic patterns for skirts, trousers, bodices, dresses, shirts, sleeves, hoods and collars. In the second semester, more advanced methods and techniques are explored. Individual design projects encourage students to experiment with patterns and construct the garments.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

3D Fashion Design I

Code
FFAS 0240
Description

This course introduces the 3D form, fabrics and basic garment construction. Through the practice of draping muslin on the mannequin, fabrics workshops and analysis students learn how 2D materials become 3D forms. The foundation of pattern shapes: bodices, skirts, sleeves, and collars are covered as are essential technical skills and garment assembly techniques. Weekly briefs encourage intensive 3D research and exploration of a variety of methods and techniques. The course initiates a flexible, experimental and critical approach towards materials, volumes, and shapes from which design concepts emanate in an individual, personal, problem-solving process.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

History of Fashion

Code
FHCA 0227
Description

This course investigates the visual history of fashion, focusing on France from the Ancien Régime via the Revolution to the present day, and with a particular focus on primary sources available in the museums and archives of Paris. Weekly units explore historical European fashion trends – their details, silhouettes, fabrics and embellishments – in their original social, political, economic, aesthetic and spiritual contexts. Influences and parallel developments in other countries are also covered in this class, as are connections between the fashion industry, theatre, film, and the fine arts. Students are introduced to research practices and encouraged to reflect on design and style choices rooted in fashion history.

French Conversation 1

Code
FLIB 1001
Description

This course is a beginner-level French conversation course open to students with no previous exposure to instruction in French. Emphasis will be placed on phonetics (Rhythm, intonation, liaisons, silent letters & some specific French sounds), as well as everyday life vocabulary and exchanges. Different themes will be covered over the semester: Life in Paris, French cinema, French and Francophone cuisine, as well as music. Students will be able to engage in short conversations and will practice describing themselves and their environment, their friends and family members, as well as their studies, hobbies, and artistic practice. Visits and meetings with French students will be organized. Students will be evaluated during 5 oral presentations. Conscientious completion of homework and class participation is emphasized; a website has been specially designed to accompany students throughout the semester (Targeted grammatical exercises, podcasts, phonetics etc.) A guided tour in French will beo organized (Musée Pompidou, Musée d’Orsay.) Class will be conducted in French.

spring

Fashion Drawing: Hand II

Code
FFAS 0206
Description

This course teaches fashion hand drawing techniques mainly from live fashion models; first it will focus on body proportions, body details and body movement to later concentrate on the stylized fashion figure, allowing students to synthesize and create their own ideas.
Students will analyze the behavior of the fabric on the body, how different types of clothing hangs and reacts to movement.
Volume and perspective will be a subject of study through lights-shadow and forth-shortening techniques, which help students to situate their fashion figures in the space and prepare them to design clothes as “soft sculptures”, a bridge from 2D to 3D.

Prerequisites: foundation core studios – semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Fashion Drawing II: Digital

Code
FFAS 0208
Description

Practical application of appropriate computer software is a must to meet the demands of a hectic fashion market. This course explores CAD software techniques used in the fashion industry to enrich the possibilities of communication skills. Students will learn how to use vector drawings to create technical flats of garments, and basic rendering textile techniques to enhance digital image presentation.

Prerequisites: foundation core studios – semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Fashion Research and Design Concepts II

Code
FFAS 0211
Description

Students are trained to fully explore and exploit various multi- and interdisciplinary sources in order to creatively apply investigative research to a conceptual design process. Students use sketchbooks as documentary tools and through market research gain awareness of fashion and design products and market categories as well as with current issues in international fashion. The second semester includes different methods and conceptual techniques for implementing effective design directions.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Pattern Drafting II

Code
FFAS 0298
Description

Students develop an understanding of professional pattern making, metric pattern cutting, and drafting skills. They learn about the architecture of garments and the technical implications of flat construction for the fit and construct basic patterns for skirts, trousers, bodices, dresses, shirts, sleeves, hoods and collars. In the second semester, more advanced methods and techniques are explored. Individual design projects encourage students to experiment with patterns and construct the garments.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

3D Fashion Design II

Code
FFAS 0241
Description

This course introduces the 3D form, fabrics and basic garment construction. Through the practice of draping muslin on the mannequin, fabrics workshops and analysis students learn how 2D materials become 3D forms. The foundation of pattern shapes: bodices, skirts, sleeves, and collars are covered as are essential technical skills and garment assembly techniques. Weekly briefs encourage intensive 3D research and exploration of a variety of methods and techniques. The course initiates a flexible, experimental and critical approach towards materials, volumes, and shapes from which design concepts emanate in an individual, personal, problem-solving process.

Prerequisites: Foundation core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Art History Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Art History Program page for more information.

French Conversation: Improver Level

Code
FLIB 1002
Description

This course is open to anyone who has some basic knowledge of French and would like to improve their listening & speaking skills. Class will meet once per week. The main objective for the course is for students to be able to communicate orally in French in everyday life situations, as well as in professional settings. Using a variety of materials (Movies, music, dialogues, radio & TV), students will learn how to tell a story, make a thorough description of their work and practice, talk about a personal experience or a project, and give their opinion. Different themes will be covered over the semester: Intermediate everyday life vocabulary, French cinema (‘A Bout de Souffle’ de J.-L. Godard & ‘Cleo de 5 à 7’ de A. Varda), French illustrators (Enki Bilal & Marjane Satrapi) and professional life in Paris. Visits in French will be organized (Musée Pompidou & Gaîté Lyrique.)

Junior Year

fall

Junior Design Studio I

Code
FFAS 0320
Description

Junior Design Studio integrates draping and pattern making as a means of achieving the student’s own designs and realizing them as finished garments. Focus is on the process of executing a design concept from its 2D form, including layout, cutting, construction, fitting, and finishes. Through technical projects, students continue to develop their skills. In the second semester students follow professional sample procedures to develop a garment from an original design under the direction of the instructor and a external designer critic. At the end of the semester they produce a 3 look collection that serves as preparation and practice for collection line-up and time management.

Prerequisites: Sophomore core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Digital Fashion Studio I

Code
FFAS 0330
Description

This class focuses on digital tools for fashion design and fashion illustration. Students use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to prepare concept boards and collection concepts completed with scanned sources and original artwork. Exploring a variety of digital design and presentation methods, students will focus on developing new design concepts for defined niche markets; project briefs will involve research and style analysis of a French couture house or a European luxury brand. Applying digital communication and presentation skills, students will develop a new contemporary vision for an innovative product range and their own graphic identity presented in a professional PowerPoint presentation.

Prerequisites: Sophomore core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Collection Concepts Development I

Code
FFAS 0332
Description

This course teaches students how to generate and develop various highly individual design concepts related to specific, identified market levels and product segments. Different principles of collection work and collection concepts are applied to set project briefs. Methods of presentation in relation to the fashion design portfolio enhance appropriate visuals for the fashion design process. Observational fashion, design, and trend research sketchbooks form part of this course, as well as external project briefs, which are reviewed and assessed by professionals from the French fashion and clothing industry (e.g. Designer Critic Project).

Prerequisites: Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Textile Identification

Code
FFAS 0376
Description

This course increases students’ knowledge of natural and synthetic fibers, fabrics, and materials as well as the range and application of textiles to the special requirements of clothing production. Students are given an overview of the textile and fiber markets, including fiber identification, knowledge of yarns, and fabric constructions. Dyeing, printing, and finishing methods are introduced to learn characteristics of finished cloth for end use. The historical background of different textiles is examined as well as contemporary developments and the changing values assigned to different textiles.

Prerequisites: Sophomore core studios

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Introduction To Design Studies

Code
FLIB 2212
Description

This course focuses on how design processes, design products, and design discourse are interrelated. It encourages students to reflect and write critically about design and provides them with a foundation in research methods that impact design practice. Readings from leading designers, theorists and historians lead students to situate their own approaches to design within a swiftly changing contemporary context, while visual materials and visits to design-related exhibitions allow them to broaden their base of design references.

spring

Junior Design Studio II

Code
FFAS 0321
Description

Junior Design Studio integrates draping and pattern making as a means of achieving the student’s own designs and realizing them as finished garments. Focus is on the process of executing a design concept from its 2D form, including layout, cutting, construction, fitting, and finishes. Through technical projects, students continue to develop their skills. In the second semester students follow professional sample procedures to develop a garment from an original design under the direction of the instructor and a external designer critic. At the end of the semester they produce a 3 look collection that serves as preparation and practice for collection line-up and time management.

Prerequisites: Sophomore core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Digital Fashion Studio II

Code
FFAS 0331
Description

This class focuses on digital tools for fashion design and fashion illustration. Students use Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign to prepare concept boards and collection concepts completed with scanned sources and original artwork. Exploring a variety of digital design and presentation methods, students will focus on developing new design concepts for defined niche markets; project briefs will involve research and style analysis of a French couture house or a European luxury brand. Applying digital communication and presentation skills, students will develop a new contemporary vision for an innovative product range and their own graphic identity presented in a professional PowerPoint presentation.

Prerequisites: Sophomore core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Collection Concept Development II

Code
FFAS 0333
Description

This course teaches students how to generate and develop various highly individual design concepts related to specific, identified market levels and product segments. Different principles of collection work and collection concepts are applied to set project briefs. Methods of presentation in relation to the fashion design portfolio enhance appropriate visuals for the fashion design process. Observational fashion, design, and trend research sketchbooks form part of this course, as well as external project briefs, which are reviewed and assessed by professionals from the French fashion and clothing industry (e.g. Designer Critic Project).

Prerequisites: Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Creative and Editorial Photography

Code
FHOT 0259
Description

The aim of this course is to give students the fundamental skills to execute professional magazine assignments. This practical course includes the most common editorial themes such as: Fashion, Portraiture, Accessory Still Life, Travel and Architecture. Students will work on various shooting projects; in-class fashion shootings with models, in collaboration with the Fashion Seniors, as well as a range of authentic editorial assignments on location in Paris. Thorough in-class critics will follow each photo shoot.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Art History Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Art History Program page for more information.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Senior Year

fall

Senior Design Studio I

Code
FFAS 0410
Description

The focus of this course is placed on creative problem solving of designer garments via advanced construction techniques, tailoring methods, draping, pattern making and finishing techniques. External fashion professionals provide critiques and guidance. The second semester focuses on the realization of the student’s thesis collection and culminates in a fashion presentation (fittings with model, photo shoots, showroom and runway show) of student work shown to industry professionals.

Prerequisites: Junior core studios. Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Senior Design Concepts I

Code
FFAS 0412
Description

In this final year course, students focus on conceptualizing and contextualising markets, trends, color, materials, technical considerations, and production research within individual design proposals. Reflecting their awareness of contemporary fashion, students will visibly define areas of investigative research, work methods, and fashion strategies, as well as design intentions and outcomes. While considering different product categories and retail levels, the students develop a fashion statement through appropriate accessories, looks, and styling. In the second semester students will employ a self-directed design process to achieve their thesis collection of garments and accessories based on a personally selected, clearly defined theme. They work on preparing their portfolio, brand image, and visual presentation for entry into the professional world of fashion design.

Prerequisites: Junior core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Fashion Collection Management

Code
FFAS 0414
Description

Managing a fashion collection implies understanding the various steps necessary to produce and sell a designer’s concept. If a person on that chain does not do his/her job properly and on time, the item may not make it to the store. Whoever is interested in “fashion”, a fashion designer or a retailer for example, needs to know the fundamentals of how a fashion collection comes together and how it makes it to the store. Students learn about fashion logistics, the financial aspects of fashion and the relation to retail spaces.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

spring

Senior Design Studio II

Code
FFAS 0411
Description

The focus of this course is placed on creative problem solving of designer garments via advanced construction techniques, tailoring methods, draping, pattern making and finishing techniques. External fashion professionals provide critiques and guidance. The second semester focuses on the realization of the student’s thesis collection and culminates in a fashion presentation (fittings with model, photo shoots, showroom and runway show) of student work shown to industry professionals.

Prerequisites: Junior core studios. Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Senior Design Concept II

Code
FFAS 0413
Description

In this senior level course, students focus on conceptualizing and contextualising markets, trends, color, materials, technical considerations, and production research within individual design proposals. Reflecting their awareness of contemporary fashion, students will visibly define areas of investigative research, work methods, and fashion strategies, as well as design intentions and outcomes. While considering different product categories and retail levels, the students develop a fashion statement through appropriate accessories, looks, and styling. In the second semester students will employ a self-directed design process to achieve their thesis collection of garments and accessories based on a personally selected, clearly defined theme. They work on preparing their portfolio, brand image, and visual presentation for entry into the professional world of fashion design.

Prerequisites: Junior core studios – Semester 1 is prerequisite for semester 2.

Studio Elective

Description

You may select an elective from the many course offerings in your department or in other departments with the approval of your department chair.

Liberal Studies Electives

Description

You may select an elective from the many liberal studies course offerings. Go to the Liberal Studies Program page for more information.

Overall Credits Total
134

PCA EOY Fashion Show 2016

hadley_johnson

Class of '10 Fashion Alumna Hadley Johnson

Since graduating in 2010, Hadley Johnson (from Kansas City, MO USA) has been creating her own fashion collections and showing her work internationally. As well, she has worked on collaborative projects with artists and performers. In 2012, Hadley opened her studio/shop in...
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