Clothes, makeup, heels, ramp-walk: is this what you picture when you think of fashion? Well, keep scrolling and you just might change your mind!
Getting into a Fashion College
Most of the design colleges that provide a professional degree in India conduct entrance exams as an admission process. There are typically two rounds to clear before you can seek admission in a college (primarily for undergraduate). Round one tests your creative abilities like sketching, creative thinking, logical reasoning, storytelling etc apart from testing your general abilities and knowledge. Once you get shortlisted for the first round, you go through a Studio Test where you deal with materials, model making and tasks completion. Some colleges also additionally conduct Interview and Portfolio rounds for admission selections.
A typical fashion school in India provides a four year program. Like any other professional program, the first year is a foundation year where you learn the basic elements & principles of design, colour theory, geometry, thinking and creativity tools, graphical softwares, fashion and art history etc.
The Stream Subjects
The following years you study subjects to specialise in fashion design. Some subjects like Pattern making, Draping, Textile appreciation, Garment construction, Garment Surface Ornamentation, CAD address the technical knowledge, craft and materials handling. These subjects are practical and require hands-on skills. Other subjects like Fashion Retailing, Merchandising, Fashion History, Clothing culture, Trends and forecast are theoretical and help you understand the world of fashion and industry.
Apart from the regular subjects, you also learn Photography, Portfolio Development to help you present your work better and be ready for the industry.
A Day in the life of a Fashion Student
A Day in a fashion student’s life starts early rushing to the college (sometimes in night clothes) after pulling an all-nighter completing submissions. Most of the day is spent attending theory classes, completing a project in a design workshop, ideating and exploring on newer projects, sketching, engaging in group works, making mood boards, researching on trends and referring books and promostyl from the library and doing lots of it! Finally, finishing college by evening and going back home to work on yet another submission! And hopefully, not skipping a meal in between!
The examination procedures are very different from regular colleges. In a fashion college the students go through ‘Juries’ where they are required to showcase their work to a jury panel. The student is expected to justify his thoughts, ideas, doings and outcome of the design brief. It is expected that the Jury will cross question and get to the details of design decisions and the practicalities.
Fests & Culture
In between the monotonous classes , there are Fashion Fests and culture programs where students come together to perform, create, sell their products and also compete to design.
While students do get to taste the industry in prior semesters through internships, the final outcome of the degree is a six month Graduation Project in the last semester. A student is expected to engage with an industry or a craft cluster or design a collection by himself/herself. The students work on producing design collections applying their knowledge, skills and perspectives they’ve developed during the course and stand upto industry briefs and guidelines.
With Bachelors of Design (B.Des) you can work at an export house, a fashion/textile manufacturing firm, a fashion house or studio, or further study and research to engage in pedagogy or even become an entrepreneur. With the aim of sustaining the craft clusters of India like Banjara Embroidery, Tie and Dye, Warangal Darris to name a few, some colleges, firms and organisations like Craft Council of India also work with the government where you can find employment opportunities.
To conclude, as glamourous the world of fashion looks upfront, there is a lot of hard work and discipline required to survive in this field. And when you practise your passion with ideas, thoughts, solutions and develop an eye for good aesthetics, you would inspire the world by your creation. If that is all you have ever wanted and are ready to take the difficulties that come in your path then pack your bags to fly high, but don’t forget to put the seatbelt on.