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marketing and merchandising for fashion
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You've always had a unique sense of style and an eye for great design. Now is your chance to turn that talent in to an exciting career in fashion. VCAD's Fashion Design diploma program teaches you to refine your talent for creating beautiful garments and accessories.
VCAD's program gives structure to your creativity while providing hands-on training from industry professionals. Students gain an in-depth understanding about the tools and equipment used in the industry. Topics covered include garment, accessory and apparel design, fashion merchandising, fashion shows, and more.
By the end of the program, students will have created a strong portfolio with which to apply for fashion industry jobs such as stylists, junior designers, pattern makers, marketing representatives, or visual display coordinators and purchasers.
Upon successful completion of the four terms of this program, the graduate will be able to:
Colour & Design
The purpose of this course is to introduce the students to the fundamental principles of design and color theory. Students will be introduced to the principle concepts of design such as layout, composition, and balance as well as the theories of color and how to use color creatively. These concepts will be presented in theory as well as reinforced through specific practical exercises and activities that will serve to demonstrate how each of the concepts is integrated into good design.
This course will cover the fundamentals of drawing including the key concept of perspective. The students will work in both traditional a digital medium to enhance their drawing and communication skills. Students will not only learn how to develop aesthetically pleasing drawings from a construction approach but will also learn the key aspect of drawing as a communication and development tool. Time will be spent working in teams to communicate professional ideas and explore ways to improve on these communication skills using both traditional and digital tools.
Garment Construction I
This is an introductory course designed to introduce students to basic garment construction concepts and techniques by completing garment projects. Students will learn how to use and care for the fundamental tools of the garment production industry. Basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing will be taught. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Students will be able to practice the various techniques learned throughout the course by working on mini-projects, while developing and completing their first simple garment.
This course introduces the students to the popular image-editing software Adobe Photoshop. The main objective of this course is to teach the student graphical image production using Adobe Photoshop. Through this hands-on course, the student will learn the fundamentals of design, as well as advanced features and tips, to prepare images for the web and for print. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create and enhance sophisticated images using Adobe Photoshop’s tools and features. They will learn how to correct and modify print as well as web images using various techniques and organizational tools. They will also learn how to apply special effects to original and composite images.
The Fashion Industry
In this course, students will be learning the fundamental and basic principles governing the world of fashion with emphasis on the merchandising and marketing aspects of the apparel industry. Major designers of the 20th century and their influence on trends in apparel will be examined.
Sustainable fashion is becoming integral to fashion design philosophies, technologies, and trends in manageable sustainability. This means that the fashion industry has recognized that being socially responsible should minimize the human impact on the environment, on people, and can have a positive impact on the bottom line. In this course students will conduct market research examining political, economic, social, and technological sustainability issues using PESTLE analytical techniques.
Costume history is the history of fashion – trends, design influences, fabrications, style changes and developments, evolving technical elements and terminology of fashion. An overview understanding of fashion history and the place it holds in modern times is vital in the marketing and merchandising of current fashion apparel and accessories.
Fashion illustration is vital in the product development and marketing of apparel and accessories. Illustration represents the product visually: it is a form of stylized drawing that communicates not only an artistic representation but also a sense of style. In this course, students will learn the basics of this fashion art form.
Fashion Marketing is defined as more than just “selling”: it is creating in the consumer the need and want to purchase fashion goods using a strategy of correct pricing and placement of goods, product offerings and promotional techniques targeted to the correct marketing segment. In this course, students are introduced to basic fashion marketing principles.
Garment Construction II
This course continues to develop both theoretical and practical construction techniques. This course is designed to further students' basic garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects. Basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Students will be able to practice various techniques learned throughout the course by working on the construction of a blouse/shirt and lightweight pants.
Collection Design & Development
This course introduces the fundamentals of fashion research, trend analysis and forecasting. Established fashion art techniques are used to conceptualize, develop, design, merchandise and market products for a clearly defined audience. An apparel line will be designed to meet the needs of a specific market. Focus is on creating original, marketable design concepts translated through illustrations and construction of designs. This course includes the preparation of concept boards, illustrations, and technical drawings, which will form the conceptual nucleus of the Final Collection Capstone and Promotional Portfolio courses.
Fashion forecasting is a process that includes knowledge of changing colors and styles, lifestyles, consumer buying patterns, and methods of retailing merchandise. Students will learn the science and art of fashion forecasting and how this affects decision making in the apparel industry.
Pattern Drafting I
This is an introduction to industrial garment assembly practices and pattern drafting. Studio time will be devoted to sewing a variety of samples and drafting basic projects using standard accepted industry practices. Basic principles of flat pattern drafting, development of the master pant and skirt block, and its use in drafting patterns according to professional standards are addressed. Students will learn to develop basic pattern blocks and manipulate these drafts to create various design styles. Standard and personal measurements will be used and the importance of proper garment fit will be emphasized.
Students will explore both natural and synthetic fibers, their primary and secondary characteristics and properties, how fibers become fabrics, fabric names and usages, care, labeling, life and handling. Yarn production, weaves, knits, printing, dyes, and the new technologies in fiber production are examined. Trends in fabrication in the 21st Century are emphasized.
Digital Pattern Making I
This course introduces students to computer-aided design for pattern making. Students will learn how to transfer pattern drafts to a computer with industry standard software. This course introduces the digital equivalents of pattern creation, alterations on existing product patterns, grade rule tables and marker making. Through hands-on experience students will gain knowledge of the system’s capabilities to digitize and modify designs, manage files, plot patterns, and apply grade rules. Students will learn how to create a model, enter specs on a technical design sheet, and create a production-ready garment.
The methods of three dimensional draping techniques are studied. These methods are employed to enhance the visual articulation of design concepts and to create a pattern. Fabric is draped on the dress form to create prototypical garments, allowing for the study of fashion silhouetting, proportion, texture, and style.
Fashion Design Studio I
This course introduces the elements and principles of fashion design. The course emphasizes the role of color and texture throughout the apparel design process in the context of fashion design problems. Students will learn how to communicate solutions visually and verbally through team building exercises. This course provides students with the opportunity to clearly articulate a plan for their final collection and begin to develop a lookbook.
Pattern Drafting II
This course builds on the concepts and tools introduced in Pattern Drafting I. Students will develop bodice blocks and will further their knowledge of key components of the flat pattern making system to develop, manipulate and modify various garment patterns.
Product development is a process that begins with a design concept and follows through to production. In this course, students are introduced to technical packages, production boards, garment design elements and product organizational flows, all of which are integral to the manufacturing, marketing and merchandising of apparel.
Digital Pattern Making II
This course builds on the concepts and tools introduced in Digital Pattern Making I. Students will further their knowledge of key components of the pattern design system to develop, manipulate and modify digital garment patterns.
Fashion Design Studio II
This course builds on the skills and concepts learned in Fashion Design I, providing students with the opportunity to complete their fashion collection. The collection will be assessed and three of the four submissions will become part of the final collection and promotional portfolio. Students will also complete a final draft of their lookbook for their final collection.
Fashion stylists are responsible for organizing and preparing people, and assembling accessories and garments worn by models at a photo shoot. In creating “the look”, stylists must be up-to-date in all aspects of fashion forecasting. In this class, students will learn what is involved in fashion styling, turning theory into practice while working on a real-life photo shoot and magazine spread which will become a portfolio piece.
Garment Construction IV
This course develops advanced construction detailing and tailoring. The course is designed to further advance students' garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects. Further efficiencies in advanced construction techniques, pattern development, and material economizing will be emphasized. Sewing precision will be the focus of this course. Students will be able to practice advanced techniques learned throughout the course by working on the construction of a tailored jacket and/or outerwear garment. This course emphasizes industry standard and couture techniques.
Pattern Drafting III
In this advanced course students create patterns for specific design problems integrating the knowledge of flat pattern methods. Course work requires research of historic patterns, pattern development, and modern industrial methods. Studio projects will address specific design problems integrating knowledge of draping methods. This course will refine acquired skills and require efficiency in the application of pattern-making skills, methods, organization, and application.
Fashion design students will gain knowledge of ready-to-wear apparel production: critical paths, quality control, mass production techniques, garment sequencing, assembly and costing. Private labels and branding are also examined.
Final Collection Capstone
During the final term this capstone course provides studio time and individual mentoring so that advanced sewing techniques can be applied to each garment in a measured manner. This studio time will allow for revisions and a level of detail, sewing accuracy and precision expected in a final collection that is to be presented to industry. Students will be able to perfect advanced techniques learned throughout the program.
Digital Pattern Making III
Computer pattern drafting techniques are further enhanced in this course. Through hands-on experience, students will gain advanced knowledge of the pattern design system and will acquire additional computer-based pattern drafting skills. Students will complete a design and digital draft of an original garment.
Promotional Portfolio & PR Kit
Graphic design and software skills learned in the first and subsequent terms will be applied in the development and production of a promotional kit containing original design work, flats and specifications, photographs, and available trend resources. Topics include copy-writing, planning and organizing a print project, professional layout, and translating fashion ideas into visual design elements. Outcomes include the production of professional portfolio website and print catalogue.
Garment Construction III
This course continues to develop both theoretical and practical construction techniques. This course is designed to further advance students garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects. Further efficiencies in construction techniques, pattern layout, marking and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Students will be able to practice various techniques learned throughout the course by working on the construction of day and evening dress. This course emphasizes couture techniques.