Train to be a fashion designer. VCAD’s fashion courses will help you turn your personal style and fashion know-how into a full-time career.
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 portfolio with which to apply for fashion industry jobs such as stylists, junior designers, pattern makers, marketing representatives, or visual display coordinators and purchasers.
- Apparel Designer
- Pattern Maker
- Assistant Designer
- Production Assistant
- Product Developer
- Technical Designer
- Fashion Retail
Upon successful completion of this program, you will be able to:
- Use design theory to solve fashion design problems.
- Create original garments that exceed industry design and quality standards.
- Understand the relationship between fashion illustration, apparel design and product development.
- Effectively communicate design ideas between various manufacturing, marketing and merchandising components of the industry.
- Describe the role fashion history plays in fashion styling, design and display.
- Analyze garment construction for quality, efficacy of design, and price point.
- Understand the product development, apparel production, and textile life cycles.
- Understand the importance of fashion forecasting on the design, marketing and merchandising of apparel.
- Develop a portfolio containing original design work, flats and specifications, photographs, a promotional kit and a final themed collection consisting of at least four original garments.
- Grade 12 or mature student status (19 years or older).
- Pass the college's admission test where an applicant's first language is other than English, and has not completed secondary (or higher) education in English.
Learn from VCAD graduates what it's like to study fashion.Get Started Now
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 garment project.
Fundamentals of Fashion Illustration
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of drawing and fashion illustration. Students will develop a visual vocabulary by exploring a variety of mixed media and drawing techniques to enable them to create a signature illustration style. Rendering and art concepts such as 2D and 3D perspectives, lines, shapes, textures, patterns and shading will be explored to aid in this creative expression. By gaining an understanding of proportions through the breakdown and blocking of the elongated fashion croquis and accessories, students will produce imaginative and visually dynamic illustrations that successfully communicates their personal unique style and ideas.
Textiles & Design
Students will explore both natural and synthetic fibres, their primary and secondary characteristics and properties, how fibres become fabrics, fabric names and usages, care, labelling, life and hand. Yarn production, weaves, knits, printing, dyes, and the new technologies in fibre production are examined. Eco-friendly trends in fabrication in the 21st Century are emphasized.
Colour & Design
Understanding colour and design principles through exploration and application across media, visual, and applied design genres. This course will introduce students to the fundamental principles of colour theory through design, such as layout, composition, balance, colour science as well as a diverse range of colour theories, and how to employ them creatively. These concepts will be reinforced through specific practical exercises, and activities that will serve to demonstrate how each of the concepts is integrated into functional, purposeful design.
Pattern Making & Drafting I
This is an introduction to pattern making using standard accepted industry practices. Basic principles of flat pattern drafting, development of industry blocks and their use in pattern development in accordance with professional standards are addressed. Students will learn to develop basic pattern blocks and manipulate these drafts to create various design styles. Correct terminology and markings are emphasized.
Garment Construction II
This course continues to develop both theoretical and practical construction techniques. It is designed to further basic garment construction proficiency and techniques by completing garment projects and samples. Basic construction techniques, pattern layout, marking, fitting 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 mini projects and a fully lined sleevless V-neck shift dress. A final construction exam at the end of the term will further test the student’s knowledge.
Understanding the application, and importance of vector editing, and construction as a universal skill in a multitude of design genres, and applications. This course introduces the students to vector image-editing software such as Adobe Illustrator. Through this 'hands-on' course, the student will learn the fundamentals of vector design, as well as advanced features, and tips, to prepare files for the digital output as well as for print. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills however conceptual development, and creative thinking, and approaches will also be considered in all work. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated vector artworks, and design using vector editing tools, and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space;, and prepare files for export to variations applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.
This course provides an understanding of garment styles, fashion elements, fashion forecasting, and an ability to recognize brands and people from within the industry. Fashion forecasting is a process that includes knowledge of changing colours and styles, lifestyles, and consumer buying patterns. Students will learn the science and art of fashion forecasting and how this affects decision making in the apparel industry. Digital forecasting techniques will be covered to help students uncover trends in marketing, technology, and popular culture.
Collection Design & Development
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students are introduced to fashion design principles, R.T.W, Couture as well as the entire Fashion Cycle from concept through design and production with a specific demographic and market. Fashion mood boards, research files, and analysis are utilized to form a brand DNA. Students will create a 20 look mini apparel collection, designed with original concepts that are suitable for a determined market. Fabrication of the line, fabric swatching and sourcing will be discussed on an individual basis. Students will develop and refine the croquis into a personalized style in preparation for Fashion Design Studio I. Students will learn how to draw accurate technical specs. Student will be exposed to the process of critique, selfanalysis and editing a collection.
Pattern Making & Drafting II
This course continues to develop further patterning techniques. Students will apply the knowledge learned from previous pattern making class on bodice manipulation. Students will create multiple bodice styles in both ½ and ¼ scale, utilizing the basic foundation blocks as a base. Flat pattern drafting, correct terminology and markings in accordance with professional standards are emphasized continually.
Garment Construction III
This course is project based. New fabrics and construction sequencing will be introduced. Students will be using the techniques learned from previous garment construction classes and apply their knowledge on construction of four garments. Two knit wear pieces (basic swimsuit and jersey dress) will be introduced. A pair of woman’s trouser and blouse are also included. Pattern layout, marking, and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Student will experiment working with different types of fabrics and learn how to handle the materials.
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. Through hands-on experience, students will gain knowledge of the system’s capabilities to digitize and modify designs, manage files.
Understanding the application and importance of image editing and construction as a universal skill in all design genres. This course introduces the students to raster image-editing software such as 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 digital output as well as for print. Emphasis will be placed on technical skills, however conceptual development, and creative thinking and approaches will also be considered in all work. By the end of this course, the student will be able to create, modify, and enhance sophisticated images using raster editing tools, and features; craft special effects; work in 3D space; and prepare files for export to various applications in web, mobile, print, and manufacturing.
Fashion Design Studio I
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students build on the design techniques, research and brand development learned in collection design development. Fabric swatching, experimentation and textile development will be used as a creative tool to generate original ideas. Utilizing the unique fashion croquis created in Collection Design & Development, students will research, create mood boards, establish brand development, a consumer demographic, market analysis, trend reports and an inspiration resulting in a 40 look cohesive collection.
Pattern Making & Drafting III
In this advanced pattern drafting course students will learn how to interpret a variety of design propositions front and back in ½ scale. Further study and interpretation of complex tailoring and asymmetrical design propositions will be covered via demonstration and lecture. Correct seam allowances, developing facings, fusing and linings with engineered ease will be covered in both soft and tailored garments. Students will learn how to properly walk back a pattern and reconcile seams, notch, and label a professional factory ready production pattern.
Garment Construction IV
This course is project based. New fabrics and construction sequencing will be introduced. Students will be using the techniques learned from previous garment construction classes and apply their knowledge on construction of two garments. The first six weeks will be on tailoring a fitted women’s blazer, focusing on fusing, cutting, sewing, pressing, shaping/molding seams to ensure perfect garments for wear. The remaining six weeks will be on constructing a cocktail dress. Basic pattern layout, marking, and material economizing will continue to be reinforced. Sewing precision will be emphasized throughout. Student will experiment working with different types of fabrics and learn how to handle the materials.
Digital Pattern Making II
This course builds on the concepts and tools introduced in Digital Patten Making I. Students will be expanding their knowledge of the AccuMark Explorer and Pattern Design Systems to develop, manipulate and modify digital garment patterns.
Web Development I
This course introduces the fundamentals of web site development. The students will learn about the structure, and components of code-based languages, and website programming. Students will learn to work with text, tables, tags, images, forms, and hyperlinks to design, and create a fully functional website.
Fashion Design Studio II
In a studio setting, and guided by instructor mentorship, students are guided through the patterning, draping and construction process of 4 toile looks from the 40 look collection. Working from a fashion croquis and technical spec drawing students will learn how to decode a sketch, manipulate a block, lay, cut and construct a toile. Sequence of construction, sewing and pressing techniques, fabric yields and fitting will be covered in this class. Fittings will be executed on a cabine model by the instructor and notes will be recorded by students.
Pattern Making & Drafting IV
In this advanced drafting course students will continue to build on the skills and aptitudes gained from Pattern Making & Drafting III. As a continuation of Pattern making and Drafting III, students will create patterns and toiles of the three designs selected from Collection Design & Development and digitized in Digital Pattern Making II. This will be an opportunity for students will pattern draft and sew toiles for their own original design ideas. Students will understand proper fall and fit of a garment as well as techniques to add or reduce fullness/drag lines, and create figure pleasing proportion on the body. Students will learn how to lay pattern pieces and create a fabric yield. Designers will utilize proper patterning and alteration techniques in order to create a toile, identify and correcting fit issues, and create industry production 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 drawings, technical specification packages, production boards, garment design elements and product organizational flows, all of which are integral to the manufacturing, marketing and merchandising of apparel.
Digital Design Technology
In this course, students will explore various digital design techniques and tools necessary for developing professional fashion appropriate content. These key digital design skills will ensure the students are marketable and easily move forward into their respective fashion industries with the ability to create impactful presentations, layouts and designs. By exploring topics such as composition layout, textile design and technical drawing, students will learn how to visualise, plan and communicate multifaceted design concepts efficiently and creatively. In the second half of the course, students will be introduced to CLO 3D software which gives one the ability to instantly review changes and modifications to 2D patterns, colours, textures and finishing details. One can reduce design preparation time, review new designs and automatically generate pattern pieces. Lessons covered include software overview, avatar and patterns. Fabric simulation in 3D and export for sampling and manufacturing.
Final Collection Capstone
During the final term this capstone course provides studio time and individual mentoring, so that advanced sewing techniques can be applied in a measured manner to each garment. This studio time will allow for revisions and a level of detail and 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.
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.
Portfolio & Professional Development
Knowledge and technical skills learned from previous terms will be applied in the development and production of a portfolio containing original design work that reflects the student’s strengths and abilities. Topics include copy writing; planning and organising a digital project; professional layouts; marketing collateral and translating fashion ideas into visual design elements. Concepts will be executed using industry relevant software as well as implementing photographic, hand rendered and multi-media elements into a single digital medium. This course will encourage students to further develop their brand matrix, content and technical skills. This portfolio will endorse the values of the student’s fashion knowledge to enable them to highlight their designs, achievements and presence to potential buyers, partners and audience.