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Fashion BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time W230 2015

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Why choose this course?

Fashion is a dynamic and challenging discipline that is an expression of what people feel and think. It is about evolution and radical change through design, influenced by cultural, social, historical, economic and political change. Designers working in fashion predict, reflect and generate change, which influences the lives of everyone. It is a tough, exciting area to study.

Student Vic talks about studying the Fashion BA(Hons):

What will you study?

The course covers all aspects of the design process – from research and design development, to creating garments using cut and construction. Every student across all levels will engage in professional practice related to their studio work. Art and design history underpins studio-based projects and optional overseas study trips. Design projects are delivered by a dedicated team of specialist practising designers, and modules are led by experienced tutors.

Year 1 (Level 4) introduces the design process, which covers all two-dimensional aspects of fashion design; and design product, which covers all three-dimensional aspects. Starting from an inspirational research brief, you will explore the possibilities in knitted textiles, fashion styling and photography, and will be encouraged to develop your creativity through design and pattern cutting to create shape. You will produce a portfolio of two-dimensional design with an emphasis on drawing in sketch books to inspire and inform your three-dimensional work. Use of the in-house costume archive is a key resource for research.

In Year 2 (Level 5), you will participate in live, sponsored projects and competitions. A number of companies have collaborated on these, offering paid summer internships in New York, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Stockholm. You will also undertake live projects with placements in UK companies and will work with designers leading up to London Fashion Week. You will experience professional practice through a careers module, which includes talks by designers, retailers, stylists and recruitment agencies. Companies currently linked with the course are Banana Republic and Old Navy (Gap Inc.), Brooks Brothers, Woolworths South Africa, Top Shop, Top Man, ASOS, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara, which can lead to job opportunities when you graduate.

In Year 3 (Level 6), you will have opportunities to enter international competitions and will work with specialists in your field to create a highly professional contemporary collection and a comprehensive portfolio of work. Collections are selected for an annual fashion show at Graduate Fashion Week in London, attended by the industry and press from the UK and overseas. You will be encouraged to work as a designer in the real world and liaise with fabric and yarn sponsors through visits to international fairs and mills. You will also collaborate with print, embroidery and accessory companies and designers.

Every year, students secure their own brief for a self- initiated project with a renowned designer, which have included Anne Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Anne Valerie Hash, Jil Sander, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Chloé, Givenchy, Mui Mui and Marni. Kingston students regularly win international awards, including those from the British Fashion Council, Graduate Fashion Week and the Textile Institute. In addition, graduates show their work during Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks.

Course director Elinor Renfrew talks about the Fashion BA(Hons) and the benefits of studying on the course:

Senior lecturer Andrew Ibi talks about the features of the Fashion BA(Hons) degree:

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • Design Process will complement the Design Product 1 module. Throughout the delivery of Design Process 1, there will be an emphasis on challenging traditional methods and innovation through Research Design Development and Presentation which is continually underpinned by drawing and the realisation of 2D sketchbook work in relation to initial 3D prototypes.

     
  • Design Product 1 will complement Design Process 1 in the realisation of a final toile or knitted piece. Projects will focus on various aspects of the design resolution process leading to the making of a product based on technical skills. Research will include studying in-house dress archive to replicate and produce a contemporary piece.

     
  • This module complements Design Process 1 and Design Product 1 modules and introduces other skills such as imagery through photography and illustration and CAD skills. The module is made up of a number of projects which focus on historical research, contemporary design and social aspects such as sustainability. 

     
  • This module presents thematic approaches to the study of fashion as an historical subject through image-based lectures, screenings and study visits. You will be introduced to the historical development of fashion and dress from the 1750s to the present day. Each session is intended to address particular ideas and practices that have shaped and constructed our contemporary understanding of fashion as both a productive profession and as a meaningful social and cultural activity. The module engages with critical texts to allow you to examine the relationship between theory and practice in fashion and design and to develop an understanding of the emergence of fashion design as a cultural response to modernity. Key themes relating to clothing, including changing techniques and technologies of production, fashion and identity, fashion and consumer culture, the development of fashion imagery, archiving fashion, and the display and exhibition of fashion will be explored. An integral part of this module is the consideration of designed objects and images. Critical debates, which have shaped theoretical discussions of fashion, are introduced and the importance of context to the way in which fashion is valued is a central theme for discussion.

     

Year 2

  • This module is split into projects sponsored by different professional practitioners and industrial sponsors. Following on from Design Process 1 in Level 4 (Year 1), You will continue to research and design to a given brief. The projects are two-dimensionally based and will be assessed by the submission of a portfolio including all development work and a final presentation suitable to show to external sponsors.

     
  • The aim of this module is to enable you to begin to assess yourself in relation to the profession of fashion design. It is expected that you will be developing a body of work as evidence of your achievements through group work, interview techniques and CV writing. You will begin to plan your professional portfolio as preparation for Professional Practice 3 module in Level 6 (Year 3). Fashion forecasting will be covered through talks by leading trend forecasters and you will then present professionally as a group. The presentations will involve use of digital media, visual and verbal presentation skills. Peer learning and assessment will be supported by lectures and seminars. The portfolio will include responses to talks delivered by industry specialists across different market levels and product areas within the fashion industry in the form of recording and a selected portfolio project. Projects are to suitably be mailed out or sent online with a CV/covering letter to the selected company or designer, which can lead to a summer placement.

     
  • This module is split into projects and covers the three-dimensional aspect of industrially sponsored projects. The designs in the two-dimensional portfolio within Design Process 2 will inform the realisation of a prototype (toile) garment or finalised outfit. The garments will either be completed in calico or in appropriate fabric depending on the project brief. The project may include knitwear as a final three-dimensional piece and be produced in the appropriate yarns. 

     
  • This module builds on the historical and thematic content introduced at Level 4 (Year 1) and emphasises the theorisation of contemporary fashion practice. A series of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, screenings and visits informs and supports your own emerging research interests and the development of independent visual and academic research skills that cross history/theory and design practise. Lectures and seminars will deepen critical and theoretical engagement with contemporary issues in fashion. Seminar tasks and assessments are carefully designed to foreground projects that support the location of fashion as a discipline. Research methodologies are introduced though case studies and practical activities that reflect the issues explored through the module's contemporary content.

     

Year 3

  • This module is a combination of projects based on collaborating with different companies within the fashion industry and builds on Design Process 2 and Professional Practice in Level 5 (Year 2). It is split into two projects and offers a choice of different briefs primarily portfolio based with evidence of professional communication with companies. In addition to the portfolio one of the projects will include the production of one complete outfit realised in 3D.

     
  • This module covers the final major project collection, encompassing all developmental stages from initial silhouettes to final pattern toiles and specification sheets. It is based on the collection portfolio development in Professional Practice 3 and includes the final outfits or looks within a collection in woven or knitted fabrics. The final collection will be the production of final garments, including sourcing and sponsorship of fabrics and yarns, through management of the collection and developing the ability to direct technical staff (by using the spec pack and collection planner) to achieve the initial collection proposal in 3D form.

     
  • This module covers all two-dimensional aspects relating to the development of the final collection and it is the 'capstone' project, which is the culmination of the your learning over the three years. Projects within this module will support the three-dimensional outcome of a capsule collection of a minimum of six outfits. The module will cover the three main stages of designing for fashion, research, design development and presentation. 

    Careful consideration should be given to the presentation of the final collection, and should take the form of a comprehensive promotional package presented in a professional format to promote you and your work as you enter the industry. Building on the Professional Practice 2 module in Level 5 (Year 2) you will produce a CV and covering letter to accompany the creative promotional project that should be suitable to mail out as a hard copy or electronically to an identified target market. Producing a personal look book of your collection and website working with a photography/graphic design student is a key aspect of this module.

     
  • Building on the links between research and practice embedded at Level 5, this module focuses on in-depth research, critical enquiry and reflection on questions and critical issues emerging in your own practice, and pertinent to the practice of your own discipline.

    During the module, you will initiate and develop an individual research topic; identify and evaluate appropriate archives, bodies of critical literature, visual/material sources and research methods; manage their study time; engage with and respond to tutorial dialogue and peer feedback, and apply critical and analytical skills to produce a 6,000-word written dissertation, supported by a series of lectures, seminars and tutorials.

    Following the submission of the dissertation, and to support the realisation of studio capstone projects, you will be assisted with the conception and development of an individual statement that enables self-reflection and locates students within the contemporary contexts of their discipline. Consolidating the research, reflexive and critical skills acquired throughout students' programme of study, the statement engages and applies learning undertaken within previous modules to studio practice, supporting your self-presentation at Degree Show, in future postgraduate study, and/or professional practice in a variety of art and design contexts.

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's study abroad programme or Erasmus programme.

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Pictured: Laura Smallwood's collection. Laura won the Mulberry Prize for Accessories at Graduate Fashion WeekVisit our Fashion Show 2012 website to find out more about fashion at Kingston University.

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