The fashion design curriculum offers technical and design courses that provide skills required in the fashion industry. Individual designs are presented in two-dimensional form, developed and perfected through techniques used in the fashion industry, and then executed in final and three-dimensional form in fabrics appropriate to the design. Junior design students are encouraged to complete internships in the fashion industry in New York City. Internships provide not only experience but industry contacts, and are strongly recommended. They may be conducted primarily during the summer semester.

Study abroad programs are readily available for fashion design majors.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  1. Utilize problem-solving skills: Apply investigative and research skills in the completion of studio projects
  2. Implement industry-standard computer technology
  3. Demonstrate professional visual and oral presentation skills
  4. Understand the global nature of the fashion industry

Special requirements

Sophomores are required to purchase departmentally approved dress forms.

Degree requirements for Fashion, Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with a concentration in fashion design

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional General Education requirements
English literature or foreign language3
General education electives from the College of Humanities and Sciences6
Total Hours9

Collateral requirements

Art Foundation Program
ARTF   131Drawing Studio3
ARTF   132Surface Research3
ARTF   133Space Research3
ARTF   134Time Studio3
ARTF   139Project2
Art History
ARTH   103
ARTH   104
Survey of Art I
and Survey of Art II
6
Art history elective3
Total Hours23

Major requirements

FASH   201Construction Techniques3
FASH   202Draping3
FASH   203
FASH   204
Patternmaking
and Patternmaking
6
FASH   205
FASH   206
Fashion Drawing I
and Fashion Drawing I
6
FASH   290Textiles for the Fashion Industry3
Take two sections of the following:6
Design I Studio
Take two sections of the following:6
Design I Studio
FASH   319Contemporary Fashion3
FASH   345Computers for Fashion Design: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator3
Take two sections of the following:6
Design II Studio
Take two sections of the following:6
Design II Studio
Take two sections of the following:6
Design Theory and Illustration I
FASH   404Design Theory and Illustration II (portfolio)3
FASH   490Fashion Seminar1
Total Hours61

Open electives

Select six open elective credits at the 300 level or higher6

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
ARTF   131 Drawing Studio 3
ARTF   132 Surface Research 3
ARTF   139 Project 1
ARTH   103 Survey of Art I 3
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
Approved quantitative literacy (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 16
Spring semester
ARTF   133 Space Research 3
ARTF   134 Time Studio 3
ARTF   139 Project 1
ARTH   104 Survey of Art II 3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Social/behavioral sciences course (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 16
Sophomore year
Fall semester
FASH   201 Construction Techniques 3
FASH   203 Patternmaking 3
FASH   205 Fashion Drawing I 3
FASH   290 Textiles for the Fashion Industry 3
Approved humanities/fine arts (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
FASH   202 Draping 3
FASH   204 Patternmaking 3
FASH   206 Fashion Drawing I 3
FASH   345 Computers for Fashion Design: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
 Term Hours: 15
Junior year
Fall semester
FASH   301 Design I Studio 3
FASH   301 Design I Studio 3
FASH   319 Contemporary Fashion 3
FASH   403 Design Theory and Illustration I 3
Natural/physical sciences course (University Core) 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
FASH   302 Design I Studio 3
FASH   302 Design I Studio 3
FASH   403 Design Theory and Illustration I 3
General education elective 3
Literature or foreign language 3
 Term Hours: 15
Senior year
Fall semester
FASH   401 Design II Studio 3
FASH   401 Design II Studio 3
FASH   404 Design Theory and Illustration II (portfolio) 3
Art history elective 3
Open elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
FASH   402 Design II Studio 3
FASH   402 Design II Studio 3
FASH   490 Fashion Seminar 1
General education elective 3
Open elective 3
 Term Hours: 13
 Total Hours: 120

FASH   201. Construction Techniques. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. The basic principles involved in garment construction with emphasis on professional design-room practices in sewing, pressing and finishing of garments. Knowledge of basic sewing is advisable.

FASH   202. Draping. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. Basic principles of three-dimensional patternmaking by draping muslin on a dress form. Student will be required to purchase the specified dress form.

FASH   203. Patternmaking. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: completion ofFASH   203 to enroll in FASH   204. Basic principles of patternmaking, developing various styles from master patterns and creating designs to be constructed in muslin. Students also will draft a set of master patterns and learn to "true" the pattern to produce production-ready patterns.

FASH   204. Patternmaking. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: completion ofFASH   203 to enroll in FASH   204. Basic principles of patternmaking, developing various styles from master patterns and creating designs to be constructed in muslin. Students also will draft a set of master patterns and learn to "true" the pattern to produce production-ready patterns.

FASH   205. Fashion Drawing I. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: completion ofFASH   205 to enroll in FASH   206. Introduction to the fashion figure working from models and photographs. Covers flat drawing techniques and fashion design theory. Explores different media and the use of color.

FASH   206. Fashion Drawing I. 3 Hours.

Continuous courses; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3-3 credits. Prerequisite: completion ofFASH   205 to enroll in FASH   206. Introduction to the fashion figure working from models and photographs. Covers flat drawing techniques and fashion design theory. Explores different media and the use of color.

FASH   290. Textiles for the Fashion Industry. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course is designed to develop an understanding of the factors which influence the tactile behaviors of fabrics during garment design, manufacture and wear. Apparel fiber construction, finish and properties both natural and man-made will be analyzed.

FASH   301. Design I Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisite: completion of all sophomore studio courses. A series of courses that focus on selected topics in design, reflecting current fashion emphasis. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   302. Design I Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisite: completion of all sophomore studio courses. A series of courses that focus on selected topics in design, reflecting current fashion emphasis. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   319. Contemporary Fashion. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: UNIV   200 or HONR   200. An in-depth study of fashion beginning at the Industrial Revolution and continuing to the present from a historical and socioeconomic point of view. Hands-on examination of vintage garments and field trips to museum collections.
 

FASH   391. Fashion Workshop. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated for a maximum total of 6 credits. A topical workshop offered in various areas of fashion not included in the regular curriculum. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   401. Design II Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisites: completion of all sophomore studio courses and permission of instructor. A series of upper-level design classes for the advanced or skilled student, reflecting current topics in the fashion industry. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   402. Design II Studio. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisites: completion of all sophomore studio courses and permission of instructor. A series of upper-level design classes for the advanced or skilled student, reflecting current topics in the fashion industry. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   403. Design Theory and Illustration I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisite: completion of all Department of Fashion sophomore studio courses. A series of design theory and illustration topics that address current fashion and support the Department of Fashion design courses. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   404. Design Theory and Illustration II. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1 lecture and 4 studio hours. 3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisites: Completion of all Department of Fashion sophomore studio courses and permission of instructor. A series of advanced design theory and illustration topics that address current fashion, challenge the skilled student and support the Department of Fashion design courses. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

FASH   490. Fashion Seminar. 1 Hour.

Short course (5 weeks); 3 lecture hours. 1 credit. A professional seminar for senior fashion majors. Lectures will cover career opportunities and job preparation.

FASH   492. Independent Study in the Fashion Industry. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 credits. May be repeated. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing as a major in fashion design or fashion merchandising. Learning experiences should be designed with the supervising faculty member in the form of a contract between student and instructor; approval of department chair necessary prior to registration. This course will be limited to those students who have demonstrated intense commitment to a particular area of study within the fashion industry.

FASH   493. Fashion Internship. 1-3 Hours.

1-3 credits. It may be a single internship for 3 credits or several (maximum 3) totaling 3 credits. Open to junior- and senior-level fashion majors only. A practicum in which students apply on-the-job the formal classroom and studio training they have received in their option (design, merchandising) on campus.