Fashion designers possess a unique set of skills to conceptualize and create clothing by melding the creativity of an artist with the practical needs of the consumer. Not only must the body be covered to comply with social convention, but the spirit must also be nourished and the psyche satisfied. The fashion design curriculum provides high-level instruction to ensure success in the fashion industry. Students learn professional processes for garment construction, pattern making, draping, fashion illustration, and technical design skills. After basic technical competencies are achieved, students progress to courses that concentrate on addressing specific markets and solving various design challenges. All student-produced garments are critiqued at each step of the process and juried by a panel of industry professionals. The juried garments are spotlighted at the end of the academic year in the department’s annual fashion show.
Mission Statement: The Fashion Design and Merchandising Department encompasses a unique partnership between the visual, technical and business aspects necessary for apparel design, production, and merchandising. Students are prepared to enter the industry by learning both technical and problem solving skills. Market identification, analysis, and interpretation are emphasized in the Merchandising track in order to compete in the global economy.
Collection and Portfolio Development
During the senior year, students will conceptualize and develop a collection and individual portfolio. Seniors fashion design students understand the importance of process and are expected to consistently document their process. Each student will present their collections and portfolios to faculty and industry professionals.
Students who want to major in fashion design will need to prepare a portfolio for the application process. After your application has been processed, you will receive an email with a link to the supplemental materials upload site. Your portfolio must be submitted online through the vcuarts website. Physical portfolios cannot be accepted.
Submit 12 to 16 works of art that you have created within the past two years that show your promise in visual art and design. Present your strongest work and demonstrate your potential to develop a diverse set of skills and ideas should you be accepted into VCUarts. We prefer to see a diverse range of 2D and 3D media. Drawing from observation is recommended, while copying anime, cartoons, graffiti or tattoos is discouraged. Students can consider including a few examples of fashion work (2D or 3D)
Images may be submitted in the following formats: .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF, .TIF, .TIFF, .BMP, .TGA
Videos may be submitted in the following formats: .M4V, .MOV, .MP4, .TLV, .ASF, .MPEG, .MPG, .MKV
Images can be up to 5 MB each, Video can be up to 10 MB each.
All videos must be less than 3 minutes. The total maximum time for all moving images cannot exceed 5 minutes.