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Fashion Design

This 2-year studio-based diploma program can be achieved in 6 semesters of study where you will develop technical expertise and an expressive, personal design sense.

The Fashion: Fashion Design Program is designed to teach sewing basics, pattern development and garment construction. These skills prepare you for more advanced studies in corset construction, finishing techniques, tailoring and draping which are taught in the second year. Fashion illustration and history inspire you in creating your own line that is presented at an annual public Fashion Show.

Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection you will engage in creative problem solving. You learn about communications for visual artists, art history, drawing, and 2D/3D design. Assignments create a portfolio that celebrates the power of your imagination.

To be admitted to this program you are required to have:

• A portfolio and a postsecondary certificate or diploma in a related field or equivalent experience. 

Click here for more information on how to apply. 

You will be working with celebrated instructors in fully-equipped studios, Apple computer labs and classrooms. Coming here, you will learn first-hand why Fredericton is a Cultural Capital of Canada. The galleries, boutiques, universities and many cafés make the College’s downtown location an inspiring and supportive learning environment and an ideal place to obtain an education in the visual arts. 

Click here for more information on this program or to enjoy an on-site tour of our facility.

Areas of Study
• Fashion Design
• Fashion History
• Pattern Design
• Garment Construction
• Fashion Illustration
• Fashion Show

Career Possibilities
You will be prepared for a career as an entrepreneur with your own couture businesses, work in film and theatre costuming, as fashion photography stylists, visual merchandisers, pattern developers or alteration specialists.

Targeted Jobs (including NOC codes)
• Painters, Sculptors and Other Visual Artists (5136)
• Theatre, Fashion, Exhibit and Other Creative Designers (5243)
• Artisans and Craftspersons (5244)
• Patternmakers – Textile, Leather and Fur Products (5245)
• Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers and Milliners (7342)
• Sewing Machine Operators (9451)
• Fabric, Fur and Leather Cutters (9452)
National Occupational Classification (NOC)

Articulation Agreements
Graduates receive two full years credit towards a Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) at the University of New Brunswick. Click here for more information.

Diploma - Fashion: Fashion Design Course Outlines

Semester 1

Basic Sewing Techniques
In this course, students develop and improve their sewing skills by the execution of a series of sewing samples. Through research they focus on basic processes such as hand stitching, button holes and lap zippers, learning the individual aspects of clothing production. In addition, students become familiar with domestic and industrial machines and their respective accessories, and their operation and cleaning procedures. Students combine the samples they produce into a reference book which will be used throughout the program.

Understanding Pattern Development and Design
In this course, students work through the process of measuring the body, creating a flat paper pattern, mocking the draft out of muslin and fitting on a three dimensional figure. Through both ¼ scale and full-scale exercises, students begin to understand the transition from two-dimensional patterns to three-dimensional designs.

Fundamental Fashion Design
In this course, students create a skirt by combining the technical processes learned in FADN 2907 Basic Sewing Techniques and FADN2900 Understanding Pattern Development and Design. Students sketch their own design and create a custom fit pattern by measuring the body. They draft and fit cotton mock-ups and learn the basic steps and techniques of garment construction. Also in this course, students explore the exciting world of Fashion, and its related industries.

Communication for Visual Artists
In this course, students tap into the world of social media, in the form of blogging, to initiate their professional communications. They create an online archive of professional documents including digital images of their work, biographical information and artist statements. Learning activities are designed to enhance student’s confidence providing skills to critically, concisely, and competently evaluate their artistic work and the work of their peers. Students write responses to pertinent topics and in so doing learn to communicate their ideas about visual art. In addition, they become acquainted with the steps to apply for a relevant scholarship.

In semester one, students choose one of the following electives:

Life Drawing: Structure and Form
In this course, students enhance their capacity to see, interpret and draw the complex three-dimensional form of the body. They develop their ability to draw the life model with attention to proportions, shape and general anatomy. Students increase facility with essential strategies such as gesture, massing, mapping and sighting as applied to figure drawing. In addition, they address expressive and intentional strategies in depicting the human form.

Watercolour: Exploring Water-based Materials
In this course, students make paintings, largely from observation, using the traditional techniques of watercolour, gouache and inks. They become familiar with the properties of various materials, tools and methods of handling them. In addition, they engage in painting exercises that address issues of colour and formal relationships of visual art with an emphasis on stylistic concerns. Students also experiment with mixed media collage and various other directions.

Semester 2

Sewing and Finishing Techniques

In this course, students refine their sewing and finishing skills by the construction of complex sewing samples. Through these exercises they become more confident with domestic and industrial machines. Students continue individual research which they apply to their projects. The sewing samples and finishing techniques they create are added to their reference book which is used throughout the program.

Pattern Design
In this course students build on their pattern development and design abilities which they acquired in FADN 2900 Understanding Pattern Design and Development. Through various assignments students learn the intricacies of pattern creation. In addition, they are introduced to the basics of draping and pattern grading which broadens their technical abilities in the creation of future fashion designs.

Apparel Design and Construction
In this course, students apply the processes learned in FADN 2902 Sewing and Finishing Techniques and FADN 2906 Pattern Design for an in-depth exploration of the skills necessary to produce various garments such as pants and shirts. Students sketch their own designs and create custom fit patterns by measuring the body. They draft and fit cotton mock-ups and learn the basic steps and techniques of garment construction. To this end, time management and quality of workmanship is stressed.

Fashion Illustration
In this course, students learn the skills necessary to communicate their concepts and ideas visually using fashion drawing. Through the study of figure representation and a variety of illustration techniques, traditional and digital, students investigate existing styles used in fashion. The emphasis of the course is the development of illustration techniques and methodologies.

Fashion Design and Inspiration throughout History
In this course, students explore the dynamic changes in fashion design from antiquity to the 20th century. Through interactive lectures, class discussions and the collection of fashion imagery, students analyze the development of clothing styles, materials and construction. This in-depth look at the history of fashion design serves as inspiration in the development a personal style.

3D Design: Shaping Space
In this course, students combine a wide range of materials to produce projects that explore both spatial relationships and the broader world of “design.” By engaging in lectures and discussions that examine the theories of historic and contemporary 3D design, they develop a design aesthetic which is accompanied by research and documentation. Combining various aspects of “the making of objects,” students are encouraged to use mixed media, and materials from their own disciplines, emphasizing peer presentations and critical visual analysis.

Semester 3

Production Sewing


The Corset

Advanced Pattern Design

Semester 4

Modern Tailoring

In this course, students investigate basic contemporary tailoring techniques and tools by constructing a tailored jacket of their own design. Students explore the history of various methods, skills and techniques of sewing and finishing needed to execute a quality tailored garment. In addition, students document the construction steps necessary to produce a tailored garment and develop a reference book of basic tailoring techniques and samples.

In this course, students learn to construct a corset using traditional techniques. They study, in detail, the history of corseting and its influences on fashion and silhouette. With this knowledge, each student creates a corset of their own design using sophisticated sewing and finishing techniques.

Research and Design a Collection
In this course, students establish the final designs for their graduating portfolio. They conduct detailed research and through journaling and sketching create inspirational boards. As a group, students assist each other in the development and editing of their line. Discovering their potential, students engage in the creative processes utilized by designers when finalizing a collection.

Advanced Illustration
In this course, students visually communicate their designs and concepts by an in-depth examination of traditional and contemporary/digital media. Through the development of a body of preliminary work, presentation boards and technical drawings students refine their illustration techniques. These abilities allow students to explore the conceptual development of their own fashion designs and self-promotion.

20th Century Fashion Influences
In this course, students learn about the transformation of fashion design from the early 20th century to present times. Through interactive presentations students develop an understanding of the many influences on the establishment of contemporary fashion trends and cycles. In addition, students select a topic for individual research which they present to the class.

Preparing for Professional Life
In this course, students learn basic skills to present themselves effectively and professionally in their discipline. They create a personal toolkit by becoming familiar with business vocabulary, elements of business planning, the essentials of what makes a great employee and how to be an asset to a prospective employer. Students enhance their presentation skills and build confidence in public speaking. In addition, they investigate a business by analyzing their products, location, marketing strategies, etc, a process which further clarifies their career path.

Semester 5

Apparel Production: The Project Begins

In this course, students establish a garment diary and make the patterns needed to create their senior line of clothing. The patterns are explored in ¼ scale and then produced in muslin full scale. Students participate in a critique of their line for feedback and then implement adjustments to their designs in preparation for the construction of their line in fabric.

Apparel Production: Finishing Touches
In this course, students complete their senior line of clothing which is presented at the annual fashion show. Research and sampling is carried out to establish the best ways to work with different types of fabric. Students begin by cutting actual material using the patterns created in FAND 3904 Apparel Production: The Project Begins. Fittings and finishing are critical in the creation of their garments along with consideration for the entire presentation of the line including the models, hair, make-up and accessories.

The Business of Fashion
In this course students learn various aspects of business specifically related to the fashion industry. The main project is to produce the College’s annual fashion show. In addition, students research and make presentations on various aspects of the fashion industry focusing on current designers and jobs in the field. Hard copy portfolios, along with personal promotional materials will be created in preparation for the fashion show, job interviews or application for continuing education.

Digital Communication and Marketing
In this course, students develop a working knowledge of digital technologies to develop a comprehensive individual portfolio. This includes learning to use a digital camera, create professional lighting, and be able to manipulate images using relevant software. Using their own images and biographical information, students design and construct a website using the latest software available. In addition, they investigate the value of internet technologies in the context of e-commerce, marketing and promotion in preparation for a career in the visual arts.

In semester five, students choose one of the following electives:

Painting in Acrylics
In this course, students learn the fundamental principles of painting through creating images in the medium of acrylic paint. Assignments explore both the historical and contemporary approaches of the painting process. Students have the opportunity to develop an independent body of work which is informed by experimentation and critique, and in addition, is related to a personal area of interest.

Imagery, Sources and Development
In this course, students develop imagery by exploring and refining drawing and painting methods using various mixed media and surface treatments. In so doing, they discover the associative potential between materials and imagery that contributes the constructing of meaning. Students experience traditional and non-traditional approaches to drawing through assignments, visual presentations and gallery visits. A final project encourages students to pursue personally relevant imagery and an individual stylistic approach.

Creative Design Exploration
In this course, students focus on their creative skills and innovation abilities to produce original designs that are realized into 2D/3D product prototypes. Using multiple models of problem solving strategies, students explore form, function and a variety of materials, to apply new skill sets to their methodologies. Students overcome visual and conceptual challenges by working in interdisciplinary teams interacting live, via Skype, with the design team at Umbra to produce a submission to the Umbra Design Collaborations Program.

Paper and Book Arts
In this course, students tap the creative potential of the hand bound book through an exploration of book structures, construction and deconstruction methods. Projects introduce different binding techniques as students use unique tools, materials and processes. In addition, students are encouraged to explore the aesthetic qualities of the book through 2D and 3D embellishment techniques including printed material, transfer techniques and hand stitched embellishments.

Designing Bodies: Exploring Traditional and Contemporary Body Expressions through Art
In this course, students create artwork using influences from the traditional and contemporary practices of body adornment/modification. With an aesthetic and anthropological perspective, they research specific Aboriginal practices in body art, such as tattooing, piercing, mehndi (henna), branding and scarification. Students gain a new perspective on this ancient activity, incorporating the ideologies into individual projects as well as communicating their ideas in a clear professional manner.

Semester 6

Senior Design Project


For a visual tour of the fashion design studio and program please click image below.


"Omnific. Unlimited creativity". NBCCD's 13th annual fashion show. April 16th, 2011. 

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Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show April 2nd, 2011.  Showcasing NBCCD Alumni!