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Fashion Design

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

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

With a focus on entrepreneurship, you will be prepared for a professional future in your studio specialty. Through applied research, critical discourse and self-reflection, you will engage in creative problem solving and 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. 

Fashion Design Portfolio Requirements


  1. We value all of your life experience in assessing your application. To do this, please provide us with a copy of your resume.


  1. Please write a one-page letter of intent which includes your:

·       Reasons for wanting to study with us,

·       Interests in the arts (contemporary or historical), and

·       Plans and goals for the future.


  1. To ensure that you are well prepared for direct entry into this program, we need to get an idea of your creative abilities. We will also be looking for your dexterity and imagination. To assess this, please provide:

·       Five images of things that you have created such as, but not limited to: collage, woodworking, ceramics, painting, photography, knitting, poetry, creative writing, music, video, sewing, etc. Please note that the images you send do not necessarily need to be associated with this studio.


If you have drawing experience please include:


·       One life drawing showing the human figure, and

·       One still-life drawing.


If you have not had previous drawing experience, just let us know. We may adjust your program to include some basic drawing instruction.


Please don’t submit actual examples. Three-dimensional work should be photographed and presented digitally. For good digital image quality, your image files should be jpegs and sized around 1024 x 768 px @ 72 dpi. For video clips, please post on Vimeo or YouTube and send us the link, keep them 2 to 3 minutes each. For each image, please include a written description, a notation of the media used in producing the work and the date of completion. Be sure to label your portfolio with your name, contact information, and return address.


  1. For a full experience at our College, it is best to have an appreciation of the history of visual culture. Please identify a piece of art/craft/design from a particular historical period (include a picture of this work). In a one-page essay, describe the work in your own words, what is significant about this work and what it says about visual culture.


Once you have completed your portfolio, it can be mailed, emailed, or delivered in person to Nancy Beaulieu, Registrar.

Click here for more information on how to apply.

Mature students with previous experience and/or post-secondary education should contact the coordinating instructor prior to submitting an application.


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. 

For information on the Fashion Design Program contact Acting Coordinating Instructor Joanne Venart at (506) 453-5997 or joanne.venart@gnb.ca

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

Graduates are prepared for careers as entrepreneurs with their own couture businesses, or for work in film and theatre costuming, as fashion photography stylists, visual merchandisers, pattern developers and alteration specialists.

Targeted Jobs (including NOC codes)

  • Artisans and craftspersons (5244)

  • Fabric, Fur and Leather Cutters (9452)

  • Painters, sculptors and other visual artists (5136)

  • Pattern makers – textile, leather and fur products (5245)
  • Sewing Machine Operators (9451)

  • Tailors, Dressmakers, Furriers and Milliners (7342)

  • Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers (5243)

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

Fall 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 critical opinions and professional communications. They create an online archive of professional documents including digital images of their work, biological information and artist statements. Students write responses to topics pertinent their practice communicating their ideas about visual art. In addition, they learn the steps to apply for a relevant scholarship.

In Fall 1, 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.

Winter 1

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 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.

Students select one of:

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.


3D Digital Design: Shaping Space

In this course, students produce projects that explore both spatial relationships and the broader world of “design” through using computer aided design (CAD) and 3D printing applications. By engaging in lectures and discussions that examine the theories of computer based 3D design, they will learn the tools and concepts, as well as develop a design aesthetic. Students will create a variety of objects, designed for use in their own disciplines, emphasizing peer presentations and critical visual analysis.

Spring 1

The Corset

In this course, students utilize their pattern design and drafting skills combined with their sewing abilities to create a corset using traditional historical techniques. They develop a pattern for a complex corset that is constructed and fitted to a specific individual. Emphasis is on developing sophisticated sewing and finishing techniques.

Preparing for Production

In this course, students learn about pattern grading and standardized sizing to produce garments for the marketplace. Emphasis is placed on efficient planning, the use of suitable materials and the appropriateness of design for a product being produced. In addition, students will learn to track production time and material costs to establish a pricing structure for products. Through a systematic team approach, students will manufacture a limited run production product.

Fall 2

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.

Bra, Bustier and Beyond

In this course, students design and build a bustier, bra and corset that go beyond their traditional look and functional use. Through implementing advanced sewing and construction techniques, they learn complex fitting processes associated with these garments. In addition, students gain an understanding of the historical development of the corset and its significant impact on women and society in general.

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 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.

Preparing for Professional Life

In this course, students learn a range of skills to enable them to present themselves effectively in the professional world of their discipline. They create a toolkit by becoming familiar with the language of business and how businesses work whether their goal is to be an employee or an entrepreneur. 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, creating a process in which they clarify their career path.

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.

Winter 2

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 Winter 2, students choose one of the following electives:

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.


3D Digital Design and Production

In this course, students use sophisticated 3D modelling and texturing techniques building on skills learned in 3D Digital Design: Shaping Space. These skills will be used to prepare and render complex 3D components that could either become intricate printed objects be utilized as elements or models in other courses.

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.

Designing Bodies

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.

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.

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.

Spring 2

Student choose one of:

Senior Project

In this course, students produce a significant piece or series that becomes the focal point of their portfolio. They submit a proposal that will determine the form and scope of their final project. This project will require students to integrate their creative abilities, design knowledge, personal aesthetics with technical prowess.


Senior Practicum

In this course, students engage in a real life experience by participating in a workplace environment in a business or organization. They develop a professional level of conduct as they further their interpersonal workplace skills. In addition, they actively participate in the specialized activities of their practicum.

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!