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About the course

The four-year bachelor course Fashion Design, a component of the faculty Art & Design at ArtEZ University of the Arts in Arnhem, has a long and illustrious history. The department of Fashion Design and Fashion Illustration was established in 1953 by Dutch fashion legend Elly Lamaker, and despite its humble beginnings, soon established its rightful place in the eyes of existing visual art institutes, the fashion industry, and comparable international design programmes. The fashion programme of ArtEZ Art & Design Arnhem continues to set the standard for education to this day.

Since that time, the Fashion Design department at ArtEZ has continuously thrived. A highly skilled team of more than 20 lecturers stands ready to share their expertise with the 125-plus students, both local and international. There are two freshmen classes with 21 students each, and class sizes in the subsequent years vary between 20 and 25 students. 

In 2011, ArtEZ Fashion Design Arnhem was distinguished with the prestigious Grand Seigneur, the highest accolade within the Dutch fashion industry, granted in honour of more than 50 years of groundbreaking and innovative fashion education presented at the highest level. The department was accredited by the Dutch government (NVAO) in 2014, and was appraised as Excellent

ArtEZ Fashion Design Arnhem is rightly renowned both within the Netherlands and abroad, and there is a long list of former students who have gone on to build outstanding, successful professional careers. Arnhem’s fashion students regularly win coveted Dutch and international prizes, and 'Arnhemmers' can be found working in all segments of the industry.  

Objectives

The primary goal of the Fashion Design programme at ArtEZ Arnhem is to provide students with a high quality bachelor level training and education in order to prepare them to enter the industry of fashion design.

Key concepts are the development of creativity, originality, a feeling for current issues, a critical and analytical capacity, the building of essential skills, and developing the appropriate work discipline necessary to be able to function optimally within the professional field, either as an independent designer or in a team environment within a company.  

In order to achieve the desired level of quality, the department maintains a clear structure, and studies are divided into a foundation phase and a secondary phase. During the propaedeutic foundation phase – in the first and second years – assignments are geared at breaking down entrenched and clichéd ideas about fashion, and students will become acquainted with design methods. The shaping of each individual’s unique formation of ideas is stimulated, and understanding is explored in both the arts and theoretical knowledge relating to the profession. In the third and fourth years, students go deeper towards the development of an individual signature. Students also take crucial steps towards the professional practice by means of the collective design project Collectie Arnhem for third year students, an internship outside the academy, and by learning how to design coherent collections, all important steps on the way towards graduation.

Students are encouraged to participate in both Dutch and internationally recognized fashion competitions such as: Lichting and the Frans Molenaar Couture Award in the Netherlands, the LVMH-Award and the Hyères Festival in France, the H&M Design Award in Sweden, the Mittelmoda Fashion Award in Italy, the Apolda European Design Award in Germany, and the IYDC International Youth Design Competition in China. This gives the students the chance to see how they measure up to young designers from renowned fashion institutes at a global level, and also provides an opportunity of presenting themselves to the international press and professional public. The department of Fashion Design of ArtEZ Arnhem’s continuity, recognition and international reputation and position are simultaneously strengthened in this way.

The academic programme

Fashion Design at ArtEZ is a four-year Bachelor programme at the Higher Vocational Education (HBO) level. Developing student’s creativity takes a prominent place within the course, followed by the development of craftsman-like and practical skills, and theoretical knowledge. Each year, the regular academic schedule is supplemented by several weeks of studio workshops where students are encouraged to implement their designs. The academic year is divided into two semesters. This course is characterized by a large number of contact hours, especially in the first two years.  Much study time is spent within the academy, creating an opportunity for indispensable, intensive dialogue with both faculty and fellow students. 

The four years of study follow roughly the following form:

First year: Learning and unlearning
Experimental design assignments are included to break down entrenched patterns of thinking and promote each student's personal and original forming of ideas. There is a first acquaintance with visual arts subjects in general and with fashion in particular. Courses include: Experimental Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, Figure Drawing, Textiles, Visual Grammar, Pattern Drawing, Production, Computer Skills, Fashion Theory and Art Theory. 

Second year: The foundation of professional skills
In the second year, the emphasis is on the broadening of professional knowledge and the learning of skills specific to the profession. Courses include: Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, Print Design, Publicity, Photographic Image, Pattern Drawing, Production, Textiles, Computer Skills, Fashion Theory and Art Theory. In addition a number of clinics are organized in the second year: these are meetings with specialized professionals, designed to provide information on the various professional specialisations. This is a very intensive year, with even more contact hours than in the first year. A study load of sixty hours a week or more is not uncommon.

Third year: Coming into contact with professional practices
The first semester has a full programme, with lessons in Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, Machine Knitting, Pattern Drawing, Moulage, and Collectie Arnhem: a project in which the third-year students design a collection together, which they then sample, style, present and sell. This project culminates in a fashion show, organized and designed by the students themselves and presented to a professional public during Amsterdam Fashion Week in January. In addition, the students are also required to write an Art Theory thesis. In the second semester, all students complete an internship lasting a minimum of three months, either in the Netherlands or abroad. The third year concludes with an intensive design workshop. In this, the experiences gained during Collectie Arnhem and the internship are brought together.  

Fourth year: Final graduation year
The fourth year is completely devoted to the development of the student's own unique signature style, and to the final completion of studies. The final, graduating year is closely supervised by two lecturers in fashion design, two from the field of materials and print, one theory lecturer, two technical lecturers, and a lecturer specialized in presentation and portfolio. In addition to the permanent faculty team, external experts also take part in the process of creating and evaluating the final graduation project. In the fourth year the students make a choice between two specializations, depending on their personal talent and interests and using the experiences gained during their internship (second semester of the third year of study), and at the advice of the supporting team of department lecturers. The choice is between Fashion Design 3-D, and Fashion Design 2-D. 

Team of teachers

Matthijs Boelee Head of department
Alieke Broekhuizen Coordinator

Matthijs Boelee Fashion Design
Maartje Boer Machine Knitting
Lenn Cox Collectie Arnhem
Elsien Gringhuis Fashion Design
Conny Groenewegen Fashion Design
Ratna Ho Textiles
Anya Janssen Figure Drawing
Hanneke Kamphuis Textiles / Print Design
Eva Kramer Art Theory / Research
Kees de Klein Publicity
Karina Lennards Pattern Drawing / Production
Leon van der Meulen Fashion Illustration / Presentation
Evert van der Molen Visual Grammar
Selina Parr Experimental Design
Louise te Poele Photographic Image
Melanie Rozema Fashion Design
Magda Saarloos Internship
Karin Schacknat Fashion Theory
Rolf Schoeber Computer skills
Machteld Schouten Fashion Illustration
Rixt van der Tol Pattern Drawing / Production / Moulage
Rens de Waal Collectie Arnhem

Wendy Barten Department assistant
Jeannette de Saint-Obin Department assistant

Admission

Requirements
HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education), VWO (Advanced Secondary Education), Gymnasium (Secondary School including Latin and/or Greek) or an equivalent foreign diploma. 

Admission exam
During the admission examination, visual creative ability, originality and drawing skills will be evaluated. The admission exam begins with an interview (lasting approximately 15 minutes), with the admission committee consisting of one or two lecturers and two students in their final year.  

This interview consists of:

  • An interview to assess motivation and general interests.
  • An evaluation of the personal portfolio. This does not have to be made up only out of finished products, but can include sketches and designs which provide insight into the conceptual and creative process.
  • An evaluation of the homework assignment. This is a design assignment to be made at home and brought along to the admission exam; new students will receive the assignment after registration on Studielink.

Depending on the outcome of this interview the candidate can be invited to take part in the practical part of the examination.

There are two rounds of admissions: one in the beginning of March, and the other at the end of April. All information concerning the admission procedure is available through the department of Student Affairs studentenzaken [at] artez.nl

Language Requirements
Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, English will be the official language within the faculty of Art & Design; this means that the department will be offering bilingual education, in both English and Dutch. As of the 2016-2017 academic year, all students (both Dutch and international) must fulfil the English requirements of IELTS level 5.5. Dutch students with a HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education), VWO or Gymnasium level diploma automatically fulfil this requirement, but this does not apply to students with an MBO-4 level. International students whose native language is English, or those whose entire secondary education was in English also meet the language requirement automatically, as well as other international students whose diploma indicates that they have achieved the IELTS 5.5 level.

Further information concerning the language requirements is available at the Department of Student Affairs of ArtEZ studentenzaken [at] artez.nl

Alumni

A great number of former students have achieved both national and international recognition within the fashion design world after graduation. Many of them maintain close ties with the Design Department through teaching, guest teaching, or the offering of internships.

An overview of some of the graduates of the department. This list is meant to give an example, and is not intended to be a complete register.