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.