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Sumana Dutta




06 Jun 1985

  • 11534 Rank

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Published on: 08 Nov 2016 by sumisbeat

I Want to Study a Fashion Degree, What Do I Need?

Plenty of people want to study fashion at
university. Whether it be the draw of seeing your designs on the catwalk, the
interest you have in the industry or the chance to be creative, whatever the
reason is, we’ve got a few tips to help you with studying your fashion degree. 

The Passion:

Is your sewing machine just collecting dust in
the bottom of your wardrobe or does it take pride of place in the living room?
If you're serious about becoming a fashion designer or even just studying a
fashion degree (Or really, any degree for that matter) you need to eat, breath,
live and dream fashion. Keep on sketching, do the research (More research than
just watching ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and listening to Kanye West rant about it
at his shows), see what the most successful in the industry have done, get used
to evaluating them and try to go to as many catwalks as you can; big ones are
too difficult to get to, so maybe try some small-scale ones.   

The Talent:

In the words of the immortal, former
editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine Edna Woolman Chase: "Fashion can be
bought. Style one must possess." and we can’t help but agree. Raw talent
is seen as a jewel that designers can mold and shape to fit their own brand and
not all designer or people who do fashion degrees have it and if we’re honest,
it can’t really be taught. Of course, through schooling and practice skills can
be sharpened, shaped and honed, but if they don't come somewhat naturally,
you're probably better off trying your hand at something else. But this more or
less goes for every single degree that you'll ever do, if you don’t have a
passion and a natural talent for it, then it most probably isn’t for you. 

The Education:

You now need to think about the education aspect
of this. Which school do you go to or what university do you attend for this?
Especially since so many universities and schools specialise in this and many
don’t even offer it as a course! It can be very hard to be taken seriously
without a degree from a well-known school or a university that specialises in
fashion. You have to find a
university that offers a fashion course
if you're really interested, so it's important to weigh the
options up carefully. University is the first opportunity most designers have
to start making their mark on the industry and it's important to attend a
university or school with the power to back you and your dreams. 

The Personality:

Here is the very difficult part where you really
do have to take a deep breath, step back and evaluate yourself and your
willingness to crawl to the very top of the totem pole, because that's what
it's going to have to take. The world of fashion is reserved for only the very
most dedicated and creative visionaries on the planet and it leaves absolutely
no room whatsoever at the top for the mediocre or the untalented. It's
important to be able to essentially ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and to take
the initiative because absolutely nothing in this line of work will ever just
be handed to you, which makes the fruit of your labours that much sweeter in
the end. Bearing in mind that graduates very rarely start designing immediately
after university, so it's also important to ensure you are able to handle a
career with countless highs and lows. People like Anna Wintour have seen the
highs and lows of this unforgiving industry and will tell you that a cut-throat
attitude is sometimes what you need to survive. 

The Money:

Fashion institutions aren’t exactly cheap. As
with most universities and their courses they are very expensive and can
actually cost some students somewhere in the region of £44,035 for a three year
course, regardless of what or where you're studying, although this can change.
They aren't located on every bustling street and the best of the best of the
very very best come with incredibly hefty price tags. Keep in mind that a local
college is usually a little less expensive, but they won't offer you the same
CV boost of a high profile university or school (As mentioned above). When
budgeting your future school or university, ensure that you've thought about
your tuition, your books, room and board, the material fees and even the less
obvious things, like food. Remember as well that there are countless
scholarships, grants and bursaries

available for students. 

The Plan B:

It’s difficult for anyone doing any sort of
degree to have to come to terms with the fact that there is a very real
possibility that you may not actually make it. It's important to at least
acknowledge the "what if's" in life or be ready for the possibility
that it may go wrong. Lots of people that actually start a fashion degree even
decide that the industry isn’t even for them! You can maybe leave education
behind and make it a hobby and sell your designs on Etsy or something! You can
do some caricatures at the local park. Whatever your backup plan is or consists
of, ensure that it's a solid and/or obtainable goal. Rejection is hard, but it
will hit a lot harder if you're left in the rain with nothing but your
sketchbooks due to a lack of planning and no one wants that! 

For more about fashion or applying to
university, check out University Compare, a university comparison website that compares over 36,000
courses across 425 institutes.

Thanks for reading and good luck!


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