Catching up with BFD Students
Life from the eyes of a first year Bachelors of Fashion Design student is filled with many challenges, and even more accomplishments.
First year students, from the January intake are learning how to create shirts, trousers, skirts, and modifying garments. The crucial base for any designer’s toolkit of skills. This past semester they have drafted patterns for a basic sloper, pants, and a kimono!
This group of talented undergraduates will take on creating personal garments next, in preparation to starting the development of their future collections. They are also developing screen printed scarves to be produced at an atelier later this spring semester. I asked the students why they chose to study fashion design at IFA Paris, the unanimous answer – IFA was the best. Some even studied the school and course curriculum three years prior to attending!
I had the chance to sit down and talk to a September intake first year design student, Alycia Rae. She is culturally diverse, being born in Thailand to a Canadian family and spending her teen years studying in Germany, prior to moving to Paris last year. Alycia knew she wanted to design, and was going back and forth on the decision. She finally went for it and applied to IFA. She is now in her third semester in the Bachelors of Fashion Design Program.
Q. Did you have previous design or sewing experience before coming to IFA?
A. I took sewing lessons during my gap year, but I still wasn’t that great at it and still not so great, but I loved to design and draw. Ever since I was little all I ever did was draw dresses in every single one of my classes. All my notes would be full of doodles in any empty space there was. I’d come home watch Devil Wears Prada and sketch all their outfits. But I knew nothing about pattern making and production until I came to IFA.
Q. Would you mind telling me about your projects this semester?
A. There’s so many! I’ll start with fashion design academic, we will create a mood board to inspire a collection, make illustrations, and create the technical drawings; normally done on Adobe Illustrator which we learn in Digital Design.
Q. And in your design classes, are you creating any garments?
A. We will choose one of our designs and make it in pattern making class and then sew it in production. We also learn about prints and do hands on silk-screen printing in workshop as well as tie-dye.
Q. This is exciting, what is your favourite project this semester?
A. I really like digital design because it was something, I felt uncomfortable doing. Learning about photoshop and other adobe programs really intimidated me but once I got the hang of it, I really enjoyed it.
Q. Have you had any industry projects? What was this experience like?
A. Also we did a collaboration with Chaussette Orphelines where we learned how to knit and learned how to make yarn out of old t-shirts and socks. I had the opportunity to have my garment walk down the runway at Hotel De Ville which felt like such an accomplishment for a first-year student.
Q. How do you feel it prepared you for the industry?
A. I think the projects teach us how to be prepared to make a collection plan when we hold a good job in the industry, and we learn all the skills of pattern making which is super important. We also learn that a lot of hard work and time goes into everything for fashion design. And time management is key.
Q. Why did you choose IFA Paris to study fashion design?
A. I really liked the campus and the tour I had before school begun. I also heard good things about IFA and how it really concentrates on creativity.
Hands down it seems the students are pleasing by what they are learning and impressed by the wealth of knowledge and CVs of their professors. Being trained by active industry professionals makes them feel that they will be prepared to handle the industry upon graduation.