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    Unfortunately, I'm too tired to properly respond now. Expect my response sometime tomorrow. For reference, I was a fashion design student at Central Saint Martins. You can read about the course here:

    http://www.csm.arts.ac.uk/courses/fashion.htm

    Edit: Prior to studying at CSM, I attended the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Japan (I'm originally from this country). The emphasis at this college was primarily on the technicalities of fashion design, covering everything from the basic principles of draping, pattern-making and sewing, to learning how to illustrate 'flats' and 'floats'. This also included an understanding of the necessary software (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, namely). The hours at Bunka were very long, often beginning at eight in the morning and finishing at eight in the evening, for five days. I can't say I particularly enjoyed my time at this college, but it did provide me with the necessary skill-set.

    Choosing to study at CSM was an obvious choice, especially from the perspective of many students in Japan. It's easily the most well known 'art and design' school in the far east, especially for its fashion courses, along with Parsons and FIT in New York. This is mainly due to its lengthly history and the foray of influential alumni it has produced, including many eminent Japanese fashion designers. It also helped that Bunka had an exchange program with CSM. Fortunately, after undergoing the interview/portfolio process, I was accepted onto the undergraduate fashion course at CSM, under its 'Womenswear' pathway (as the name implies, my specialism would be to design clothing for women).

    The contrast from Bunka was notable, the emphasis at CSM was to prioritise on the development of ideas first, execution second. The week would be divided into workshops, critiques and lectures/seminars. The workshops were usually held by employed technicians at the college or visiting fashion designers that were actively working in the industry. They covered most of what I learnt during my time at Bunka, only more spread out. We didn't have any workshops during the final year, focusing only on critiques and lectures.

    The critiques were held once or twice a week (depending on the year of the course, and whether we had a special showcase coming up). These were held by the main tutor or course director (for the last year). Our course director was a senior designer at Versace prior to becoming a tutor at the college (he was easily in his sixties). In addition, ex-students from the course would also assist in critiquing our work, especially closer to a main event (like London Fashion Week). Most notably was Alexander McQueen and John Galliano (both were graduates from CSM). The critiques would consist of the main tutor (or guest tutor) and a group of students (ranging from fifteen to twenty). We would have to individually stand up and present our work, followed by a critique from both the tutor and the students in our group. This would happen weekly.

    The lectures/seminars happened once a week, lasting for two hours. They were on 'general' art and design theory, history and practice. This was also the first time all pathways within the course came together (we were mainly separate otherwise). In between this time, we were required to write regular essays and a dissertation during the third year that corresponded to our FMP/collection. We would also have an optional seminar where an industry professional would come in during the evening to discuss their work with us. These were conducted by a wide range of practitioners, ranging from fashion designers to fashion journalists. My course was divided into separate pathways, one of which was purely theoretical. As such, the type of people that were invited to speak was also broad.

    Incidentally, you can view the recent showcase from my course at the following links:

    http://www.showstudio.com/blog/34952
    http://dazeddigital.com/Fashion/arti...artins_BA_2009
    http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/daily/09...ashion-sh.aspx
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...3370297&page=1

    Hopefully, this has helped to provide an insight into what fashion design is like at college/university. Naturally, this will differ from course to course and from institution to institution. CSM, in particular, does have a very unique approach and atmosphere. The best thing to do is to attend an Open Day for the courses you're interested in and to make an informed decision for yourself.
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    Hi, I'm also wondering the same thing. I desperately want to study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, and I just wanted any advice on becoming the best candidate for CSM and also, how the interview process works? I live in South Wales so unfortunately there aren't many fashion opportunities here, but I still want to do anything I can
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    (Original post by bunnyblack)
    Hi, I'm also wondering the same thing. I desperately want to study Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, and I just wanted any advice on becoming the best candidate for CSM and also, how the interview process works? I live in South Wales so unfortunately there aren't many fashion opportunities here, but I still want to do anything I can
    As a brit you will find it much harder to get into csm. it's between 30-40% of students from the UK and EU get in, due to the amount of money international students bring (suprisingly common tactic at many universities..!). I can think of one person I know who got in and didn't do a foundation in one of the UAL colleges so my best bet is to go do your foundation in london

    OR

    As it's CSM's MA department that has the amazing reputation (McQueen didn't even do a BA), look at all the universities, choose the one you like the most and will learn the most from and do your MA there.
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    My experience-

    I did my Foundation at Ravensbourne. I got a bit too into it and was working all night to teach myself pattern cutting to make 4 garments! (Completely unnecessary) but got my distinction. Was offered a place at Ravensbourne but went along to GFW and saw the westminster show. Fell in love with it (2007 show, def worth looking at!!) And begged my tutor to ring them up. Through a bit of luck they'd messed up the system and had a place going. So went and did an unofficial interview months late and got offered a place!

    So in my holiday/while I was still at rave I did 6 months placement at HOH. As I was working, I was doing 7 day weeks. So the first thing you need to completely understand is how committed you have to be to get far

    Then I joined westminster. It's a campus university just out of central london (you'll be thankful for the field in the summer!) Which I know for students outside of london is easier to adapt to, and a huge advantage with a 24 hour library (I'm from london though so I abuse the central campuses 24 hour libraries instead!)

    So first term we made shirt and jeans (standard across all unis I think!) Taught by aithor throup. We built up our pattern file with our pattern tutor and our sewing skills with the technicians. Fashion illustration module is taught by a very well known illustrator who is also head of 2nd year. You then get photoshop and illustrator lessons along side. I think that year we also did a stretch module, fashion history, tailoring and final year help.
    2nd year is mental. Project for showstudio, work placements, huge projects. Your sleep and social life will deterioate! But when your placement tutor is amazing like ours things are slightly easier. I was in a complete state of confusion about what I actually wanted to do so I worked at a small independant designers (and improved my skills amazingly) and at grazia

    Now I'm on my sandwich and working at a lingerie brand

    But yeah, it's hard hard work and you have to be committed. Marks don't matter, it's your portfolio and placements that do
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    (Original post by lazza)
    As it's CSM's MA department that has the amazing reputation (McQueen didn't even do a BA), look at all the universities, choose the one you like the most and will learn the most from and do your MA there.
    I disagree with this statement, whilst the MA is certainly an excellent course (with Louise Wilson teaching no less), the BA is equally accountable for CSM's reputation in fashion. The exposure and coverage the course receives yearly, both on the catwalk and in publications, is an example of that. This is excluding the numerous alumni of equal prominence to McQueen.
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    (Original post by lazza)
    My experience-

    I did my Foundation at Ravensbourne. I got a bit too into it and was working all night to teach myself pattern cutting to make 4 garments! (Completely unnecessary) but got my distinction. Was offered a place at Ravensbourne but went along to GFW and saw the westminster show. Fell in love with it (2007 show, def worth looking at!!) And begged my tutor to ring them up. Through a bit of luck they'd messed up the system and had a place going. So went and did an unofficial interview months late and got offered a place!

    So in my holiday/while I was still at rave I did 6 months placement at HOH. As I was working, I was doing 7 day weeks. So the first thing you need to completely understand is how committed you have to be to get far

    Then I joined westminster. It's a campus university just out of central london (you'll be thankful for the field in the summer!) Which I know for students outside of london is easier to adapt to, and a huge advantage with a 24 hour library (I'm from london though so I abuse the central campuses 24 hour libraries instead!)

    So first term we made shirt and jeans (standard across all unis I think!) Taught by aithor throup. We built up our pattern file with our pattern tutor and our sewing skills with the technicians. Fashion illustration module is taught by a very well known illustrator who is also head of 2nd year. You then get photoshop and illustrator lessons along side. I think that year we also did a stretch module, fashion history, tailoring and final year help.
    2nd year is mental. Project for showstudio, work placements, huge projects. Your sleep and social life will deterioate! But when your placement tutor is amazing like ours things are slightly easier. I was in a complete state of confusion about what I actually wanted to do so I worked at a small independant designers (and improved my skills amazingly) and at grazia

    Now I'm on my sandwich and working at a lingerie brand

    But yeah, it's hard hard work and you have to be committed. Marks don't matter, it's your portfolio and placements that do



    that helped could i ask you what you did at A-level and what grades you recieved?
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    Ok I took product design (B), fine art (A), maths (D....), music AS (A)

    Also had a diploma in music performance!

    Was given an unconditional from rave for foundation though

    Westminster ask for a merit or distinction at foundation, and minimum Cs in maths and english
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    (Original post by Matisse)
    Unfortunately, I'm too tired to properly respond now. Expect my response sometime tomorrow. For reference, I was a fashion design student at Central Saint Martins. You can read about the course here:

    http://www.csm.arts.ac.uk/courses/fashion.htm

    Edit: Prior to studying at CSM, I attended the Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, Japan (I'm originally from this country). The emphasis at this college was primarily on the technicalities of fashion design, covering everything from the basic principles of draping, pattern-making and sewing, to learning how to illustrate 'flats' and 'floats'. This also included an understanding of the necessary software (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, namely). The hours at Bunka were very long, often beginning at eight in the morning and finishing at eight in the evening, for five days. I can't say I particularly enjoyed my time at this college, but it did provide me with the necessary skill-set.

    Choosing to study at CSM was an obvious choice, especially from the perspective of many students in Japan. It's easily the most well known 'art and design' school in the far east, especially for its fashion courses, along with Parsons and FIT in New York. This is mainly due to its lengthly history and the foray of influential alumni it has produced, including many eminent Japanese fashion designers. It also helped that Bunka had an exchange program with CSM. Fortunately, after undergoing the interview/portfolio process, I was accepted onto the undergraduate fashion course at CSM, under its 'Womenswear' pathway (as the name implies, my specialism would be to design clothing for women).

    The contrast from Bunka was notable, the emphasis at CSM was to prioritise on the development of ideas first, execution second. The week would be divided into workshops, critiques and lectures/seminars. The workshops were usually held by employed technicians at the college or visiting fashion designers that were actively working in the industry. They covered most of what I learnt during my time at Bunka, only more spread out. We didn't have any workshops during the final year, focusing only on critiques and lectures.

    The critiques were held once or twice a week (depending on the year of the course, and whether we had a special showcase coming up). These were held by the main tutor or course director (for the last year). Our course director was a senior designer at Versace prior to becoming a tutor at the college (he was easily in his sixties). In addition, ex-students from the course would also assist in critiquing our work, especially closer to a main event (like London Fashion Week). Most notably was Alexander McQueen and John Galliano (both were graduates from CSM). The critiques would consist of the main tutor (or guest tutor) and a group of students (ranging from fifteen to twenty). We would have to individually stand up and present our work, followed by a critique from both the tutor and the students in our group. This would happen weekly.

    The lectures/seminars happened once a week, lasting for two hours. They were on 'general' art and design theory, history and practice. This was also the first time all pathways within the course came together (we were mainly separate otherwise). In between this time, we were required to write regular essays and a dissertation during the third year that corresponded to our FMP/collection. We would also have an optional seminar where an industry professional would come in during the evening to discuss their work with us. These were conducted by a wide range of practitioners, ranging from fashion designers to fashion journalists. My course was divided into separate pathways, one of which was purely theoretical. As such, the type of people that were invited to speak was also broad.

    Incidentally, you can view the recent showcase from my course at the following links:

    http://www.showstudio.com/blog/34952
    http://dazeddigital.com/Fashion/arti...artins_BA_2009
    http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/daily/09...ashion-sh.aspx
    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...3370297&page=1

    Hopefully, this has helped to provide an insight into what fashion design is like at college/university. Naturally, this will differ from course to course and from institution to institution. CSM, in particular, does have a very unique approach and atmosphere. The best thing to do is to attend an Open Day for the courses you're interested in and to make an informed decision for yourself.
    Hi,

    Your experience is pretty amazing and interesting and I was hoping to ask you a few questions.

    I will, i hope, to eventually study fashion (at college but I already live and breathe it, no doubts), but obviously need to take a foundation year first. did you do this in england?

    I am hoping to study in london. For about two years I have held CSM up on a pedestal but am now questioning why - is it just the name? I have heard that due to foreign students it lacks community and the teaching is a bit below standard. Apparently you have to make your own way and help isn't readily availbale. Though i am a strong minded person and reasonably confident i am not sure how i would cope being completely left to my own devices.

    I recently went to look at wimbledon, chelsea and CSM (though now you can only apply to one) and chelsea stood out. However I stupidly booked my open day at central for 5.00pm, convenient but completely forgetting that there would be no students present. So i am going back in 2 weeks to get a proper look in. Did you ever hear about students at chelsea?

    I would love to know about your experience there, and if you would be able to confirm or rule out my doubts. Maybe there would be a couple of other things to ask too.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your time.
 
 
 
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