Introduction to Fashion Communication introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
In the Visual Communication Design unit you will discover how engaging with images generates meaning, affords experiences and communicates style through form, content and context. You will carefully analyse past and present international examples of visual communication and experiment with the construction of visual messages using a variety of media and processes. In both cases you will consider how image, text and graphics are used effectively alone and together, and how the manipulation of fundamental design principles can have an impact on the way a message is interpreted and received. In addition to building your technical skills, the unit also provides opportunity to develop personal attributes, such as flexibility, essential to a successful professional creative career.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
Fashion Interfaces Designing for Experience explores how fashion messages are encountered and experienced. This includes magazines, websites, social media, retail environments, museums and galleries. To be effective, these interfaces, and the content they contain, must be designed with the audience in mind. In this unit, you will use ‘design thinking’, working in groups to research, empathise with and define how audiences interact with fashion messages through print, on screen and in physical space. Using collective insights, you will individually generate fashion interface concepts and go on to design, test and prototype a single outcome. This will provide an opportunity to focus your interests within communication design.
London College of Fashion, UAL (LCF) is a leader in fashion design, media and business education. We have been nurturing creative talent for over a century, offering courses in all things fashion. We encourage students to examine the past and challenge the present. To have inventive, assertive ideas that challenge social and political agendas. We give students the skills, opportunities – and above all, the freedom – to put those ideas into practice. By leading the way in fashion design, business, and the media, we influence culture, economics and our society.
This unit will provide you with a solid understanding of LCF’ core values and how they connect to your practice. As part of this unit you will explore diversity, social responsibility and sustainability, themes which you will then apply to a selected project. At this stage the emphasis is on how you apply your thinking across these important themes to your practice. Your thinking is more important than a finished piece of work at this point.
Fashion can change lives. Through teaching, specialist research, and collaborative work, this unit will get you thinking differently. We want you to use fashion to examine the past, build a sustainable future and improve the way we live. That’s why we call this unit ‘Better Lives’.
To begin you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
Art Direction for Fashion
Effective art direction requires a keen awareness of contemporary practice alongside the ability to develop and implement a creative vision. During this unit, you will explore the skills of art direction for global editorial and commercial purposes across print, screen and space. You will build on your emerging research skills and further your ability to test, check and iterate creative concepts. The emphasis will be on effectively communicating your creative concepts to a range of audiences including clients, collaborators and contributors. The unit will also provide an opportunity to further refine your professional and creative goals whilst developing a range of creative attributes.
Inside the Industry provides an opportunity to gain insight into critical issues, innovations and challenges within the global fashion, media and communication industries. You will participate in seminars with students from your course and programme and attend panel discussions with industry practitioners. In groups you will interrogate and respond to relevant themes that emerge. The unit will also help you to identify relevant areas of professional conduct and prepare you for working in an industry context.
Situating Your Practice unit
This unit provides an opportunity to situate your practice by undertaking a project with industry. It fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of professional practices, principles, roles and responsibilities to help you define your career ambitions. During this unit you will be expected to manage your own learning and build on existing skills and knowledge in a professional context. You will work collaboratively with students from your course and programme to produce a creative outcome in response to a brief developed with industry.
This unit provides an opportunity to situate your practice by undertaking a professional work placement. It fosters a deeper understanding and appreciation of sector practices, principles, roles and responsibilities to help you define your career ambitions. During this unit you will be expected to manage your own learning and build on existing skills and knowledge in a professional context. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours and significant personal reflection evidenced in the submission of a placement report.
LCF Careers provide career guidance and one to one opportunities starting in your first year at LCF, to help you plan ahead and prepare for your work experience. You will be expected to engage and be proactive in securing your own work experience and one that is suitable to your own personal development, skills, course requirements and career aspirations. This means producing an updated CV and directly applying to companies for work experience using LCF CAREERS LIVE, LCF’s own job board, as well as other resources. You will also be expected to feedback on your work experience after your work experience.
International Study Communication
This unit provides an opportunity to apply previous learning whilst studying your subject in a different institution. You will develop skills within your practice and gain credits for your current course whilst engaging with the academic culture of your host institution. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning. Please check with the Exchange and Mobility Officer for an up-to-date list of partnerships for your programme. Students studying at a partner institution in Europe for a minimum period of three months (approx. 12 weeks) will be eligible for Erasmus grant. We are unable to guarantee that every course will have an agreement with a partner host institution. As such, this unit is subject to availability. There will be a selection and application process for students who are interested in applying to take this unit of study.
Future Directions for Fashion Communication develops your previous experience where you have explored creative direction through fashion interfaces, fashion spaces and how brands use these and other communication design outcomes to connect with and engage audiences. This unit will run like a research and development (R&D) lab and will require an exploratory approach to identifying possible future trends and ‘hot topics’ within fashion communication and culture at large. The focus will be on innovative and enterprising approaches to fashion communication and their impact upon patterns of consumption. This includes analysis of, and investigations into, areas such as emerging technology, on-going concerns around sustainability, and the perceived phenomenon of globalisation, all in relation to fashion. You will examine how creative direction and communication design within fashion can lead positive change and impact the way we lead our lives. Working in teams you will identify and research a “problem”, develop and test solutions, and pitch a relevant and inventive creative outcome.
During the Research for Independent Project: Creative Direction for Fashion unit you will develop your creative identity and professional goals as they relate to creative direction for fashion. At the start of the unit you will reflect on your personal interests and skills in order to identify a suitable starting point for an independent project. For example, this could be an interest in a particular creative practice, design aesthetic, social or cultural trend, communication media/technology, fashion market sector or audience. Next, you will conduct and evaluate structured research into your area of interest.
The overall aim of the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit is to provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply those perspectives in a specific study. You will research a topic of your choice that has relevance to the discipline of cultural and historical studies. This may relate to your course discipline, and should elaborate knowledges developed in prior cultural and historical studies units. You will undertake a substantial piece of structured primary and secondary research that critically engages with cultural issues relating to fashion, the body, performance, or the media and communications industries and which reflects on the critical debates and concerns addressed in your course.
In the Independent Project: Creative Direction for Fashion unit you will use your research insights to define the terms of an independent creative project. You will be supported by course tutors and industry practitioners in developing and producing a robust creative outcome or set of outcomes in response to your individual brief or research questions. You will be expected to evidence skills across visual communication design, art direction and creative direction, the balance of which will be determined in consultation with your tutors.
The purpose of the Final Presentation unit is to prepare you for a range of future employment or postgraduate opportunities. Additional reflection on your professional or academic goals after having completed your independent project will help you to position your work for future contexts. You will present your work creatively and professionally supported by tutors and guest practitioners.
Showing your work
All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s new portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCF and will last for up to 12 months after graduation. This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen. You may also be asked to have a portfolio profile for the selection process when it comes to degree shows.