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BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring

College
LCF
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W230

Course summary

Applications open for 2019/20 entry. See the ‘How to Apply’ tab for more information

This bespoke tailoring course equips students with the academic and technical skills for a career on Savile Row, within a fashion brand or for a costumier.

About

On BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students learn design, pattern drafting and tailoring, together with academic research, industry awareness and presentation skills.

Great reasons to apply

  • Access to specialist, industry-standard resources and expert technical assistance.
  • Graduates have gone on to work for the likes of H Huntsman & Sons, Timothy Everest, John Pearse, Norton & Sons and Henry Poole & Co, with fashion companies Burberry and Aquascutum, and with the film, television and theatrical costumiers.

Location

This course is based at Mare Street in Hackney. Find out about the local area, including London Fields, Bethnal Green and Hackney Central in our local area guides on the Student Life pages.

Student and graduate work

Portfolio gallery

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - Emily Latham

Weaving the Future: Tailors of tomorrow - James Eardley

Latest news from this course

Facilities

Library, John Princes Street
Library, John Princes Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF library and archives

Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.

Machine Room, Curtain Road
Machine Room, Curtain Road Photography by: Ideal Insight

Design and pattern cutting facilities

Take a tour of Curtain Road's design, sewing and pattern-cutting facilities along with facilities at JPS and Lime Grove.

Canteen, Mare Street
Canteen, Mare Street Photography by: Ideal Insight

LCF's social spaces

Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.

Course details

The opportunity for students to showcase work in a variety of industry related areas is of great benefit to students on this course.

Recent projects with the industry include Casual Bespoke with Timothy Everest and Reinventing the Tuxedo with Henry Poole. BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students also collaborated with Hardy Amies and Create London, to highlight the connection between The White House in Dagenham, and the iconic British tailor Hardy Amies, who lived there. They have exhibited their work on Reinventing the Privy Counsellor’s Coatee in Kensington Palace, and a Bespoke Tailoring student won the Collection of the Year at the LCF Fashion Show at Hackney House Shoreditch.

Course structure

The academic year for this course is divided into Block 1 and Block 2.

Block 1 is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September to February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

Block 2 is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Year one

  • Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring
  • Tailoring Techniques
  • Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies
  • Research, Design and Tailoring
  • Cutting and Fitting
  • Better Lives

Year two

  • Cultural and Historical Studies Option
  • Future Artisans
  • Industry Project
  • Industry Experience

Year three

  • Concept Development
  • Contextualising Your Practice
  • Major Project Realisation

Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.

Course units

Year one

Introduction to Bespoke Tailoring aims to introduce 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 you to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.

Tailoring Techniques will introduce you to the essential technical skills required for the development and production of garments within your specialised area of bespoke tailoring. Through workshop demonstration and practice you will learn about the materials and processes involved, along with the pattern drafting, construction and handling techniques that are necessary to become a successful tailored garment developer. You will also be introduced to health and safety requirements within the workshop areas.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces the Cultural and Historical Studies approach to fashion and related areas. The unit provides a broad overview of the subject and introduces key concepts and ways of thinking that will form the basis of subsequent study. It will also inform decisions regarding the Cultural and Historical Studies unit that is chosen for future study.

Research, Design and Tailoring will introduce you to the contexts relevant to design, cutting, and technical processes for bespoke tailoring. The unit introduces the principles of research and analysis as the basis for creative thinking, cutting and development of technical skills. This unit will also provide you with a coherent framework for future two and three-dimensional development. You will explore recording research in visually stimulating, appropriate and informative ways, using a variety of methods to inform the design, cut and construction of a tailored garment.

The Cutting, Fitting and Tailoring unit will provide you with an opportunity to build upon your knowledge and skills acquired during the previous block, and further your technical development through the cutting of ‘bespoke’ garments using the principles of measurement taking, pattern drafting, and first fittings. You will progress and apply these methods to construct a tailored garment that has been cut, fitted and constructed to a set body specification.  Through your understanding of these processes you will then explore creative solutions to produce a range of designs that reflect your individual interests.

Better Lives

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’.

Year two

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.

The Future Artisans unit will enhance your technical abilities by building on your understanding of the range of technologies applicable to the practical context of bespoke tailoring. Your expertise will be further developed through use of the supportive technologies of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM) in your own practice. Specialist technology will be introduced and utilised to further develop your skills and understanding. These skills are at the forefront of the contemporary fashion industries, and ultimately, will increase your employability and increase your potential to become a future industry innovator.

You will undertake the Industry Project which will enable you to develop a personal response to a live or simulated client brief within an industrial context. Your critical judgment will be used to develop appropriate solutions as you experiment with a variety of techniques for the development of 3D outcomes. You will be expected to evaluate and justify your decisions as you develop and select appropriate outcomes for a specified company, organisation or brand. The importance of market awareness will be emphasised along with the appreciation of quality, make and finish in relation to an identified market level. You will be expected to engage in critical analysis of the given brief and further develop professional presentation and communication skills. Your creative, practical and strategic skills will be refined through the industry-led brief, as you identify your personal strengths, interests and professional aspirations.

The Industry Experience unit seeks to enhance your professional, interpersonal and organisational skills as well as visual/verbal communication and technical skills, allowing you to begin to determine your future career pathway. From first year at LCF, to help you plan ahead, LCF Careers will provide guidance and one-to-one opportunities. You will be made aware of the realities of the fashion industry and of the opportunities for career progression which could include a period of industry experience, simulated or collaborative opportunities undertaken on a full-time basis for a period of five-weeks in the latter part of Block 4. During this time, you will be required to keep a reflective record, critically evaluate and reflect on your experiences and learning gained. At the end of this period you will be required to submit a written analytical report, incorporating a reflective statement on the skills, experiences and career preparations that you have gained.

Year three

You will undertake the Concept Development unit. This unit provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning and to use this knowledge to develop a negotiated project. Through your evaluation of personal strengths, industry requirements and career objectives you will identify and define appropriate aims and outcomes for your concept development. This unit will also provide you with the opportunity to explore and consolidate research themes, and to thoroughly test ideas and concepts through experimentation, sampling, design development and prototype testing in preparation for your Major Project. Project outcomes will be varied depending on your career aspirations, but you will be expected to consolidate your personal ‘portfolios’ (as appropriate to individual aims), and reflect on your learning in the form of a written submission.

Contextualising Your Practice allows you to build on your historical and theoretical understanding of fashion through a research-led extended essay. You will identify a topic, related to your field of practice, which you will investigate through design-led research methods and significant cultural and critical theories. It is an opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines fashion practice in context and it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised through your course.

The Major Project Realisation unit provides you with a context to demonstrate specialist skills and specific interests, whilst testing your ability to respond to challenges in an innovative way within the specialist areas of bespoke tailoring. The unit will enable you to realise your concept development in 3D, developing personal responses and concepts in the form of an extended project. From your sampling and design development investigation explored in the Concept Development unit, you will identify the strongest outcomes in which to further develop and construct using bespoke tailoring skills and methodologies. In tutorial discussion and through practical and/or theoretical investigation you will develop a range of bespoke tailoring garments and design related outcomes.

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.

Staff

For the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring course students have access to an up to date range of machinery and equipment that is comparable to that used currently in the bespoke tailoring industry. Our library has a tailoring archive containing books and periodicals on tailoring from the 1800s through to the present day and a specialist collection of Savile Row bespoke suits.

Jacqueline Sealy is the course leader for BA Bespoke Tailoring. She graduated from London College of Fashion with qualifications in Garment Making and Clothing. She has worked extensively in the industry as a sample machinist, pattern cutter, sample room manager and production manager for a number of companies, including Ally Cappellino, Selina Blow, and SR Gent, who supplied Marks and Spencer, Richard Shops and C & A. Jacqueline has a Certificate in Education and has worked within the University in a variety of technical and teaching roles.

Daniel Poulson is a design tutor and teaches the 2D design on this course.He is a talented womenswear designer and tailor. Having trained at Kingston University, Daniel went on to design for the Max Mara Group before launching his own collection, 'Daniel Blake', which he presented over ten seasons at London Fashion Week. Renowned for his impeccable cutting in luxurious fabrication, Daniel's innovative British made tailoring is uniquely crafted to flatter the body. Daniel presents bi-annual collections in London and Paris which are 'Made to Order'. In addition to private views Daniel continues to consult for a number of international fashion businesses, advising on branding and product direction.

Magdalena Handwerker is the sample room tutor and teaches bespoke tailoring on this course. She graduated from London College of Fashion with a diploma in Pattern Technology and degree in BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring. She has worked in the bespoke tailoring industry as a pattern cutter for several years, and she has worked with individual clients while creating bespoke garments to their individual specification. She is a determined craft practitioner who believes that in the age of the impersonal approach to the customer and clothing production, it is extremely important to have the ability to create a high quality garment made with passion, care and impeccable attention to detail of a craftsman along with contemporary and creative thinking.

Darla Gilroy is the programme director for the Design and Craft group of courses, including this one, within the School of Design and Technology. She has worked in design education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for over twenty years at Cordwainers College, at Winchester School of Art, where she developed a number of research projects, and at the Royal College of Art, where, in addition to being specialist tutor in footwear and accessories, she undertook a funded research project on the ‘Ethnicity of Cool’.

Rob Phillips is the creative director for the School of Design and Technology. Trained in fashion womenswear, surface textiles: print, menswear and illustration Rob went on to become the fashion editor for International Textiles magazine and consultant for fashion brands. Rob's broad skill set of fashion design, process, graphics, presentation, typography, advertising and communication led to his appointment as creative director of Fashion Forecast magazine, where his progressive work promoting young fashion talent garnered him much acclaim from industry. Rob continues to nurture talent at LCF across all courses within the School, teaching holistically about fashion, developing the students’ full potential so they can make their unique contribution to the fashion industry. He furthers the work of the College through many routes, including industry projects, collaborations and competitions. He also curates and directs the School’s events including fashion shows, films, photoshoots, publications and exhibitions. Rob continues to contribute to industry as a fashion commentator (BBC, The Guardian, SHOWstudio and more) and as creative consultant for fashion brands. View Rob Phillips' full profile.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

One or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications.

  • Two A Level Passes at Grade C or above (preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles and Science);
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects Art & Design);
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma Access Diploma;
  • 64 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points) from a combination of the above qualifications or an equivalent full Level 3 qualification;
  • or equivalent EU or non-EU qualifications such as International Baccalaureate Diploma;
  • and three GCSE passes at grade A*-C or grade 9-4.

Entry to this course will also be determined by assessment of your portfolio.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English Language Requirements .

Selection Criteria

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • Evidence of creative, cultural and tailoring interests
  • A potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring
  • An ability to think three-dimensionally
  • An enquiring and analytical approach
  • An ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word
  • The ability to work independently and as a member of a team

This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement, a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

Making your application

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply and how your application is considered, and what happens next.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a mini portfolio. The mini portfolio is assessed by Academic Reviewers who will select applicants to attend an interview. Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome through UCAS Track.

You should apply though UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W230

We do not consider applications for Year 2 and Year 3 Entry for this course.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing/presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, exploration and experimentation; fabric and material selection/knowledge; construction/technical competence; an enquiring approach/problem solving; and visual communication skills.

If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to our interview week (18th to 22nd February 2019) where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: creative, cultural and tailoring interests; the potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring; the ability to work independently and as a member of a team; an enquiring and analytical approach; and an ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

This section includes all the information you need on how to apply and how your application is considered, and what happens next.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University.  If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements you will be invited to submit a portfolio of no more than 45 images.  Your portfolio is assessed by our academic team who will select applicants to attend an interview.  Please note that not all applicants are invited to attend interview. When you have attended your interview we will advise you of your outcome.

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at London College of Fashion:

You should apply though UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – and you will need the following information:

University code:          U65

UCAS Code:                 W230

You can only apply to the same course once per year whether you are applying via UCAS, UAL Representative or using the UAL online application system. Any duplicate application will be withdrawn.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

We do not consider applications for Year 2 and Year 3 Entry for this course.

London College of Fashion does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

What happens next

Immigration History Check

Whether you are applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History Check to identify whether you are eligible to study at UAL. Do be aware, if you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Initial application check

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and Selection Criteria sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing/presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, exploration and experimentation; fabric and material selection/knowledge; construction/technical competence; an enquiring approach/problem solving; and visual communication skills.

If the academic team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to attend an interview either in person or via telephone where an international academic will look at your portfolio and ask questions to establish your suitability for the course. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: creative, cultural and tailoring interests; the potential to achieve a high standard of technical/fine tailoring; the ability to work independently and as a member of a team; an enquiring and analytical approach; and an ability to communicate visually, verbally and through the written word.

If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend, the College may not be able to re-schedule.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through UCAS Track. If you have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL portal. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.


After you apply

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this Portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Once we’ve reviewed and assessed your application, we’ll contact you via UCAS Track or the UAL Portal to let you know whether your application has been successful.

Potential changes to course structure

Please note: the information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course. Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year. In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please use the register your interest form above.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250

This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee


£19,890

This applies for the 2019/20 academic year.

Additional costs


In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards


There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

All of our undergraduate courses offer career development, so that you become a creative thinker, making effective contributions to your relevant sector of the fashion industry.

LCF offers students the opportunity to develop Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills while studying through:

  • An on-course work experience or placement year. Please note, this is not available on every course; please see the Course Details section for information about work placement opportunities.
  • Access to to speaker programmes and events featuring alumni and industry.
  • Access to careers activities, such as CV clinics and one-to-one advice sessions.
  • Access to a graduate careers service
  • Access to a live jobsboard for all years.
  • Advice on setting up your own brand or company.

Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level can progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.

Career paths

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course have successfully gained employment with a number of bespoke tailors, including H Huntsman & Sons, Timothy Everest, John Pearse, Norton & Sons and Henry Poole & Co, with fashion companies Burberry and Aquascutum, and with the film, television and theatrical costumier, Angels.

Alumni

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