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London College of Fashion

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BA (Hons) Fashion Contour

College
LCF
Start date
September 2018
Course length
3 years / 4 years (with placement year in industry)
UCAS code
W233

Course summary

Applications closed 2018/19

Applications for 2018/19 entry to this course have now closed.

This highly specialist fashion contour course embraces technology, innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial skills while preparing students for a career in design and production of lingerie, intimate apparel, underwear, swimwear and structured bodywear.

About

On BA (Hons) Fashion Contour students learn technical skills in design, pattern cutting and construction of lingerie and intimate apparel and swimwear as well as relevant professional, research, communication and business skills for a successful career in the fashion industry.

Great reasons to apply

  • Become a focused professional who has a clear understanding of the processes and expertise of this specialism.
  • Vocations upon graduation include the design of lingerie, intimate apparel, underwear, swimwear and structured bodywear within industry and own start-up brands.
  • The opportunity to take a Diploma in Professional studies during a placement year.
  • Access to specialist industry standard equipment
  • Expert Technical assistance
  • Enables progression to post graduate study.

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

Latest news from this course

Facilities

Library, John Princes Street

LCF library and archives

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

Machine Room, Curtain Road

Design, pattern cutting & tailoring facilities

Discover our design studios and workshops across JPS, Mare street, Curtain Road and Lime Grove.

Canteen, Mare Street

LCF's social spaces

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

Course details

Recently students in the second year have worked on a variety of projects with leading contour designers including Fleur of England, La Perla, Coco de Mer, Chromat NY and leading French lace manufacturer Sophie Hallette. Students but also work with leading high street brands including Debenhams, H&M, Victoria's Secret, Triumph International and Speedo. You will have the option of doing a placement year between the second and final year of the course. Successful completion of this year will give you an additional qualification, and you will have the opportunity to make contacts and build relationships within the industry before the end of your studies. Students undertake placements in the UK with companies including Agent Provocateur, Bordelle, Fleur of England, Lascivious, Pistol Panties, Paulita, Jenny Packham, Marks and Spencer, Aura, Debenhams, Ace Style, AJM Sewing, ELai, Reckless Wolf, Playful Promises, Olivia Van Halle, Nicole de Carle, Sweaty Betty, Vollers Corsets, Harlow and Fox, and Holloway Smith Noir, as well as placements with International brands including Tommy Hilfiger, La Perla, Chromat, Lulu Lemon, and Lambert and Partners.

This course focuses on producing graduates who are encouraged to make an innovative and visionary contribution to the fashion contour sector of the fashion industry, and you will acquire the creative, strategic and practical skills to succeed. Students also have the opportunity to take part in a variety of external competitions including The Link Award at MarediModa in Cannes, the ASOS print design competition, ASBCI Student Innovation Award, SET Enterprise Challenge and Playful Promises Lingerie Design Competition.

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 Fashion Contour
  • Product Technology, Creative Techniques
  • Creative Product Development
  • Better Lives
  • Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies

Year two

  • Professional Practice Initiation
  • Option: Cultural and Historical Studies unit
  • Fashion Contour Industry Project
  • Fashion Contour Future Technologies

Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)

Final year

  • Concept Development
  • Contextualising Your Practice
  • Product Design and 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 Fashion Contour 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 and 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.

Product Technology, Creative Techniques will introduce you to core creative and technical skills required for the design, development and production of products within your specialised area of study. Workshop demonstrations and self-directed practice will help you learn about materials, definitions and terminology, along with research, initial ideas, design development and design selection. Principles and techniques of pattern cutting, construction methods, production techniques and prototyping skills will aid your understanding of creative product development. You will be inducted into health and safety requirements within the workshop. You will also be introduced to key consideration such as sustainability, ethics and inclusivity within design. Presentation and communication of your ideas is vital in this area, and you will develop both written and visual articulation and confidence throughout this unit. You will also be introduced to designing with consumers in mind.

Creative Product Development
A successful product designer understands the market they are designing for. In order to develop a truly desirable end product it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the industry, fashion trends, market levels, consumer behaviour, competitors and relevant ethical, social and environmental issues. This unit will consolidate and progress prior learning from Block 1. You will explore and practice skills through answering a complete research, design and development brief for your area of product specialism. In this unit, you will be introduced to team working and collaboration. Collaboration will encourage intercultural experiences, inform discussion through diverse perspectives and use the collective community knowledge as a learning resource.

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’.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies 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.

Year two

The Professional Practice Initiation unit acquaints you with the wider context of the fashion industry in relation to your design approach for a specified market, with a real and authentic industry challenge. You will explore areas that will affect the development of a product and give consideration to the environments in which the product will be consumed. You will further develop your critical thinking around more complex design and technology for your specialist area, which will allow you to engage within an industrial context, through forward thinking creative responses and outcomes to an industry-set project brief. You will expand ways of developing and originating research and methodologies for realising research relating to your subject specialism. Focusing on the globalisation of the industry and the diversity of the consumer and market, you will further develop your understanding of industry’s design and technical requirements.

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. Further information on the options available will be provided during Year 1 of your studies.

The Fashion Contour Industry Project unit will test and broaden your multi-disciplinary skillset and the ability to develop an effective outcome to the industry brief, through critical thinking and creative problem solving. This unit further develops creative, strategic and practical skills in order to professionally communicate strong visual and written responses. You will use critical judgement to develop appropriate solutions and evaluate and justify your actions throughout the development process. You will consolidate your understanding of research methodologies in relation to international industry-led challenges. This unit will see you fuse creative, practical, entrepreneurial and intellectual skills within an industry context, enhancing your knowledge and professional understanding of marketing and branding, alongside the design and product development process. You will have opportunities to explore and expand your awareness of financial considerations, to form an innovative individual response to the wider social, ethical and sustainability issues within the wider context of the fashion industry. Preparation and planning to enable a focused, professional presentation to summarise your findings will further enhance your skills.

The Fashion Contour Future Technologies unit in the third year will expand your awareness and embed knowledge of future technologies, in relation to studying and reviewing the diversity of body shapes. You will be encouraged to think creatively about enterprise, sustainable futures, the development of new markets and emergent trends. Utilising digital practice for design, making and ideation in a fashion context, you will explore resources within the Digital Hub (3D rendering, e-textiles, body scanning, mixed and virtual reality modelling) as well as develop specialist grading and CAD skills. An innovative review of 3D shape and how to apply theory and attributes of grading, adapting measurements and support requirements, to enable understanding of the changing body silhouettes, will extend your technical skill and knowledge of pattern manipulation. You will acquire the ability to demonstrate, explain and experiment with ideas and theories using new technologies, which will enhance employment flexibility within the specialism of contour.

The work throughout the second year is focused on live projects with national and international companies and brands, and you may have the opportunity to participate in the prestigious Triumph Inspiration Awards, and the Lingerie Insight/Lingerie Collective competition. Recent industry collaborations have included the V&A and English National Ballet, Speedo, Ellesse, Gilly Hicks, a division of Abercrombie and Fitch, and Sophie Hallett, the French company that supplied the lace for Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. In 12-13, student projects included shapewear with Marks and Spencer, ‘contour for couture’ with Sophie Hallett, and maternity bras with Debenhams.

Diploma in Professional Studies (optional professional placement year)

The Diploma in Professional Studies (the Diploma) is a University of the Arts London Award for a period of professional placement of at least 30 weeks duration. The placement is undertaken after successful completion of stage 2 of the four-year Bachelor’s degree or a five-year integrated Master’s degree. The 30 weeks must be completed in full.

The Diploma in Professional Studies aims to:

  • develop an appreciation of the culture and practice of the work place;
  • put course content and study into perspective;
  • develop transferable skills;
  • enhance students' opportunities for career or academic progression.

There is flexibility to combine a placement in industry either in the United Kingdom or overseas (of at least 20 weeks) with a period of studying abroad (of at least 10 weeks). It is recommended that the placement in industry be with one organisation for a minimum of 30 weeks (if you are not undertaking a period of studying abroad) to benefit fully from your placement experience. In exceptional circumstances more than one placement in industry can occur to meet the minimum requirements for the award of the Diploma. During the placement, your academic studies continue through the compilation of a written report and reflection, which focuses on the opportunities and challenges relating to the professional placement. This not only continues the development of your study skills but also allows the ongoing development of your research, analytical and evaluative skills.

Final year

To begin, you will undertake the Concept Development unit. Your creative vision will provide a platform from which you will be able to formulate an innovative and enterprising, self-initiated concept and strategy to underpin the rest of your final year of study. This will enable you to embody knowledge, creative thinking and experience gained and present a major piece of product design and development work which is intellectually explored, a viable industry proposition, and informed by appropriate theory, research and development.

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, that 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 Product Design and Realisation unit utilises concept development outcomes to inform, broaden and deepen your design and development opportunities within your specified market. The unit will enable you to identify research and develop your personal vision in the form of an extended project via an individually negotiated format. It will highlight the breadth and synthesis of innovative activities within the design and product development process. Your research and experimentation will result in the production of fully realised outcomes. This exploration should evidence full engagement with your responsibilities as a designer/product developer including the identification of your chosen progression. You will present your work using appropriate professional techniques.

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

Nicola Johnson is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Contour. She graduated with BA (Hons) in Fashion design, moving from RTW women's wear into contour early on in her career. She has worked extensively in the contour industry for a number of UK and International Companies, with global connections within the industry. Her roles included creating, presenting and implementing innovative strategies, designing and developing with research teams and production units, as well as critical path management. She has lectured at several universities and sat on expert panels, connecting education and industry, prior to job-sharing for a year the role of Course Leader for Fashion Contour.

Catherine Fuller – Design and Concept development Tutor. With extensive experience in the Contour Industry as well as at LCF, with a teaching excellence award and the previous Contour Course Leader, Catherine has remained part of the Course team. Her experience of working within the Fashion industry, as well as starting her own brand "Outrageous Fortune" which sold in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the USA, with Victoria's Secret as her biggest customer gave her valuable insight, which alongside her passion for lingerie permeates throughout her work on the course.

Linda Wing, Year One Technical Tutor and Senior Contour Technician, has been a key member of the Contour teaching team since the launch of the course seven years ago. Another LCF graduate, Linda has had a career in the contour, nightwear and swimwear industries, and continues to work in the industry as a designer and technician.

Linda Taylor is Year Two Technical Tutor. After graduating from LCF, Linda embarked on a varied career in the contour industry working for brands including Gossard and Shock Absorber and has also had her own company supplying leading high street retailers. She continues to work as a contour designer and technician and has taught on the course for seven years.

Lynsey Smith is Design and Technical Tutor. After graduating from De Montfort University, Lynsey worked as Brand Manager for Elomi swimwear. Lynsey works with students across all year groups and is a specialist in grading for contour and plus size lingerie and swimwear.

Jasbinder Jhumat is Specialist Contour Technician and Technical Tutor After working for Courtaulds Lingerie as a sample room technician for several years, Jas joined the Contour team and works with all years in sample room and technical development sessions.

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.

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W233

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.

Contact us on:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344

Or you can use this register your interest form

Please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.

If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • UCAS code: W233

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline is 15 January.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information.


Entry requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • Two A Level Passes at Grade C or above; preferred subjects include English, Maths, Art, Design, Textiles and Science;
  • or a Pass Foundation Diploma in Art and Design;
  • or a Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma Art & Design;
  • or a Pass at UAL Extended Diploma;
  • or Access Diploma or ’64 tariff points from the Access to HE Diploma;
  • or 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;
  • And three GCSE passes at grade A*-C.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application 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.

This course requires portfolio evidence, and you will be asked to complete a short written answer to a question relating to issues in the fashion industry if you are selected to attend an interview.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

Student selection criteria

What we look for

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A current awareness of fashion contour in terms of material developments, new designers and fashion trends
  • A potential to achieve a high standard of technical manufacture
  • An ability to record and develop design ideas through the vehicle of drawing
  • The ability to work as a member of a team
  • The ability to work independently to develop your own knowledge and skills acquired on the course

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.

Portfolio and interview advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office at lcf.international@arts.ac.uk to find out about the portfolio application process.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: ability to present ideas through visual communication; a level of research, experimentation and development; technical and practical abilities; and effective presentation techniques.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: an awareness of contemporary fashion and culture; an understanding of research, design, design development and product realisation; a motivation for working in the fashion contour industry; and a motivation to succeed on the course.

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 What we look for sections.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. 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.

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. 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.

Deferred entry

Deferred entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.

Interview week

Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing lcf.international@arts.ac.uk about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

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 2018/19 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

£19,350

This applies for the 2018/19 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. Graduates have gone on to work for Agent Provocateur, Iris Van Halpen, Best Pacific (China), Gilda & Pearl, Derek Rose, Aura, Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Tesco, Concepts Paris. They have also set up brands, for instance Lara Intimates, Elf Zhou and Amelie.

Alumni

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