Introduction to Fashion Pattern Cutting 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.
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.
Drape and Form asks you to explore and experiment with creative techniques and methods of pattern-cutting, addressing soft-structure and drape, through fabric manipulation and more advanced methods of modelling on the stand. You will investigate and research innovators of creative cutting techniques from both historical and contemporary viewpoints. Informed by this learning you will begin to develop your own perspectives through working with the technique alongside a considered aesthetic that celebrates the nature of the fabric and the challenge of drape, within the creative cutting process. Emphasis will be on the qualities of different fabrics and their structure and how this affects the creative use of drape to inform the cut, structure and silhouette of a range of shapes. You will be expected to evidence a deep understanding of your research, analysis, exploration and experimentation for your chosen aesthetic, through photographs and drawings (both illustrative and technical). There will be an emphasis on your understanding of the finish and production techniques used for the appropriate chosen fabrications and proposed market level.
The Collaborative Realisation unit gives you the opportunity to work in a small group. The emphasis of the unit is on creative collaboration and team-working, which balances individual contributions within the collective output. You will work in a small team with students from the fashion textile courses to effectively communicate a response to a professional brief where you will be expected to define an aesthetic philosophy and appropriate market level (including the identification of potential competitor brands). Through your collaboration you will move towards the execution of core pieces within a ‘capsule collection’, with an emphasis on shirts, skirts and/or dresses. Networking, communication, teamwork and presentation are all essential skills required to work in the fashion industry. Emphasis will be on creative problem solving and developing solutions with your peers through discussion and negotiation in your response to the requirements of the brief. Together you will employ professional production and presentation skills to demonstrate the outcomes from your collaboration.
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’.
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 Research Methods unit allows you to explore and experiment with different critical and methodological approaches to research, as well as looking at the range of established research methods and the role of research within design and technology. The unit forms an introduction to the Contextualising Your Practice unit and establishes the relationship between theory and practice. You will consider the relationship between primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and methodologies for realising the research in a formal manner appropriate to your subject specialism. You will also become aware of any limitations, and this will enable you to choose the most appropriate research method for a particular project. You will formulate a plan for future research into your subject specialism and construct a research proposal and presentation. This unit will enrich your research skills and provide a basis for your work, especially in your final year of study.
Structure and Form will introduce you to the complexities and challenges involved in creating structured garments through cut and construction methods. You will explore digital processes to facilitate cut and manufacture for outerwear, and utilise CAD/CAM software to develop and achieve creatively ambitious outcomes. You will produce technical drawings to inform your production specifications, and you will use appropriate software for technical communication and portfolio presentation.
The Professional Technical Engagement unit gives you the opportunity to respond to a live or simulated professional project brief that will ask you to explore industry problems and working practice. You will be able to examine the way in which a professional team responds to such situations in addition to offering your own innovative responses. This will increase your awareness of the realities of the industry and of the potential opportunities for your career progression. You will be expected to analyse and reflect upon the brief, and you will produce a professionally presented body of work that evidences your creative and professional problem-solving skills and techniques in answering the brief.
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.
You will undertake the Construction and Transformation unit which will inform you and prepare you for your Final Major Project and the creative partnerships that you will develop with BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles students. You will be expected to negotiate a project brief in collaboration, which will allow for a full investigation into an exploratory practical journey culminating in a body of work that shows innovative cutting and technical experimentation. Stand-work, draping, fabrics, process and creative resolutions will be explored and considered during this journey. Extensive investigation of finish and manufacture will be documented alongside the technical and practical processes of apparel construction. You will negotiate a partnership with a textile student that will inform the aesthetic and technical development and execution of a range of apparel that will enhance both disciplines within a considered and defined market level. You will engage in prototype testing, evidenced through 2D and 3D investigation and sampling. The focus will be on how you utilise, adapt and expand your skills to fulfil creative experimentation, whilst considering the practical aspects of problem solving. Fabric selection, detail, finish, production techniques, silhouette and scale will also need to be fully considered. The completed outfits will form the basis of inspiration for developing new work in your Final Major Project.
Contextualising Your Practice affords you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply these in a specific study. You will research the topic you identified in the Research Methods unit, which will lead to the production of an extended essay. It is the opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines in depth practical and theoretical issues related to your field of practice; it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised throughout your course.
The Final Major Project unit is a personally negotiated project and focuses on the culmination of your undergraduate learning experience and may cement your collaborative partnership. Through the development of a final major project you will be further demonstrating your innovative approach and deeper engagement, analysis and conclusions drawn from your Construction and Transformation unit. You will now be refining and executing your final piece of work, demonstrating advanced technical competency, problem-solving, and creative application of finish and detailing within the execution of the finished outcomes. The outfit(s) completed in your Construction and Transformation unit will inspire and inform your overall ‘collection’, where you will complete a total of six outfits. The final outcomes may be achieved through your textile collaboration, which would highlight the strengths of the partnership within each subject discipline. Alternatively, you may wish to individually progress technical and/or silhouette ideas from this work. This project is the vehicle for you to demonstrate and evaluate and reflect upon your own learning and skills in order to establish a potential career path.
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.