“Fashion is about dreaming and making other people dream”, Donatella Versace once said. And, truth be told, it’s hard to find another discipline that holds in such high regard every person and every style. Fashion creates and tries to capture a mood or a feeling with only fabrics and colours.
With a long and wild history, fashion has always been important in our lives. To be one of the people who can continue a proud line of fashion designers and combine the useful with the beautiful is nothing short of magic.
Why would anyone study Fashion Design?
To understand Fashion Design, one has to understand beauty and harmony. The end goal of Fashion Design, like any form of art, is to forge something people would love to look at and wear.
Using all the materials and accessories at hand, and armed with knowledge of history, aesthetics, and technology, designers are tasked to create garments for a wide range of people and events, each piece having to be as special and as amazing as the one before.
Fashion has three branches which students can choose from:
- Mass market, where clothes are standardised and are made for the crowds, in general.
- Prêt-à-porter, or ready to wear, where clothes are made for the mases, but are made in small batches, guaranteeing exclusivity and higher quality.
- Haute couture, translated as high-sewing, made especially for the clients who order them, with the use of the most expensive materials and taking the most time out of the three, but with a breath-taking end result.
Why should I study a Fashion Design degree in France?
You may have noticed that the last two categories have French names, and that is no coincidence. France has a rich and close connection with fashion, ever since the sixteenth century.
- King Louis XIV, in the 17th century, was insanely eccentric. Many people started to admire his style, so he initiated the textile trade, realising what a grand opportunity this would be for the country’s economy.
- Coco Chanel revolutionised the clothing industry, by eliminating the corset and introducing a looser, more free and comfortable style for women (for which we are still grateful, even to this day).
- Luis Vuitton made one of the most basic, yet amazing decision when it came to luggage: he simply made the top flat. Hence, it was easier to stack, easier to carry, easier to everything. Before him, trunks were round, so Vive la France!
And, honestly, we are sparing you the long list of accomplishments and famous French designers, because we know you have a life beside this article, but rest assured that the list is longer than the list of nuances of red.
Best Fashion schools in France
France, being the cradle of Fashion, as we established previously, has some of the best universities and Fashion Design programmes in Europe, if not the whole world. Some you should definitely give a shot at are:
- Paris College of Art
- SKEMA Business School
- IFA Paris - International Fashion Academy
- Paris Fashion School by PSL-Ecole Nationale de Mode et Matière
You probably spot that the most common city that appears in the list is Paris, the city of lights. Of course, all of France is perfect for studying a Fashion Design degree, but being the largest city, Paris will offer you a better feel of the current trends.
French people have a keen sense of style; everywhere you look, you will find something inspiring, so you can complement your study programme each day with a simple walk on the streets of France.
How are Fashion Design courses taught in France?
The best news about these Fashion Design Master’s degrees in France is that the majority are English-taught. Also, students, along with classical teaching classes, have the chance to be involved in a lot of practical training, such as:
- attend workshops with industry professionals
- make your own contribution
- watch fashion shows held right in the university
- partake in internships within fashion companies
- assist designers in their work
All these activities are aimed at favouring networking, enabling you to establish useful contacts.
As expected, the teaching staff within the French fashion schools and academies are all experts. Students learn from living legends – leading designers of the best fashion houses, photographers and editors of fashion publishing houses, buyers, stylists, and representatives of many other professions in the world of fashion and design. You will find many professors that have been working with clients like Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, and Karl Lagerfeld.
As a Fashion Design student, your introduction would be in the history of art and art theories. Then, you would learn all there is to know about fabrics and textiles and eventually, you will be able to create your own collection along with defining a brand and product strategy.
Apart from learning how to distinguish one fabric from the other or to draw sketches of models, professors also try to help students develop their creative abilities. In their opinion, the study of the technical features of clothes creation should provoke the expression of the student’s own ideas.
Fashion Design careers
Within a Fashion Design study programme, you can choose a sub-specialisation, like:
- modern couture
- costume design
- fashion accessories
If this isn’t your baguette and butter, you can focus more on the business side of fashion, where you will study more about creating and managing the business and financial plan of a fashion concept/brand.
Also, you should know that a Fashion Design graduate gets to earn around 63.000 USD a year in the U.S. and the U.K. Depending on the employer and the country in which you wish to work, your salary may fluctuate.
After all these great insights, you should be aware that the fashion industry is very competitive and even enrolling in a French school of Fashion and Design won’t be easy.
The most important selection criteria will be to provide your own portfolio, and the identification and evaluation of your creative abilities is a major step towards getting a place at the university. However, if you are convinced this is your path, with hard work and determination, nothing can stand in your way of becoming a fashion designer.
Don't know where to start? Here are a few Master's degrees in Fashion and Luxury that we recommend: