Fashion Design

Fashion Design merges sketching and general visual skills with the power of the imagination. Parsons fashion students have always been on the cutting edge of style. Fashion Design offers a variety of courses, from the general (e.g., Design Sketching) to the specialized (e.g., Costume Design).

Fashion Design Certificate Requirements

  • Fashion Design Basic Core OR Color Theory, Design Sketching I, and Construction Techniques I
  • Construction Techniques II
  • Fashion history elective
  • Fashion Flats
  • Two (2) fashion courses

Note: Core classes are only offered in fall and spring.

If you have taken Basic Core, please register for Construction Techniques II as your next required class. If you are beginning your certificate and are not taking Basic Core, you must register for Construction Techniques I.

Fashion Design Basic Core

This basic intensive course provides students with a foundation in both the construction and graphic skills and strategies necessary to begin a career in fashion design. The course is intended for those who wish to engage in all the elements of the design process, from sketch to finish. Two instructors collaborate each week, integrating their curricula to cover basic skills and common problems in apparel design. General themes and topics include form, color, and pattern; the purpose of sewing; pattern drafting and draping; fabric selection and textile technology; model drawing and the purpose of the design sketch; history; and contemporary fashion. The course addresses issues of designing a collection as well as audience and marketing considerations for the designer. Students are expected to complete regular assignments for in-class critique and keep a standard fashion source book throughout the course.

Color Theory

Discover color and its implications for designers and artists. Study ideas of space and the use of color to solve spatial problems. Look at color harmony and the way colors interact, as well as color qualities and combinations.

Design Sketching I

A basic course in making a designer’s sketch. Using a live model, draw and render designs with emphasis on the figure.

Construction Techniques I

Learn basic sewing, pattern making, and draping techniques, along with basic principles of design. Topics covered include machine and hand sewing; cutting and zipper application; and slopers, skirts, bodices, collars, sleeves, and three-dimensional muslin interpretation.

Fashion Flats

Living in a digital world makes it increasingly important to communicate in the universal language of flat sketching. Sketch designs in flat form instead of on the fashion figure. Develop flat sketches for spec sheets, presentations, and storyboards. Drawing skills are helpful but not required.


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