Fashion Design

/Fashion Design
Fashion Design 2018-01-19T05:51:30+00:00
  • Fashion Design students will complete all the FASHION DESIGN SUBJECTS which will ensure a strong foundation for creative and technical skills required by the global industry. These subjects cater for a high standard of pattern engineering and garment technology together with creative and innovative approaches to fashion. Emphasis is placed on production skill development.
  • Fashion Design students must complete at least one of the SELECTIVE-SUBJECTS per year. These Selective-subjects are presented as evening courses and are also open to the public.PATTERN CONSTRUCTION
    • Students develop the skill to engineer (design, plan and construct) patterns for exclusive Couture or mass produced (ready to wear) garments to appropriate standards.
    • Students begin by learning the basics of measuring and to apply this to a basic block pattern which is then manipulated into any garment style, fabric type, figure shape, size, gender and age
    • Students learn to compile and follow pattern specifications.
    • Grading (sizing) of patterns forms an integral part of this subject.
    • Taking a pattern from a completed garment and combining existing patterns also forms part of intensive pattern classes.
    • Pattern Theory Includes the language and set rules of patternmaking in an academic format, as opposed to the practical application. It includes all the standardizations of measurements used to draft patterns. (For example: standard widths of collars and buttonstands). This theory also aids in quality management.



    Without any depth, understanding and knowledge of how clothes are constructed, a future in fashion is no more that an illusion. Designers are rarely responsible for the sewing of garments, but detailed knowledge and experience on various methods of construction is vital. Students develop experience in constructing different parts of the garment and the construction of different garment types.

    • Students learn various factory methods of construction as well as couture methods.
    • Students learn to compile plans for the correct procedures when identifying, preparing, joining & disposing of sewn components. (Construction plans)
    • Over the 3 year programme, students learn to sew corsets, lingerie, active wear, swimwear, ladies tailored suit, men’s tailored suit, ready to wear garments and couture gowns.
    • Students learn how to set and maintain a quality system in the clothing industry. Understanding of SABS Quality standards. Financial implications of quality. Quality audits.
    • Working with and applying the Markham™ Quality Standards manual and other retail manuals
    • Principles of Quality Control and Fitting remedies
    • Identification of various industrial machines and developing an understanding of their specific uses.
    • Setting of sewing machines (Industrial & Domestic).
    • Maintenance plans for repairs of machinery.
    • Construction Theory Includes the language and set rules of sewing garments, in an academic format rather than the practical application, for quality management purposes. It includes all the quality standards regarding sewing techniques. (For example: Types of stitches to be used for variety of fabrics and garments, type of zip technique to be used for various garments.)



    • In the fashion industry, sketching of garments is the language we use to communicate detail, fit and construction. This is not only a creative, artistic approach, but more importantly a technical process as students have to consider the 3 dimensional form of the figure, the reaction of different fabric types and suitable construction techniques, whilst sketching a garment.
    • Students learn the principles of illustration including, proportion, technical drawings, shading, fabric rendering and a variety of story-board presentations.



    • Once all illustration techniques have been mastered on manual systems, students learn to plan, draw and present designs using Illustrator, Corel Draw and other specialized industry CAD Software.
    • Students learn various computer illustration & presentation techniques using Vector-based software programme.



    • Students develop an understanding of the operation and application of CAD systems for patternmaking, grading and marker making.



    • 1st year students develop a clear understanding of the principles of design including proportion, balance, colour, etc. Students develop an understanding of their creativity and its influences on their designs.
    • 2nd year students learn how to develop a range. (Concept to Collection)
    • 2nd year students explore and expand their creativity with the design and make of the Little-Black-Dress which will be constructed with a technical fabric (fabric made using a creative technique). Creative projects also include hat-making and accessory design and construction.
    • Students participate in two annual Advertising Fashion Shows whereby the student will design, make and model a garment made out of packaging and branding material.
    • Students enter a minimum of two external fashion competitions each year.
    • Styling


    • 1st year students develop an understanding of design and manufacturing processes and systems. Logical flow of all product development and quality control documents forms an integral part of product development for 1st year students.
    • The evaluating, researching, comparing and optimizing of production systems forms part of the 2nd year syllabus. Further to this is the issue and receive of materials. Waste reduction management. Stock taking systems. . Handling systems, Cutting room control, production plans.
    • 3rd year students get the opportunity to apply all of the above in various projects that link subjects to enable students to apply all practical and academic theory into a realistic product development assignment.
    • 3rd year students learn to identify strategies to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for a clothing company. Establish standards and plan, measure and monitor productivity. Practical application of work measurements, method studies and specialised studies. Setting and maintaining acceptable levels of productivity against set times, methods and quality.


    • Fashion marketing has a major contribution to make towards business success in the ever-changing global and domestic marketplace. Students learn to plan, conduct and analyse market surveys. Student will learn brand building, advertising and promotion techniques.
    • Fashion Brand Marketing considers the design, development and marketing strategies of diverse fashion brands.
    • Marketing Communications considers new and old media ways of communicating fashion brands to different consumer target groups.
    • International Marketing and Retailing Strategies examine case studies of successful international fashion corporations in different global markets and contexts. All units are assessed by a mix of academic papers and presentations.
    • Psychology of fashion will show students how to get customers to buy and to identify product features and what advantages and benefits the product has to the consumer.



    • The success of a designer is measured in sales, to obtain this success; students develop business skills and entrepreneurial opportunities in order to apply basic business principles that are focused on the fashion industry.
    • Students get to explore career opportunities and gain an understanding of how the industry works, by means of the annual Entrepreneurship week whereby industry leaders are invited to present their careers to students by presentation and a Q & A session.
    • Students learn to foster and maintain customer relations for couture, mass production and retail. Various aspects of customer psychology are explored.
    • Write and present a business plan and business proposal,
    • Compile a design portfolio and CV.
    • Produce and use spreadsheets for the designers bookkeeping systems.
    • Develop and update a supplier’s file. Global supply chain management for sourcing of materials and supplies.
    • Students are introduced to human resource management and public relations.
    • Students are introduced to the role of the fashion buyer.
    • Students are introduced to case studies and success stories of fundraising projects run by organizations and individuals. Students learn how to plan, manage and complete large fashion related fundraising events and how to use such events as brand building and community up-liftment projects.
    • All funds raised by students go towards their fashion show expenses and resources levies.
    • 1st year students plan, manage and complete individual fundraising projects for funds towards fashion show expenses.
    • 2nd year students plan, manage and complete group fundraising projects for funds towards fashion show expenses and resources levies
    • 3 rd year students plan, manage and complete fundraising projects that involves sourcing of external sponsors to assist in future business endeavors, fashion show expenses, resources levies.


    • Research is fundamental to the pursuit of academic, entrepreneurial and creative excellence. With strong research approaches, students generate, communicate and transfer new and advanced knowledge.
    • 1st year students are introduced to various research methods and are shown how to do research and how to use research in a project.
    • 1st year research projects allows for research to be presented in written form
    • 2nd year research projects allows for research to be presented in written, oral and visual form
    • 3rd year research projects are linked with other projects and subjects, by means of a combined-subject project that will be researched, developed and presented
    • Various design influences that occur around the world are researched and applied.
    • Students also develop an in depth knowledge of the design style of the world’s top designers, chain stores and fashion brands in order to differentiate between markets and trends.
    • Period costume and fashion history is also researched.
    • Contemporary history is fundamental.
    • Students learn to work effectively with others as a member of a team and to plan and conduct investigation by applying research techniques.
    • This subject further includes the fashion dictionary and fashion lingo.
    • Students are also encouraged to report on world and social news. This is to set a custom for news tracking as it is an integral part not only for research but also for forecasting and trend setting.



    • Students learn to identify and use appropriate materials in the manufacturing process and gain familiarity with the characteristics and textures of fabrics.
    • Students learn the technical aspects of textiles and the methods and techniques of production.
    • Fabrics are analyzed for purposes of developing an understanding of the characteristics of fabric and how the design is influenced by this.
    • Classifying of various types of fabrics, their handling and care.
    • Fabric modification, weaving and fabric testing form part of the practical applications for this subject.



    An overview of the role of buyers in fashion, including merchandising, promotion and interpretation of trends


    Students complete a 3 week, fulltime internship in their 3rd year of study. North West School of Design lecturers and academic coordinator facilitates these Internship programmes trough the placement of student with host organizations for a minimum of 150 hours of experiential learning during the third year of study of the Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design learning programmes.

    3rd year Fashion Design Students get 4 days to design, make and present a Wedding Gown.



  • The annual Graduation Fashion show forms part of an Awards Ceremony at year-end. Students combine all training received in the relevant subjects and combine this into a realistic project.
  • Compile and co-ordinate ranges. Production planning and costing. Pattern construction. Mark, plan and cut fabrics. Assemble complete garments. Fit and alter garments. Production processes. Financial management of the range.north_west_school_of_design_prospectus_fashion_design_show_4
  • 1st year students design and manufacture a one design range (3 garments = 1 design) according to a combined group theme. One of these garments will be corset-bodice. The garment is completed on a standard size 10 then fitted to the fashion show model. Any fitting alterations are made to the completed garment.
  • After submission of their ranges, 1st year students will be assigned to a 3rd year student as fashion show assistant, assisting from pattern making, cutting, fitting, sewing and finishing.
  • 1st year students are also involved in behind-the-scenes events co-ordination of the show by means of backstage management and dressing room assistance.north_west_school_of_design_prospectus_fashion_design_show_3
  • 2nd year students design and manufacture a four design range according to a specified theme. This will include a lined and beaded evening gown, a fantasy showpiece, a garment made from stretch fabric, a corset bodice, accessories, and a men’s wear set. A 2nd year student will not be assigned as an assistant to a 3rd year, but will also not receive a 1st year as assistant.
  • 2nd year students are involved with front-of-house events co-ordination of the fashion show by means of ticket collections, ushers, hostesses, etc.
  • 3rd year students will design and manufacture a 6 garment range. 3 of these designs will be exclusive couture garments and 3 designs will be a mass producible, mix-&-match retail range. The retail range will be produced on industrial machinery and systems.


Candidates can register for either 1 year / 2years / 3years or 4 years

Year Qualification
1 City & Guilds 7160-12 Level 2 Certificate in Fashion
2 City & Guilds 7160-22 Level 2 Diploma in Fashion
3 City & Guilds 7160-13 Level 3 Certificate in Fashion
4 City & Guilds Level 4 9200-01 Licentiateship
  • Each year consists of 4 terms and term breaks are estimated in accordance with provincial school term-breaks.
  • 2015 Classes start on Wednesday, 25 January 2017
  • Classes are Monday to Friday – 08h30 to 16h00
  • Morning sessions are from 08h30 to 10h30
  • Afternoon sessions are from 11h00 to 13h30
  • Self-directed sessions are from 13h30 to 16:00 (With lecturer supervision)
  • All of the above sessions will be attended as essential lecturing sessions, and are compulsory class hours.
  • Attendance registers are kept at all sessions.
  • Students may take 1 hour (per week) leave absence from self directed sessions for tuition related errands.


The minimum academic requirement is a National Senior Certificate (NSC) – Matriculation (Grade 12) or an international equivalent.

  • The minimum institutional admission requirement is also a National Certificate (Vocational) (NCC) Level 4 issued by the Council of Further Educations and Training.
  • Candidates will be given an entrance exam which is designed to assess their admission-level capability. This entrance exam determines written communication skills, creative aptitude and technical abilities.
  • Candidates who have obtained less than 60% for this aptitude will first complete the Bridging Design Programme.
  • North West School of Design recognizes prior learning (RPL) for candidates that have not obtained a Matriculation Certificate, but is aged 22 years. These entrants are able to apply for registration based on the RPL application which includes the Entrance Exam, submission of the RPL application form , an interview with the principal, and completion of the Bridging Design Programme which will assess their knowledge, skills, values and attitudes embedded in this qualification.
  • Candidates from other institutions wishing to transfer to the North West School of Design will be considered on credit accumulation. Candidates must complete the entrance exam and submit their portfolio of work and results sheets, together with the RPL application form to the principal who will then evaluate their skills to determine if they can be admitted directly to second or third year or if they can be considered for partial exemption from the learning programme.
  • Foreign candidates must obtain the required visas and study permits as well as a valid temporary resident permits. Study permits are obtained from the South African Embassy/High Commission of Consulate in their home country. Study permits should be valid for Protocol General Sales t/a North West School of Design.
  • Prior training in sewing and arts are not admission requirements, but candidates must have a strong interest in fashion.
  • Candidates must read, write and understand English. A certain level of proficiency in English is required for success in Higher Education studies. This includes a pass in English at A-level or O-level. Other post-school English language qualifications will be evaluated on merit.

For more info on the Application Procedure – please click here

Students who have absenteeism problems not only suffer academically, but also socially. Absenteeism leads to inadequate learning on the part of the student and affects their overall performance. In the class or group situation, absenteeism of some of the students leads to unsatisfactory class averages and because our lecturer’s job performance is measured on class averages obtained by the group, NWSD cannot tolerate any unnecessary absenteeism and late comings of students.



Year Description Examination Qualification
1 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – City & Guilds examination City & Guilds 7160-12 Level 2 Certificate in Fashion
2 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – City & Guilds examination City & Guilds 7160-22 Level 2 Diploma in Fashion
3 Academic year completed on a fulltime basis at North West School of Design Year End – City & Guilds examination City & Guilds 7160-13 Level 3 Certificate in Fashion
4 Practical year completed at the workplace within the Fashion Industry Portfolio of evidence submitted after completion of one full year fulltime employment within the fashion industry City & Guilds Level 4 9200-01 Licentiateship