Our students are innovative, forward-thinking, boundary-pushing, conscientious global citizens. They hail from all over the world and each one brings a unique perspective that contributes to the community fabric of our program. Our students support each other, learn from each other's mistakes and revel in each other's successes. The friendships made in our program often last for years after graduation and occasionally lead to business collaborations and successful endeavours.
Throughout the years, our students will often invest their time and talents to numerous volunteer-based projects, and our program is known for producing graduates that believe deeply in giving back.
Find out more about what our Fashion and Technology and Wilson School of Design students are doing by following us on social media. You can find us on Instagram @WilsonDesignKPU, Facebook: Wilson School of Design at KPU
Below are a few of our current students and what they have to say about their time in the program.
My experience attending the program can be described as eye-opening, fruitful, and definitely educational. From the Fashion & Technology program, I learned various aspects of what the fashion industry has to offer. Design principles, production operations, history and forecasting, and textile studies are some of the areas that I explored. I learned to use computer software and programs that are of the industry standards in terms of technologies, and I also learned to operate industrial machines for garment construction.
As a 2nd year student entering the 3rd year, I am eager to continuously improve and expand my skillsets and knowledge. I often feel like I have the creative freedom to express my ideas, while instructors provide constructive criticisms to make my visions more feasible. My favourite quality of our program has got to be the close-knitted community we have built. Contrasting to a competitive nature, students attending this program help and nurture each other. The mentality of "growing together as a whole" is the most rewarding part of the program to me.
3 tips for someone considering pursuing fashion education (this might include a tip or two for putting together a portfolio)
- When putting together your portfolio, make sure to showcase your creative process that leads to the final outcome. While the end product is important, it is essential to communicate the journey that got you from point A to point B.
- It is okay if the pieces in your portfolio are not perfect, it shows that there is always room for growth. What's truly important is that you can identify the mistakes and come up with a potential solution to the problem.
- Understand that becoming a "fashion designer" is not the only career path in the field of fashion. There are many more jobs available in the industry, such as a pattern maker, a colourist, a fashion forecaster, a textile developer, a print designer, a seamster, and more, just to name a few. Remember, the fashion industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, and there will always be a spot for you!
I started the program in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. As teachers worked hard to become accustomed to the new ways of online teaching, so did the students. I was happily surprised that I felt my education was not affected by an online setting and I was still able to learn a lot. My classmates were very supportive of one another and we helped each other out as much as we could. Having the class sizes so small it feels like I am getting the best out of my education. I have learned so much about drafting patterns, overall sewing skills, design computer software and how to think like a designer. This was only my first year! I cannot wait to start my second.
Tips and Tricks
- Try to get an organized schedule. In my first year, I lacked sleep and sleep is IMPORTANT. I struggled a bit to manage my time. I recommend not procrastinating, work on your projects early and have a good sleep schedule for a stress-free year.
- Befriend your classmates and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your profs are there to help and they are very supportive. They are your best resources.
- At the beginning of the semester have a folder online and physically for all of your work so you have it for your future portfolio. It is better to be organized now than later.
Student work examples:
I had often fantasized about going back to school to study fashion design, but as I was in my thirties it felt too indulgent a choice. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I applied to Fashion & Technology Program at KPU. This program hit me like a tornado. Suddenly, I was drawing, sewing, painting, researching, and learning the Adobe Suite with every second of my time. I am not sure how much sleep I got in my first year. The teachers are interesting and inspiring and give you fantastic boundaries within which to experiment. My problem-solving skills have definitely gotten a workout in patternmaking. The fashion and technology program at KPU is truly a safe space to fail your way to success. I am not sure any of my sewing projects succeeded this year, but I’ve learned so much! The learning that I have done in this program has erased my former concerns that I was choosing to study a field that would not lead to employment. In fact, our teachers are constantly pushing us to learn and grow in ways that make it certain that we will find jobs in our fields of interest within the fashion industry.
- I highly recommend taking your non fashion requirement courses during the summer months or before you start the Fashion program.
- Resign yourself to the fact that you will not be able to work a full-time job. Embrace it, you will be busy drawing, sewing, and memorizing endless facts about textiles.
- My portfolio was simple, I certainly had not spent any time drawing and so that was not the strongest part of my portfolio. Instead, I highlighted my passion for sewing and shared photographs. Based on my experience, I think it is most important to show what skills you have been developing and explorations you have had rather than sweating over the drawing component. Show your creativity and ideas!
My first year in the Fashion and Technology program was a year rich with learning and problem solving. Despite the wide variety of topics covered in the year (fashion drawing, design process, sewing and drafting, textile studies, etc.), the program maintained an interconnected structure that allowed the teachings from each area to inform and inspire my learning across others. I recall grappling with the technicalities of drawing the proper proportions of a button-up shirt when the aid and inspiration I needed came from discussions during an apparel production class. Little moments of realization and cross-inspiration like this were not uncommon, and allowed me to learn in a way that encouraged creative exploration.
- While you should put your best foot forward when preparing your portfolio, try not to stress about every aspect of your portfolio being perfect. Instead, make an effort to showcase your creative process and rationale. Show works in progress, the steps that you took to create something you are proud of, or a creative/design challenge that you overcame! And certainly make sure that you are including each required aspect of the portfolio.
- Manage your time by planning ahead and being aware of how long it will take to complete whatever is on your plate. As you will often have multiple projects to work on/think about at the same time, be conscious of which ones you will need to spend more time on, which ones can inform and inspire each other, and how you will structure your week-to-week schedule to get each project completed!
- Engage with your instructors and peers productively and respectfully. It may sound cliché but you really will get out of your education what you put into it. The connections that you make will help you open doors and find new opportunities. Additionally, take feedback to heart! Carefully listen to what your instructors suggest and think about implementing those suggestions into whatever you will be working on next.
Five illustrations created in my own time during my first year. I implemented techniques learned from my fashion drawing and digital communications classes to design the garments and patterns. The illustrations are more suggestive than technical, and are a display of my interest in layered silhouettes composed of rich patterns, colours, and lustre of the textiles.