What is

Fashion Design?

Transform and Restructure

Project by Students of IIAD

Jacket Project by

Fashion Design Students at IIAD

ABOUT B.A. (Hons.) Fashion Design

Fashion Designing has always formed the mainstream of global design education. With the proliferation of digital media, easy access to information, economic growth and rise of the 'aspirational bourgeois' seeking upward mobility, fashion and luxury are being redefined like never before. Clothing, accessories and lifestyle products aren't simply being created to fulfil utilitarian needs. Users across the world are seeking increasingly sophisticated aesthetic experiences that address issues of self-expression and self-definition. International Fashion houses and labels are sourcing designers trans-nationally with expertise in varied techniques, crafts, materials and an understanding of global-markets, cultures, and technological innovations in the field.

In fact, fashion designing has become a profession that lends heavily to allied industries, which is demonstrated by the fact that fashion designers are also being hired by lifestyle brands, websites, and work as design analysts as part of fashion-business intelligence teams and product design teams. Consequently, fashion designing courses are one of the most sought after courses around the world. IIAD has a tailor-made approach to the rapidly changing global fashion design business and society at large. This model promotes the cause of design-thinking, balancing the aesthetic, cultural and functional aspects of fashion designing. The Fashion Design Course at IIAD focuses equally on creative innovation, technical skill and commercial opportunities.

Fashion Design is a dynamic area of work that continually evolves with cultural, social, historical, economic and political change. Fashion Design is also an overt expression of people's perspectives and passions. Designers affect the individual and collective design ethos of the users and those involved in the process of creation. In the current scenario, fashion and its elements are an important aspect of the buying decision that compel consumers to splurge on something because it addresses people's aesthetic and design requirements in clothing, accessories and other lifestyle products. Therefore, fashion design lends itself to various allied creative industries and offers a vast scope to designers who are equipped to manage and address complex design challenges in the creative industries, globally.

The Fashion Design programme at IIAD is an Atelier / studio based course that focuses on creative thinking, grounded in research, and investigative analysis. Students at IIAD are able to synthesize their design abilities while exploring their conceptual ability, aesthetic requirement and pattern-making techniques involved in design process and development. Additionally, they also learn the design-process tools such as diagramming, drawing, and model making through a series of design explorations including abstract ideation, physical embodiment, and precedent analysis exercises. Fashion Industry in India is organic and personalised. It is regionally diverse and multi-layered. Ethnic fashion thrives in India! The living craft and aesthetic is embedded in the rich textile heritage. Upon completion of the course, the fashion designers from IIAD will have the privilege of being rooted in the Indian design tradition, while being prepared for the complexities of the global design industry.

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Fashion Design at IIAD

The Fashion Designing Course at IIAD has been designed to celebrate each students' uniqueness, experiences and, groom fashion designers with an exuberant and eclectic mix of design philosophies. A wide range of teaching and learning strategies are used to effectively impart knowledge and skills pertaining to the Fashion Designing Course. These include:

  • Formal lectures
  • Studio - based projects
  • Practical workshops
  • Project critiques
  • Demonstrations of equipment and techniques
  • Seminars
  • Guided independent study
  • Individual and small group tutorials
  • Field work
  • Study visits
  • Screening

These strategies aim to help students learn the following:

  • Practical design processes
  • Observational, recording and analytical enquiry
  • Conceptual idea generation
  • Proactive problem finding /solving abilities
  • Visual and subject insight research
  • Visualization and communication skills
  • Critical and contextual understanding
  • Practical understanding of materials, processes and technologies
  • Roles and responsibilities within an Interdisciplinary context

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What You Learn

Upon completion of the Foundation Programme in Design, the student begins his/her design study in Fashion Designing. The curriculum for these three years is in tune with the teaching philosophy of thinking through making. The Fashion Designing Course is taught in the form of 4 continuous Modules over the course of 3 years, each year becoming incrementally complex and rigorous.


  • Context
  • Process
  • Design Realisation
  • Self & Professional Development

A successful design practitioner must have the knowledge and experience of the elements integrated in the above listed Modules to confidently set forth on his/her professional and creative endeavours.

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Skills You Will Learn

IIAD's carefully crafted Fashion Designing Course is essentially a project-based model with a focus on design-thinking. On completion of their design degree programme in Fashion Designing, students will develop their faculties in and graduate with the following abilities:

  • Understanding of complex design process
  • Appreciation of a systematic approach towards ‘research’
  • Profound understanding of the body as the first context and canvas for clothing
  • Understanding of stylization of fashion drawings
  • Technical representation of garments to communicate for production
  • Advanced understanding of assembling parts to construct a complete garment
  • Appreciation of fabrics and textiles as material of fashion
  • Appreciation of understanding fashion in its socio-cultural context
  • Various approaches to classical and innovative ways of pattern-making and draping
  • Advanced construction skills
  • Use of traditional and contemporary materials
  • Innate understanding of the garment as a form
  • Cultural and historical bearings of clothing
  • Trend research and analysis
  • Advanced IT skills (Adobe InDesign & Photoshop, Illustrator and other CAD skills)
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Fashion Design Student Work

Shivani Arya, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
Ajeet Singh, Fashion Design, Class of 2019
Mahima Sharma, Fashion Design, Class of 2019
Parul Gupta, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
Heena Kapoor, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
Anas Sheikh, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
Dakshita Jain, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
The Denim Project
The Denim Project
Disha Arora, Fashion Design, Class of 2020
Visheshta Sharma, Fashion Design, Class of 2019
Tanu Kapoor, Fashion Design, Class of 2019


Opportunities in Fashion Industry

Fashion Designer
As a fashion designer you would be conceptualising innovative clothing lines, creating mood, shape and trend boards and sketching detailed drawings. More often than not, you would also be coordinating with various vendors to source the fabric and other embellishments required for completion of the final garment. Apart from the design team, fashion designers also work closely with fashion forecasters and marketing professionals to begin working on designs at least two seasons ahead. To increase your employability, you must be well versed in concept development, pattern making, sewing, fabric science, material culture, colour palettes, market trends, garment manufacturing technology and costing.

Fashion Merchandiser
Fashion merchandising involves managing design teams and coordinating between the sales and production teams to ensure the business functions smoothly. As a fashion merchandiser you will be involved in analysing sales, tracking production costs, formulating sales & marketing strategies, fashion trends and consumer purchase trends. With your understanding of the prevailing and upcoming fashion trends, you would also be able to determine the appropriate inventory to be maintained for the store. Fashion merchandisers work closely with visual merchandisers to plan and implement the store layout and display. A good knowledge of fashion forecasts, analytical skills and interpersonal skills will help you sail through this profession.

A buyer is someone who helps a brand understand the customer's psyche and gauge their buying behaviour by drawing insights from sales reports, market trends and competitor activity. Based on this analysis and the concept or a particular theme for the designer's collection, the buyers source the actual fabric, garments, accessories and other merchandise to be placed on the rack. Developing and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers and key stakeholders in the industry will be one of your core responsibilities towards paving the brand's growth in the industry. Attending and representing the brand at key appointments, trade fairs and other events will help you develop your network and build new professional associations. The seasonal delivery forecast reports compiled by you would help the marketing and commercial teams to take necessary actions towards maximising the season's results.

Fashion Illustrator
Fashion illustration is an energetic and creative field wherein the artist expresses an idea or a concept through an illustration, a drawing or a painting. As a fashion illustrator, you could either be working for a fashion designer or for a client interested in showcasing fashion and/or related products. You would either be tasked with creating basic drawings/sketches of the clothes made by designers or could even be assigned a project wherein your eye-catching illustrations would be turned into prints or composed into books as pieces of art. To prove your worth in this fast-paced industry it is essential that you build a strong digital portfolio and be willing to freelance or intern with various organisations.

Fashion Stylist
As a fashion stylist you will be tasked with creating a 'perfect look' for the client by choosing the right outfit that is in tune with the current trends and compliments their personality. Fashion styling as a career prospect is rather exciting and you will have many options to branch out into for e.g. editorial styling (styling for fashion photo shoots), celebrity styling or even brand consultancy. Fashion stylists travel extensively and study the global fashion capitals to spot and predict the various fashion trends. They research fabrics, accessories, design and body types and help assemble the perfect look for their client. In case of editorial styling, your major task would be to interpret the editor's photo shoot description and weave a fashion story around it is.

Fashion Journalist
There are an array of options to choose from in Fashion Journalism : fashion writer, fashion editor, fashion critic and fashion blogger. As a Fashion Writer, you would be required to write fashion features for print publications (newspapers, magazines), online publications (blogs) and media (advertisements, TV). Being a Fashion Editor, you would be working with various fashion publication houses and overseeing the creation, development and presentation of the content that goes out in print or online media. If you enjoy indulging in the latest trends of the fashion industry and yearn to share your thoughts on it with the world, being a professional Fashion Blogger could be the perfect career choice for you! A Fashion Critic is usually involved in reviewing, assessing and communicating an opinion on current designs and fashion trends.

Fashion Photographer
Fashion Photographers are skilled professionals who translate the designer's artistic vision of their apparel and accessories into memorable and aesthetically appealing photographs. Depending upon the nature and scale of the project, you would be collaborating with a range of fashion professionals like designers, models, hair stylists, makeup artists, lighting experts and fashion stylists amongst others. A sound understanding of technical elements of photography like lighting, composition, sharpness and an awareness of fashion and photographic trends would help you get your foot in the door. Fashion photography does not end with taking good pictures, rather extends to the stage where the digital images are edited with the help of sophisticated software to meet the client's brief and requirements.

Fashion Publicist (PR and Media)
Being the public relations representative of your client, it will be your task to get the word out about your client in creative and attention-grabbing ways, ideate and execute promotional events to garner positive media coverage and effectively liaison between the client and media. You would also be creating press releases and keeping a database of the client's images to be used in media kits/press releases, working with editors, designers, customers, retail stores and fashion houses. Averting crisis situations, reputation management and consistently steering the client's image in the positive direction would feature as one of the key aspects of your publicist profile. With companies growing conscious of their public image, pursuing a career in Fashion PR seems like an extremely lucrative option.

Costume Designer
A costume designer has extensive knowledge of fashion, history, art and design combined with a keen interest in historical costuming. A good grasp over pattern making, draping, textiles and drafting will help you set foot in the industry. During the process of designing, you would be consulting and collaborating with other creative professionals like the director, script writer, set designer, lighting designer, art director, make-up artists and hairstylists. To ensure the costumes fit the character well and complement the set design, costume designers also attend fitting sessions and dress rehearsals.

Fashion Consultant
Fashion consultants are domain experts who offer professional fashion advice to clients such as retail clothing stores, big brands, consulting firms, celebrities or even public figures. Therefore, as a fashion consultant it is pertinent that you develop a strong individual sense of style and translate the same while promoting and pitching yourself to a client. As a fashion consultant you can style clothes for magazines, catalogues and television shows or even help launch brands. You would help curate a specific brand image for your client which calls for a good understanding of retail brands, styles and fits.

Production Manager
Owing to the global and dynamic nature of fashion, production managers play a pivotal role in the smooth operation of the entire production process and supply chain. For a fashion house to run a profitable business, the production, outsourcing, quality control, pricing and delivery lead time need to work in tandem, and this comes under the purview of the production manager. This profile is key to establishing efficient production processes that result in an innovative and highly marketable fashion collection; one that perfectly reflects the fashion trends and consumer demands in the existing market.

Draping is an integral part of the fashion design process that involves transforming two-dimensional patterns (flat pattern making) into three-dimensional models that can then be used for making finished garments. It is done by positioning and pinning fabric onto a dress form and developing a desired structure of the garment. This technique serves as an ideal way to realise a designer's ideas and create new silhouettes particularly in haute couture (high fashion) and bespoke fashion. Draping the garment helps the designer visualise the fabric flow, drapes and body fit, thereby, facilitating necessary alterations to the design with ease. This is a highly skilled profession and requires a sound understanding of design concepts, pattern making and sewing.

Pattern maker
Pattern making is a highly technical field that involves converting flat fabrics (2 Dimension) into patterns that are then joined together to form a complete garment (3 Dimension). As a patternmaker, you would be creating a blueprint/master design to be laid out on the fabric as well as samples for each size with clear markings, fabric and sewing specifications. While working on developing a specific pattern, you would be working in tandem with the design team and ensuring the collection hits the stores on time. you need to determine a layout that would help minimise fabric wastage to the best possible extent. For those of you keen on pursuing pattern making as a career, you can seek employment with a fashion house or a renowned fashion designer.

Fashion Forecaster
Fashion forecasts helps a design team base their decisions on sound fashion knowledge and actionable forecasts. The prediction includes fabrics, colours, accessories, prints, graphics, styles and everything else that influences fashion. Apart from determining the future fashion trends, fashion forecasters are also involved in making detailed reports on their fashion projections and consumer trends. The prelude to forecasting fashion trends includes understanding the history of fashion and trends, scanning the mainstream market, spotting key trends across streets, stores, runway and trade shows and surveying myriad fashion publications and collections too. Predicting trends can span across haute couture, ready-to-wear and high street fashion segments.

Fashion Curator
A Fashion Curator is a professional who is entrusted with the task of assembling, cataloguing and displaying contemporary fashion in museums, public galleries or live exhibitions related to fashion. Fashion curators possess an in-depth knowledge of the history of fashion as well as the fashion landscape in contemporary society. This job is highly research oriented and calls for extensive primary research, secondary research, as well as quantitative, qualitative and visual research methods. Curators also spend a fair majority of their time in analysing, evaluating and interpreting the various research findings.

Visual Merchandiser
Visual merchandising has certainly carved its niche as an indispensable marketing tool in the fashion industry and the impact reflects directly upon the sales and profitability figures of the brand. As a visual merchandiser, you will be tasked with augmenting and enhancing the overall look and feel of the store by making use of lights, props, colours and graphics to visually display the collection/clothing line. Apart from a distinct individual sense of style, visual merchandisers also possess strong technical skills, interpersonal skills and an eye for detail. There is immense scope of employment for skilled professionals as visual merchandising is integral to Fashion Retailers, Department Stores, Malls, Museums, Galleries, Airports, Hotels and even Internet Shopping Portals.


  • Candidates must have appeared/passed the CBSE/ISC/IB (or any other equivalent board) 10+2 examination in any discipline
  • Candidates who have recently appeared for the examination and are awaiting their results may also apply
  • Lateral entry into the programme is possible for students who have successfully completed the previous year(s) of their design degree/diploma programme from a nationally or internationally recognized Design Institute

Admission Process

The IIAD follows a TWO-STEP evaluation procedure for admission to its courses.
Candidates will have to clear :

  1. The IIAD Design Aptitude Test, or iDAT
  2. A Studio Simulation and Portfolio Assessment round
  3. Students applying for Lateral Entry will be exempt from the iDAT and their admissions will be based on portfolio and personal interview
More About the Application Process
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