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Fashion Fundas

Here’s where you can study the basics……

Fashion Designing is not just about making sketches of pretty clothes. A good course will put you through the grind – right from trudging through the bylanes of Bhuleshwar in search of the perfect fabric for your design to doing the actual stitching. It is important to distinguish between the reputed and vague institutes.

Is graduation necessary?
Many students while away 3 years doing a Bachelor’s degree and then take up fashion design courses. The fact is, if you are really keen on fashion and allied arts you can join any recognized institutes right after SSC/ 10th.

Where should I study?
A good institute will teach you the subject rigorously and also expose you to the industry through internship and contacts. Requirements: All the institutes mentioned in this article have their own entrance exams which are normally held in end June, early July. You need a basic knowledge of sketching. All courses, except NIFT, are exclusively for females. Talk about discrimination!

National Institute Of Fashion Technology (NIFT)
Website: www.niftindia.com

NIFT is almost your only hope for an education in fashion design if you happen to be a guy. NIFT centers are in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gandhinagar, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Undergrad Course (3 yrs)
Fashion Design:

Covers everything from patternmaking, fabric studies and sketching to computer aided design and manufacture. Extremely reputed. Intake is 210 students per year, 30 per centre.

Accessory Design:
Includes study of fashion principles and trends along with the knowledge of technologies in the areas of leather goods, precious and costume jewelry.

Entrance Exam
The minimum qualification for the undergrad course is a 50% in HSC/ 12th.
1 General Ability Test (GAT-30% weightage): With quantitative ability, communication ability, English comprehension and analytical ability, similar to GRE but easier in nature
2 Creative Ability Test (CAT – 30% weightage): Includes fashion sketching, thematic color, arrangement, pencil drawing and illustration. Example: Design the garments and accessories for the camel.
3 GD/ Case Study (20% weightage) and Interview (20% weightage)

PG Diploma (2 Years)
Graduate with minimum 50% marks.
Entrance Exam
You need to clear a General Ability Test and Creative Ability Test (CAT) to qualify for:
# Knitwear Design and Technology
# Leather Garment Design and Technology
# Textile Design and Development
You need to clear a General Ability Test (GAT), Managerial Ability Test (MAT) and a GK test to qualify for: Apparel Marketing and Merchandising
Clear the above tests and you will be asked to appear for a GD and an interview.

Other institutes that JAM recommends

# SVT, SNDT Campus, Santacruz
Diploma in Apparel manufacture and Design
Duration: 2 yrs + 6 months internship
Eligibility: SSC/ equivalent exam

# Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science, Marine Lines, Mumbai
Diploma in Fashion Design
Duration: 1 yr + 2 months internship
Eligibility: BSc or a Diploma in Home Science

# Sophia Polytech, Warden Rd, Mumbai
Diploma in Fashion Design
Duration: 3 yrs
Eligibility: SSC

# B D Somani (Mumbai)

Industry Speak
JAM caught up with people in the fashion industry to get their comments

Rocky S:
A few years ago Rakesh Singhal (aka Rocky S) started his first boutique at Juhu. Today he designs for stars like Hrithik Roshan, Manisha Koirala, Akshay Kumar, Shilpa Shetty and Raveena Tandon. His greatest moment was being recognized as an International Designer in Germany and his recent show at Selfridges’s (London).
Advice: “Getting through a reputed institute is not very important. Besides discipline, a systematic, practical approach is essential. NIFT and JD are good that way. While choosing an intern I look for enthusiasm coupled with talent and vision.”
Message to JAMmers: “Be yourself and work hard”

The man behind Naseem Creations. The passion for fashion runs in the family,. His two daughters (Aaliya and Arshiya) have their own line – Araiya
Advice:“I feel a certificate from a reputed institute such as NIFT, SNDT or BD Somani carries a lot of weightage. When I take in interns I check their qualification, dedication and seriousness towards work. Regarding the glamour aspect, glamour is the part where you shell out money, the commercial side gets you money.”

Neeta Lulla:
After a course at SNDT, Neeta was trained by none other than fashion guru Hemant Trivedi. She is Aishwarya Rai’s designer and has done her costumes for Devdas.
Advice: “A course from a good institute, like SNDT, is important ’cause it leads to better career options through on campus interviews. However practical knowledge is a must. I go for interns with a mind of their own and the proper attitude.”
Message to JAMmers: “Focus on your dream and work hard towards attaining them”

Rahul Mehta:
20 years ago no one could have imagined that he would someday become the President of CMAI. His sheer determination to get the Indian fashion industry in league with the international scene is what makes him stand out. Rahul has also partnered in an export firm (Creative Garments) that does business with the likes of Giorgio Armani, Morgan etc.
Advice: “A course from a reputed institute is important but fashion design has to be an inborn talent. Qualification is important but then so is talent. The apparel industry as well the concept of fashion is still in the growth stage.”
Message to JAMmers:“There is no substitute for hard work and integrity”

Sunil Lekhi:
He is the brain behind the birth of Zed Attire – one of the leading garment houses in India.
Advice: “It is vital to do a course from a good institute like SNDT, but experience does make a difference. I look at an intern’s qualifications before hiring, plus he or she must be enthusiastic and hardworking. Once you make it, sky is the limit!”
Message to JAMmers:“Go for it!”

Elric D’Souza:
He is credited for being the director of choreography for more than 400 shows – both in India and abroad. Amongst all the designers he has worked for, his favorites are Neeta Lulla and Anand Jon. In spite of being an industry that repels spirituality Elric is happy that he turned out to be a spiritual person.
Advice:”You should do a course from a good institute like NIFT, Sophia or BD Somani ’cause it gives you the required finishing. Dedication and passion is extremely important in this line and yes there is tremendous scope for growth.”
Message to JAMmers: “It is cool to be good, one doesn’t has to get influenced by the norms of the society. You have the freedom and choice to say no”

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