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Foundation Course in Fashion Design.

Foundation Course in Fashion Design


This new foundation course entirely in English consists of a 4-week course during the Summer that allows you to discover fashion studies, produce creative content and build up a portfolio in order to apply for the competitive exams of fashion schools at undergraduate level.


International students in their final year of high school, or in their first year of undergraduate studies, wishing to prepare for the entrance exams of fashion design schools, including the BA Fashion Design at IFM.

Practical information

Short format
4 weeks
Next Session:
June 2023
  • Module 1: 26 to 30 June
  • Module 2: 3 to 7 July
  • Module 3: 11 to 13 July
  • Module 4: 17 to 21 July
  • Module 5: 1 day in 2024 (date to be confirmed)

This course may also be taken in French during school holidays in France between August and March. View this page for more information.

€3,465 + €150 for supplies
Institut Français de la Mode

34 quai d'Austerlitz, 75013 Paris

© Charly Gosp


Approximately 30% of students who pass the entrance exam for IFM's Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design program have completed a foundation program for art schools after their high school diploma. Taking a foundation course is of course not compulsory, but it often allows students to better prepare to enter a program that is both exciting and challenging. IFM's new Foundation course helps you achieve 4 main objectives:

  1. Discover fashion design

    By leveraging the teaching of design, drawing or technical skills by the professors of Institut Français de la Mode, you will have the opportunity to discover fashion design studies from the inside to know if they are made for you.
  2. Acquire the basics of a fashion culture

    Through classes and visits to iconic places in Parisian fashion culture, you will develop your artistic culture and knowledge of the fashion industry.
  3. Produce creative content

    By completing multiple creative projects throughout the course, you will be able to develop artwork for your creative portfolio.
  4. Building your portfolio

    Personalized advice will be given to you in order to make your creative portfolio convincing, unique and efficient.


Fashion Design

You will have the opportunity to create an innovative and creative silhouette questioning the notions of wear, volume and attitude.

Through a playful and experimental approach, you will work on a selection of vintage clothes, deconstructing them and combining them together to create a new hybrid silhouette that can be worn in a different way and with new volumes.

Creative Pattern Making

During this workshop, you will discover pattern-making in a playful and relaxed way, apprehending the technique as a creative tool:
  • Geometric approach
  • Draping approach (how to handle a fabric on a body, how to transform it, drape it and offer new volumes)
  • Boning techniques (how to move away from the body)

Drawing & visual and personal identity

This course will allow you to practice drawing, collage and image transformations in order to nourish and enrich a creative and personal portfolio:

  • Drawing: free your hand and discover different ways of drawing, body representations...
  • Live model sessions
  • Collage associated with drawing to question proportions, play with representation codes and propose new fashion silhouettes.

Fashion Culture

In order to allow you to acquire a basic knowledge of fashion culture, this course will offer you a panorama of the highlights of fashion history. You will also have the opportunity to attend exhibitions in institutions such as the Palais Galliera, the Alaïa Foundation, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs...

Help in building your portfolio

A course is dedicated to the constitution of your creative portfolio. You will benefit from personalized advice in order to showcase your creations made during the program as well as your personal work done outside the course. You will give these different pieces of artwork a coherence that will allow your portfolio to demonstrate your creative personality, and you will learn how to format them in a professional way.


The foundation course in fashion design takes place entirely on the IFM campus along the Seine. IFM's campus offers state-of-the-art facilities: workshops, design studios, a photo studio, a fablab, etc. A leader in the design and fashion sector, its library has a documentary collection that is unique in Europe.

2023 Fees: €3,465 + €150 for supplies

The courses cannot be taken separately as they are designed as a coherent and comprehensive package.

The cost of supplies includes all the materials needed for the coursework: paper, pencils, markers, vintage clothing, stockmans, canvas, needles, scissors, pins, etc.

A limited number of IFM need-based scholarships are granted to EU students thanks to the generosity of the IFM Foundation's partners. To apply, the application form can be downloaded here and must be attached to your application along with the required supporting documents.

The Foundation Course in Fashion Design is intended for students who will be in their final year of high school or in their first year of post High School diploma at the beginning of the 2023 school year. A B2 level in English is required to follow the course.

To apply, you must fill out an application form with the following documents:

  • A CV
  • A cover letter
  • Your creative project, which you will find more information about below. This project must be presented in the form of a pdf document (4 A4 pages maximum - maximum size 2 Mb).

If you are applying for a scholarship based on social criteria, the file can be downloaded here and must be attached to your application.

Creative exercise

You are asked to provide 4 different visual interpretations of the topic 'Uniform / Flamboyant' using fashion silhouettes, a portrait, a setting, an unusual garment, a detail, a motif, etc.

These 4 visuals should use at least 2 different techniques such as collage, photomontage, drawing in all its forms (felt-tip pen, pencil, ink, etc.) or painting. You can also use digital tools such as InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator...

This exercise does not require any written comment.

Application deadlines

Your application must be sent via the online form before May 2nd, 2023