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News Schools

Top Schools, Top Grads Part II: Paris, Antwerp, Stockholm

Donnerstag, Nov. 25, 2010, 12:01



Did you ever wonder how the Antwerp 6 got to be friends? Or where to learn to be a master of the minutiae of couture construction? In the second part of our series, we visit Stockholm, Antwerp and Paris and report to you on these cities’ great schools of chic.

Antwerp Royal Academy
The Antwerp Royal Academy was founded way, way back in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, portraitist to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Naming everyone from Vincent van Gogh to Peter Paul Rubens and Dries Van Noten among its graduates, the school’s history is long and varied. In the 1960s, the school implemented a fashion design program, which became legendary after the success of the Antwerp 6 in the 1980s, under the direction of Mary Prijot. Today, the Fashion department continues to train world class designers, many of who benefit from the support of the Flanders Fashion Institute, which trains designers in the business of fashion as well as helping to pair emerging talent with sources of funding.

Graduates of note: Ann Demeulemeester, Christian Wijnants, Kris Van Assche, Martin Margiela.

Beckman’s College Of Design
Anders Beckman, the godfather of contemporary Swedish design, founded the school in 1939, the same year he achieved international success for his work on the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. The school has always focused on providing a highly practical, and erudite design education. The school’s fashion program’s motto, “speed and flexibility in a brutally tough market”, suggests that the tiny program is not only wildly competitive, but that it also prepares its students for the harsh realities of the fashion business. To quote Lena Kvarnström, one of the schools principal teachers, “…our special aptitude tests are so demanding that only the very best even bother to apply. And yet we still get around 150 applicants for our 14 places.” Fashion school bootcamp?

Graduates of note: Sandra Backlund, Helena Hörstedt, Lovisa Burfitt (and probably about 99.9% of all designers for H&M and Ikea).

ESMOD
ESMOD is the acronym for l’Ecole Supèrieur des Arts et Techniques de la Mode and is the first fashion school in the world. Founded by the tailor and inventor Alexis Lavigne in 1841 as a school for dressmaking that would be accessible to all, ESMOD began to expand to other European cities after WW II. Today, ESMOD has campii in 14 other cities, including Berlin, Munich, Lyon, Rennes, Jakarta, Tokyo and Sao Paolo.

Graduates of note: Franck Sorbier, Gunhild Nygaard, Christophe Decarnin.

Studio Berçot
Studio Berçot is a small, relatively young school that was founded in 1955 by the painter and fashion illustrator, Suzanne Berçot. It’s a private school, meaning that its 2-year program comes at a price (€9,000 per year). However, the highly practical education the school offers may well be worth it. Apart from getting a great schooling in draping, pattern making, tailoring, et cetera, students participate regularly in fashion shows in Paris and are virtually guaranteed a job their first year out of school.

Graduates of note: Martine Sitbon, Gaspard Yurkievich, Isabel Marant.

École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne
Established in 1927, the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne is one of the few schools that teach the techniques of haute couture construction. The school offers a four-year design program, a one-year pattern-making and draping program and two other short programs designed to hone and sharpen the skill set as well as to help students get a strong foothold in the Parisian fashion business. Haute couture construction requires incredible patience and attention to detail. Definitely not a school for the detail-disoriented.

Graduates of note: Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent, who did a stint in the early 50s, before he threw up his hands went to work for Dior.

IFA
While the International Fashion Academy better known as IFA was founded in 1997, it is connected to a century-old lineage of draping and pattern making. According to school’s profile, IFA’s Bachelor in Fashion Design and Technology was “created with the insight that fashion in France needed to internationalize in order to remain competitive in the rapidly moving global fashion industry.” The school also has a Shanghai campus that was established in 2002 in partnership with the Shanghai University of Engineering Sciences, as well as a campus in Florence, as part of Polimoda.

According to the pie chart on IFA’s website, about 96% of graduates go on to work in the fashion business in some capacity, with about 30% becoming independent designers.

Learn about the Alma Maters of everyone from Mark Jacobs to Tom Ford and Stella McCartney in Tops Schools, Top Grads Part I: London & New York.

To find fashion schools from Japan to Australia, read Top Schools, Top Grads Part III: Florence, Milan, Tokyo, Montreal, Dublin, Sydney

Catherine Levy | TribaSpace

Interested in reading more stories like this? Keep an eye on the TribaSpace Magazine:

Produkt-Gruppen: Casual Wear, Creation, Footwear, Fabrics, Ready-to-Wear, Textiles, Consulting, Buying, Couture, Representation, Sales, Production
Märkte: Women's, Other, Men's, Children's

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