Program Overview

Our three-year Fashion Program prepares aspiring designers by giving them a firm foundation in design techniques as well as the professional skills needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Students learn tailoring, embroidery, draping, flat pattern, and fashion drawing. Students may also participate in the internship program, which will give them practical experience with a range of fashion and design applications, from concept to finished garment.

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Course Details

The three-year program provides students with a range of coursework in different fashion areas through studio-based classes, workshops, lectures, general arts courses, and art and fashion history studies. See the structure tab for further information on the breakdown of course credits per year.

Year 1

FA101 Couture Techniques / Sewing & Tailoring

This course encompasses both theory and practical demonstrations in couture techniques. Students will be guided through a variety of exercises and case studies to explore different construction methods, which may then be practically applied to garment construction in other courses. The first-year course is designed to teach the basic means of hand sewing and tailoring techniques, expanding the students’ understanding of construction terminology, the selection of materials, and the use of different techniques for particular styles or details.

FA102 Flat Pattern

This course is designed to utilize French draping techniques in exploring a variety of garments and elements such as sleeves, collars, frills, pants, and shirts. Students will utilize both flat pattern techniques and French draping techniques in cutting fabric for a garment.

FA103 Design Process

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the fashion world and with the process of designing their own collection, from project development to the last conceptual phase. This course will also build upon students’ experience with digital drawing programs such as SketchUp, AutoCAD, Revvit, and Rhino 3-D Modeling, offering students the opportunity to develop fundamental knowledge and skills essential to efficiently modeling a design project.

FA104 Textiles

This course considers the study of different techniques that can be used to decorate or create a piece of clothing. The use of embroidery, sequins, beads, ribbons, pleats, fringes, and other textiles will be examined in the context of decoration and embellishment, as well as in the construction and realization of a new garment. Students will study the different types of fabric and the techniques associated with each, and a workshop in hat construction and decoration will also be provided.

FA105 Costume Research

Students will study the rich form and technique behind the costumes of the past, and how they’ve inspired the fashion of today. Students will discover the techniques and elements that make a garment, eventually recreating a garment by applying these techniques within the principles of historical construction.

FA108 Fashion History

This course traces the history of haute couture and the major fashion developments from antiquity through the Renaissance. The curriculum considers historical events as well as stylistic changes in fashion. Students will be taught the basics of fashion history through both lectures and off-site visits, according to availability.

GE108 Art History

This course traces the major developments in architecture, sculptures, painting, and fashion design from antiquity through the late 16th century. This course considers historical events as well as stylistic changes and different movements in art. Students will be taught the basics of art history through both lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as Musée du Louvre, Musée Cluny, Château de Versailles, etc.

GE102 Colour

Students will learn how to use the primary colors harmoniously to create different schemes of color, with a focus on cold and warm colors and how they mix to create different atmospheres. Students will progress from studying the possibilities of primary colors to secondary colors, exploring aspects such as value, tone, complementary colors, and creating a color scheme.

GE103 Drawing and Composition

Students will develop their visual communication skills by learning how to express themselves with the different tools available in the visual arts field, such as pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, etc. Students will learn how to use these different tools to create a composition, building on their understanding of foreground, background, and the balance of the space between and size of objects in a drawing.

LV1 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

 

Year 2

FA201 Couture Techniques / Sewing & Tailoring

This course encompasses both theory and practical demonstrations in couture techniques. Students will be guided through a variety of exercises and case studies to explore different construction methods, which may then be practically applied to garment construction in other courses. The second and third year courses develop the student’s capacity to finish an original creation, with a focus on the advanced expression of hand and machine sewing.

FA202 Draping

This course will further students’ understanding of French draping methods in a variety of garments and elements. Students will be given the chance to realize original creations as they create drapes inspired by the Madame Grès and Balenciaga couture methods.

FA203 Design Process

Students will continue to explore the process of designing their own collection, from project development to the last conceptual phase. Students will look at the actual production of samples, with special attention given to sketching, proportion, style, shapes, textiles, accessories, and rendering. Students will continue to develop their digital drawing and rendering skills through programs like SketchUp, AutoCAD, Revvit, and Rhino 3-D Modeling.

FA204 Textiles

This course builds on the student’s knowledge of an experience working with textiles, allowing them to learn advanced techniques for making and decorating different types of fabric. Students will create collections of textile samples to explore a particular technique, applying it to appropriate clothing and accessory selections.

FA205 Costume Research

The aim of this course is to build on the student’s knowledge and experience of costume research. Students will gain the ability to produce a full stage costume, the model of which is chosen by the student, by applying the techniques they’ve learned and adhering to the historical rules of reconstruction. The process will include documented research, sketches, final drawings, fabric samples, color, pattern cutting techniques, toile, and the finished costume and appropriate undergarments.

FA208 Fashion History

This course traces the history of haute couture and the major fashion developments from the 17th century (Baroque period) through the 19th century (the Bustle). The curriculum considers historical events as well as stylistic changes in fashion. Students will be taught the basics of fashion history through both lectures and off-site visits, according to availability.

GE208 Art History

This course traces the major developments in architecture, sculptures, painting, and fashion design from the 17th century through to the 19th century. This course considers historical events as well as stylistic changes and different movements in art. Students will be taught in depth the study of the major arts of this period through both lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as Musée du Louvre, Musée Cluny, Château de Versailles, etc.

FMD208 History of Brands

This course is designed specifically for students in the merchandising track. It will cover the history of well-known French fashion brands, enhancing the student’s understanding and knowledge of the fashion industry and its foundations.

FMD203 Luxury Industry

This course is designed specifically for students in the merchandising track. Students will study the nature of the international luxury industry and its modern-day media from both an organizational and a merchandising perspective, with a view into how journalism and trend-forecasting are used by luxury brands today.

LV2 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

 

Year 3

FA301 Couture Techniques / Sewing & Tailoring

This course encompasses both theory and practical demonstrations in couture techniques. Students will be guided through a variety of exercises and case studies to explore different construction methods, which may then be practically applied to garment construction in other courses. The third year course develops the student’s capacity to finish an original creation, with a focus on the advanced expression of hand and machine sewing and the fundamentals of ironing and strong presentation technique.

FA302 Draping

This course will further students’ understanding of French draping methods in a variety of garments and elements. Students will continue to construct their original, well-executed garments using haute couture techniques, deepening their exploration of the French draping method of Madame Grès and other iconic design houses.

FA303 Design Process

This course will aid the student in becoming a fashion designer with a global vision of what defines a collection: how it’s built, what is needed in terms of styles, pieces, etc. The students will find an evolving concept and inspiration that they will develop throughout the year, eventually creating their own collection with specific garments. In addition to the usual mood boards and color palettes, students will be asked to produce flats and collection line-ups. The aim of this final year is to synthesize the student’s theoretical understanding of design process and collections with a realistic approach to design within the fashion industry.

FA305 Costume Research

The aim of this course is to build on the student’s knowledge and experience of costume research. Students will gain the ability to produce several stage costumes, applying the techniques they’ve learned and adhering to the historical rules of reconstruction. The process will include documented research, sketches, final drawings, fabric samples, color, pattern cutting techniques, toile, and the finished costume and appropriate undergarments.

FA308 Fashion History

This course traces the history of haute couture and the major fashion developments from the 20th century to the turn of our century. Topics include: “Les Années Folles” Week, WWII fashion, the new look of the 1950’s, mini-skirt and women’s lib, the 1970’s-1990’s, and the turn of the century (2000s). The curriculum considers historical events as well as stylistic changes in fashion. Students will be taught the basics of fashion history through both lectures and off-site visits, according to availability.

GE308 Art History

This course deals with the most profound innovations in art during the first half of the 20th century. The first part of the course will focus on major developments including Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Dada, and Surrealism in terms of style and theory and within cultural, social, and political contexts. The second half of the course will consider major movements like abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, and super realism, as well as works which go beyond traditional media (earthworks, video art, digital imaging). Students will study the major artworks of this period in depth through lectures and off-site visits to various museums such as the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée d’Art Moderne.

FMD303 Luxury Industry

This course is designed specifically for students in the merchandising track. Students will deepen their understanding of the luxury industry and its modern-day media from both an organizational and a merchandising perspective, with a view into how journalism and trend-forecasting are used by luxury brands today.

LV3 French Language

The FLE program (French as a second language) is divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Each level uses a program based on 24 lessons, with one lesson covered each week that delves into grammar, thematic vocabulary, and practical application on both an oral and written level. Oral skills are emphasized, since the principal objective of these courses is to encourage communication in correct French.

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Structure

15 weeks per semester

60 ECTS per semester

Avg. 31 hours class time per week

 

Foundation Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
FA 101 – Sewing / Haute Couture I 4 4
FA 102 – Flat Pattern / Draping I 4 4
FA 103 – Fashion Design I 4 4
FA 104 – Textiles I 3 3
FA 105 – Costume Research I 3 3
GE 101 – Art History I 2
FA 108 – Fashion History I 2
 Total Credits  20  20
Second Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
FA 201 – Sewing / Haute Couture II 3 3
FA 202 – Flat Pattern / Draping II 3 3
FA 203 – Fashion Design II 3 3
FA 204 – Textiles II 3 3
FA 205 – Costume Research II 3 3
GE 201 – Art History II 3
FA 208 – Fashion History II 3
 Total Credits  18  18
 Third Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
FA 301 – Sewing / Haute Couture III 3 3
FA 302 – Flat Pattern / Draping III 3 3
FA 303 – Fashion Design III 3 3
FA 304 – Textiles III 3 3
FA 305 – Costume Research III 3 3
GE 301 – Art History III 3
FA 308 – Fashion History III 3
 Total Credits  18  18
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Tuition

Full Academic Year

Program Dates: September 12, 2017 – May 4, 2018

Application Fee: 70€

Tuition: 14,900€

Optional Housing: 4600€ per semester (Housing starting Sept. 11 – shared accommodation in furnished apartment in the vicinity of the school.)

Please note that supplies are not included.

Richard Roy Scholarship

Applicants who have been accepted to study at the Paris American Academy may apply for partial scholarships through the Richard Roy Scholarship Fund. These scholarships range in value from 1,000€ to 3,000€ off tuition, and from 300€ to 1300€ off housing.

Students wishing to be considered for a scholarship must submit a brief personal statement (1-2 paragraphs) along with their application. This statement should emphasize the student’s personal and educational background, demonstrating why he / she is in need of financial assistance and how a scholarship might benefit the student’s professional goals.

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FAQ

What’s different about the PAA degree program?

The Paris American Academy’s goal is to prepare students academically, personally, and professionally for successful careers. The programs, policies, and teaching methods have been designed to implement this philosophy and are evaluated periodically and changed as necessary, to meet the needs of our students and the ever-changing professional industries.

What kind of experience do the professors at PAA have?

At PAA, you’ll learn from professors with real-world experience in the fields that they teach. They’ll share accumulated knowledge and offer relevant, meaningful support as you focus on your future and prepare your post-graduate career.

I am in Paris visiting schools. Can I come tour the Academy?

We would be pleased to welcome you. If you are in the Paris area and would like to set up an appointment to tour the school, please email the Admissions department here: info@parisamericanacademy.fr

Which language is the curriculum taught in?

All of our programs are taught in English, as we receive students from all over the world. Students at PAA can benefit from French language courses integrated into their programs. We are proud of the bilingual tradition of our school, which often teaches students from more than 20 different nationalities in a single year.

When I arrive at the airport in Paris, how will I get to the school?

We work closely with a shuttle service and can arrange a pick up for you from the airport to the school.

What events, fairs, or professional exhibitions happen each year in Paris that relate to my field of study?

We try to encourage students to get involved in extracurricular activities to complement their learning. The following is a sample of the events students may attend during their program:

JANUARY: Meuble Paris, Maison et Objet, Couture Shows, Now Design, Menswear Shows, Who’s Next, Pret-a-porter

FEBRUARY: Premier Vision

MARCH: Women’s Ready to Wear Shows, Book Fair

APRIL / MAY: Foire de Paris

JUNE: Menswear Shows

JULY: Haute Couture women’s wear shows, 14th July Bastille Day celebrations, Paris Plage, open-air cinema festival

SEPTEMBER: Meuble Paris, Paris Design Week, Maison et Objet, Premier Vision, Now Design, Jour de la Patrimoine, Pret-a-porter, Who’s Next

OCTOBER: Pret-a-porter, Nuit Blanche, Les Puces du Design, Women’s Ready to Wear Shows

NOVEMBER: Batimat

Are the fashion students able to participate in the various shows that happen around Paris during fashion week?

Yes, the Academy is often called upon for fashion students to help backstage at various fashion shows throughout the year.

Where can I buy art supplies and what is the estimated amount I can expect to pay for supplies?

Stationery and art supplies are more expensive in Paris than in other major cities worldwide, and you are advised to bring with you as much as possible without encumbering yourself. We estimate the full cost of materials for the Academic Year for students in Fashion and Interior Design to be 800 euros. You may qualify for a 5% to 15% discount in certain art shops upon presentation of the PAA student card. Rather than having you buy books, PAA encourages you to make use of the wealth of public libraries which abound in Paris.

Art Supply Shops:

The following shops are recommended for the purchase of art supplies. They are all within walking distance or a short bus ride from PAA.

  • Adam, 11 rue Edgar Quinet 75014
  • L’Art du Papier, 48 rue Vavin 75006
  • Berty, 41 rue Claude Bernard 75005 (the closest shop)
  • Casteluchio Diana, 125 blvd Montparnasse 75006
  • Dubois-Merlin-Denis, 20 rue Soufflot 75005
  • Gattegno, 13 rue de la Grande Chaumière 75006
  • Sennelier, 3 quai Voltaire 75007 & 4bis rue de la Grande Chaumière 75006
  • Charbonnel, 13 quai Montebello 75005
  • Joseph Gibert, blvd Saint-Michel 75005
  • Drawing supplies: Dubois, Berty, Gilbert, and Damours
  • Crayons: Charbonnel, Berty, Gibert
  • Transfer Paper: Charbonnel, Gibert
  • Items such as typing paper, sepia, cheap brushes, water color paper, tracing paper, and erasers can be quickly and easily obtained at the news stand at 18 rue des Feuillantines, around the corner from PAA.
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