My fashion design and textiles foundation experience

Todd Green joined Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles to study BA (Hons) Fashion Design with a Foundation Year. Todd tells us about his experience as a foundation student and how it prepared him for his BA Fashion Design degree.

Before university I didn’t have much experience within fashion and textiles. Also, I knew a lot of the skills needed for the BA such as sewing, pattern cutting, and digital design were skills that I didn’t have. I wanted to gain new skills and enhance existing skills so that I would be more successful when entering the degree program, so I chose to do a foundation year.

Throughout the course I experienced so many creative and diverse workshops. The first module allowed me to explore the ways of textile design, such as printing, embroidery and weave which gave me a good ground understanding of how things are made within the industry. I also got a great introduction to technical CAD skills using industry software such as Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

I most enjoyed workshops focused on pattern making and sampling design ideas, as well as pattern alteration. Throughout the year we were presented critical thinking lectures, in which we started to ask questions about the industry and explore the areas that interested us most.

As I’m now in the degree, I can see just how much the foundation has prepared me. The importance of time management was expressed to me by my tutors which has helped me cope with the increased workload on the BA. Secondly, having had inductions with technical machinery and computer software, I’m using my time more effectively as I understand what to do. I’m enhancing the skills in my BA that I have learnt during my foundation.

I was extremely anxious about starting university life, especially within an intimidating industry such as fashion. So, I’d say my biggest achievement is how much more self-aware and confident I am in my skill set. I’m now not questioning my decisions or relying on others, I’m simply more confident.

BCU is a beautiful university, the building has such a bright, happy vibe that encourages the creative mind. The staff are just amazing, they see each individual student and push individuality in each designer. At BCU it feels like one big creative family. 

After my BA I hope to complete a Master's. I also want to begin an internship, but I’m not sure in what area of fashion yet although I’m sure that will become clearer when entering the final stages of my degree. 

My advice to any prospective student is that the foundation opens up more opportunities. Also, explore everything, don’t hold back and don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as making mistakes at this stage is what it’s all about. Most of my successful work has come from making a mistake and just playing around. Finally, enjoy the freedom a foundation offers!

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Fashion Design with a Foundation Year course