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Course Description

History, architecture, and landscape: these are just a few of the words used when describing the uniqueness of Chavón’s studio space in La Romana. This design intensive in a tropical climate invites students to develop a fashion narrative using La Romana and its surroundings as a laboratory for exploring and creating a point of view toward a personal definition of fashion, style, and personality.

This hands-on design course challenges students to explore traditional and non-traditional approaches to fashion design, including research and concept development, design ideation, experimental making, and visual communication. Students will learn the fundamentals of research, observational writing and drawing, design ideation, and the creation of analog and digital visual presentations. Students will explore the communicative power of images through visual media using a variety of drawing and digital techniques, with the goal of developing their own individual aesthetic.

Working in an open air campus, students are encouraged to investigate social issues and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for research, direction, and production of fashion. Individual and collaborative projects allow students to explore fashion concepts, for which they will draw on the unique resources and landscape of La Romana.

This course includes activities such as lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; self and peer critiques; and field trips. Students will keep a design process journal and complete a series of exploratory 2D and 3D fashion design studies based on their original research and concepts to be presented in a final design presentation in the medium and format of their choice: lookbook, curated exhibit space, performance, short film, etc.

Learner Outcomes

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative processes
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital creative processes, including journals/sketchbooks documenting research; ideation studies; commentary; and self-reflection
  • Demonstrate an understanding of drawing and imaging to visually communicate different phases of the fashion design process including concept, design process, and presentation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of exploratory making skills to interpret original ideas for fashion from 2D to 3D using basic prototyping techniques and materials (draping, material handcraft manipulations, and basic hand sewn mockups)
  • Demonstrate the thoughtful development of individual ideas and thematic concepts to translate insights into visual form
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual/collective and evolving design identity

Additional Information

This course is held on site in the Dominican Republic at Chavón's facilities in La Romana. Students will arrive on Sunday, January 1 and will attend a welcome event that evening. Instruction takes place Monday-Saturday, 9am-noon and 4-7pm, starting on Monday, January 2 and ending on Saturday, January 14. Students will depart the Dominican Republic on Sunday, January 15. Tuition includes mandatory housing.
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