Maud Stevens Wagner - the first known female tattoo artist in the United States (1907)


Our Top 10 Fashion Colleges 

Ever heard the saying “You know when you know?” Usually it pertains to love or finding ‘the one.’ Well, the same is with college, you have to find the one after so many choices but you will know when you know! 

1. Parsons, The New School of Design 

Programs: Fashion Design, Fashion studies, Fashion Marketing

Students: undergrads, 4,191; graduate, 555

Tuition: $38,510

Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narisco Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons of J.Crew, Anna Sui, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung (only to name a few.)

Fun Fact: Parsons is an aspiring fashion designer’s dream! I’m sure you know of Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan and their amazing collections. Well, how would you like it if they were your teacher for a couple days? These events are common in the New York City’s best design school. They have collaborations with the fashion house LVMH. 

2. Fashion Institute of Technology

Programs: anything from fashion merchandising to media arts

Students: 10,386

Tuition: $5,168 for NYC residents, $13,550 out-of-state

Alumni: Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Nanette Lepore

Fun Fact: I visited FIT in the Fall and it was an extremely impressive school. Your career after FIT is pretty much set up for you after you graduate. You will definitely leave will a job. 

3. Pratt

Programs: Fashion design

Students: 2,100

Tuition: $37,500

Alumni: Jeremy Scott, Betsey Johnson

Fun Fact: It is an up-and-coming design school located in Brooklyn, New York. It is part of a larger art school and is one of the few design programs that offer fashion editorializing and magazine publishing. 

4. Kent State University

Programs: Design and Merchandising 

Students: 18,000; 800 are fashion students

Tuition: Ohio resident: $9,030, for out-of-state, $16,900

Fun Fact: They have a garment center in NYC and is starting to become quite famous. They have a huge endowment, study abroad programs in Paris and Milan. You will be able to study fashion and get a full college experience. 

5. Academy of Art 

Programs: Fashion Design, Knitwear Design, Textile Design, Fashion Journalism and Fashion Merchandising and Marketing

Students: 17,000; 2,700 are fashion

Tuition: $17,760

Fun Fact: Located in sunny San Francisco and have a show in New York Fashion Week. 

6. The Savannah College of Art and Design 

Programs: Fashion design, Fashion Marketing and Management, Accessories Design

Students: 9,800; 940 fashion students

Tuition: $30,510

Fun Fact: Only school to have Luxury and Fashion Management program. And it’s not only a fashion school but, an excellent art college. Located in Savannah, Georgia.

7. Drexel Univeristy

Programs: Fashion Design, Design and Merchandising 

Students: 2,800 art and design students, 120 fashion students, 260 Design and Merchandising

Tuition: $39,700

Fun Fact: Philadelphia’s university also offers a sophomore year opportunity when you can study abroad in London School of Fashion, and many alumni have gotten successful jobs in France in their field. 

8. Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising 

Programs: Fashion Design, Footwear Design, Costume Design, Jewelry Design, Textile Design, Merchandising (Fashion & Beauty Programs)

Students: 8,000

Tuition: $27,000-$36,000 depending on area of study

Alumni: Monique Lhuillier, Pamela Skaist-Levy

Fun Fact: Los Angeles’s has beauty programs and is in the heart of the city of angels. 

9. California College of the Arts 

Programs: Fashion Design, Textiles, Jewelry Design 

Students: 1,640; 65 fashion students 

Tuition: $36,960

Fun Fact: This college has two locations; one in San Francisco and one in Oakland, California. This is a CFDA affiliated school and is known for their prestigious awards and the fashion world’s favoritism. 

10. Labratory Institute of Merchandising

Programs: International Business, Fashion Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, Marketing and Management 

Students: 1,508

Tuition: $23,070

Almuni: Rea Laccone, CEO of Vince 

Fun Fact: New York City’s college requires internships three out of the four years. Freshman and sophomore years required 300 hours of retail. They have several concentrations of many jobs that will be helpful in many fields. 


Portrait of Fay Bainter, 1918 // by Robert Henri by Miguel Catalan


Fashion School (what to expect)

Everyone wants to go into fashion school these days. Here’s a little summary of my experiences in fashion school, in DESIGN..

#1: It’s not easy: As with most things in life. The workload, the effort, the paranoia.. if you’re a lazy 24/7 party gurl, perhaps you might wanna rethink your life’s choices lol.

#2: Sleep: Ever wanted to watch the sunrise? Ye, you can’t get enough of it. There’s always something to do. Especially from the start, it’s like every 10 things you clear, 12 new ones surface. Photography takes time, conceptualization takes time, experimentations take time, making samples take time.. you don’t have time for anything else really. Especially if you’re just learning it, schools usually do a crash course of everything, giving you even lesser time for the mentioned. Also, everyone differs greatly. It depends how you manage yourself and your work. Some designs take more time to complete, others require certain elements, etc. You have to work smart in this sense. If you’re getting enough sleep, you’re not doing it right.

#3: Originality: Anyone can conceptualise a dress of 10000 dyed ostrich feathers with a brocaded top bustier. It’s hard to stay alive in school if you do what everyone else is doing. Even some of my teachers have orally confessed how they can’t focus on everyone. They focus on the best and just help the others as much as possible. Also, you often find people copying each other, not necessarily always intendedly but also maybe unconsciously. It’s your role to be true to yourself and be conceptually strong enough to not be diluted and devalued.

#4: Sewing isn’t everything: You have to know how to sew and draft of course. But as far as sewing goes, you have to know everything, but you don’t have to do it very well. From experience from my internship and all, in the real world, people outsource. The textile students in the degree programme in my school don’t actually draft or sew. If you had to choose, you’d be better off having conceptual prowess than knowing how to do a perfect roll hem.

#5: Drawing makes a difference: Like sewing really, you don’t have to do it well. But beyond just a skill, drawing gives you an advantage. Being able to visually represent yourself is important. Besides, who doesn’t like a nice drawing. Drawing can be improved. I mean have you actually seen my old drawings..? Ya, what the fuck. In school I feel like visually, process is more important than final product. Practice is good, and while you practice drawing, churn out some amazing concepts.

▣ More: conceptualnaturalism~ ▣

How to dress like an art student

Here everyone has amazing fashion, and I’ve noticed trends that everyone seems to follow:

  • Black skin-tight jeans (wear these guys almost everyday), and preferably they should be nice jeans such as J Brand, vintage Levi’s, Hudson, Madewell, Sevens, Citizens, etc. But no decoration of any kind, and all tears must be from long nights in the studio, not store bought.  
  • Everything must be black, if not, it must be dark
  • Black lace up combat boots. Doc Martins are very common, but any leather boots are fine. My choice is Frye Veronicas because they are made so well. Engineer boots are acceptable too. No one wears tall boots or Uggs. Ew. Also if they have a zipper they don’t count. These black leather boots can be worn with every outfit. 
  • Oversized sweaters that look like they could be from a vintage store but are actually extremely expensive. 
  • Dark colored fur lined parka with a fur trim hood for those really cold days, like Canada Goose if you are really cold. 
  • For those less cold days a charcoal or black wool peacoat is a nice outer layer. 
  • Black leather booties with a chunky heel for when you can dress it up a bit. 
  • A neutral color beanie with no words on it.
  • Ray-Ban or nicer sunglasses. Right now clubmasters are in or Persols. I like Shwood because they are made from wood veneer and that a nice material touch. 
  • A cute black crossbody leather purse for nights out (think Proenza Schouler). For school a canvas or leather backpack. Lots of kids tote Herschel Supply, but I’m a fan of Filson. 
  • A black REAL leather jacket. People here can spot pleather from a mile away. 
  • White oversized tshirts
  • Cold weather boots. A lot of guys have LL Bean duck boots, and I do too because they are so warm and they just work. Some kids wear their black Hunter rain boots with thick socks. Sorels also work well. 
  • Crop tops for weekends/summer. 
  • Torn up to hell and back jean shorts for summer. 
  • Black leggings for when you are sick of wearing black jeans, but the spandex kind not the cheap cotton ones. Black tights for wearing under dresses in the winter/fall. 
  • Don’t worry about makeup; not many girls seem to care. Also people don’t tend to shower all that often. 
  • Nice warm scarves
  • More sweaters
  • Real fur jackets if you are extremely rich and want to flaunt it. 
  • Black tshirts for the days where you will be getting dirty in studio. Which is at least once a week. 
  • Lots of warm wool socks. I like my socks to either be black or dark charcoal grey. 
  • An elegant haircut, nothing trendy. Either a bob or long layers. 
  • Don’t bother with nail polish, just keep your nails very clean and short. 
  • While you’re at it don’t bother with bras. No one wears them. In the summer get used to go going braless everywhere. 
  • Layers!!! Everyone here knows how to layer so well. Everything is layered to perfection. 
  • Jewelry must be rare and either permeant (like body piercings). It cannot be cheap and tacky. 
Out and About: Fashion Photography Shoot

I knew it; I wore  a basic black top to school today for a reason. I usually wear a black top and flats whenever I have freelance jobs. I’m sorta disappointed though, because of all my lazy dress-down days, our prof decided to teach us fashion photography. I don’t know why I was unaware of this. :|

This is one of those rare moments when I don’t work behind the scenes. For my photography class, we were asked to shoot these young ladies. Without notice, I was being asked to pick out which outfits they should wear and which shoes would go best with them so basically, I was styling for my class while trying to learn proper lighting and model poses. I’m used to being ambushed for makeup and styling especially in school but today was different because I was part of the class! I’m really getting used to making do with what’s available– I sure do hope that’s not always the case because I could have done so much better with an entire closet!

Photo by Walter Siy

Photo by Walter Siy

These are the models for our fashion photography shoot, Tricia and Chai. They were very easy to work with because they knew exactly how we wanted them to pose. Luckily, they almost had the same shoe size so it wasn’t hard for me to work around with the shoes.

Walter Siy organized the whole shoot from the models to the room reservation; he made all of this happen. Surprisingly, he even took care of the shoes! My prof and I both had the same concern when we first saw these stunners: masking tape for the soles. He said they were good and even if we insisted to keep the soles safe, we didn’t have masking tape anyway. *laughs* but we were very careful with these, they were too precious to just throw around.

Tricia had her makeup done first, that’s her in the floral dress. Chai is waiting for her makeup to be done, she’s looking like a bored baby on the second photo. *laughs*

This is Say, our makeup artist (MUA) for the shoot. It felt weird taking photos of the MUA at work because *I* am usually the one holding the brush. It was as if I was dethroned. She worked fast and immediately got the look we were going for so we didn’t really have any problem.

Her palette is perfect for day to night looks. <3

After the shoot, we all gathered and posed for one final shot, this time with the MUA. Okay, shoots seriously STILL get me perked up; they bring out the teacher’s pet in me, not that I ever suck up to the boss. I’m always active and I have fun being active when I work in shoots. It was a fun day because I did not only get to learn how to shoot with lights, I also got to chat with my prof regarding his professional and personal life– very inspiring.

P.S. The photos made me realize that I’ve been putting on pounds!

© Fashion Firewoman