Fashion at the Rietveld is about an open minded and experimental approach. We embrace fashion in its various body related contexts, seek its boundaries and make it our business to venture beyond. We provide education which enables you to develop into an independent designer, both tuned into the contemporary and the visionary. Our mandatory curriculum focuses on your design vocabulary on all levels. e.g. theory, communication, creativity, technical skill and visualisation. It prepares you to pursue a career in fashion within a context suitable for your individual talent and interest. After your graduation you may use the title Bachelor of Design (BDes).
The fashion department has it’s own workshops (fashion and textiles) along with a large number of shared workshops, open to our students, and of which we make fond use.
Our projects and presentations often involve collaboration with other departments. e.g. Graphic Design, Photography, Architectural Design, designLAB, Audio Visual, to name some, frequent and/or potential partners. During the course of the study you will have many chances to join us on excursions both in Holland and abroad, visit exhibitions, seminars and trade fairs, join competitions and collaborate with other institutions and companies. Our department has an international character with both international students and tutors. The relation between national and international students being approximately 50/50. Many students enter the fashion department after having completed the Foundation Year at the Rietveld Academie. A second flow of students enter the department directly, after having done previous creative studies. The age of our students varies from begin twenties to mid thirties, which creates a varied, creative, academic atmosphere. Our team of tutors consists of designers and artists with an extensive experience and expertise in their own field.
The cornerstone in the curriculum is design which touches on all subjects. Leading up to the design process, a questioning attitude is stimulated by means of research and experimentation. Different approaches to the design process will be explored. E.g. a sculptural approach, or a conceptual approach. We start with the basics, offering familiar frameworks, in order to build up your design vocabulary and concept making abilities. Advancing through the study, you will learn to become increasingly independent, determining your own focus and defining your individual targets.
Teachers, guest tutors and members of the exam committee are all experts from the field. Recent examples: Alistair Carr of Balenciaga, Jens Laugesen, Monique van Heist, Corne Gabriels, Bas Kosters, Ilse van Rijn, Wilma Degenkamp, Simon Ferdinando, Giene Steenman, Annesas Appel, Bas van Beek and more.
Fashion Design, Experimental Design, Research and concept development, Textile design: both manual and digital method.
Knitwear design. Realisation: classical and experimental techniques, Pattern drawing, Moulding and draping, Sewing techniques Machine knitting techniques incl. CAD CAM. Printing techniques, 2D visual communication / presentation, Fashion drawing, Model drawing, Technical drawing: both manual and digital method. Design and collection development, Textile design / Fabric development: all relevant techniques, Portfolio development. Graduation project (supervised by 3 mentors, guest tutors and external experts forming the exam committee), Art and Fashion Theory, Studium Generale
First specialisation year
After successfully completing the Foundation year, you will start the first specialisation year. In the Fashion department, you will learn the basics of design during this year. This will involve experimentation and creation on the human body from an abstract, conceptual and fashion-related perspective. You will be introduced to the various workshops within the Rietveld Academie and learn basic techniques such as technical drawing, moulding, patterns, textiles and realisation.
Second specialisation year
In the second specialisation year, you will take a more in-depth look at all areas: theory, adopting a position, content-related and technical understanding and skills. You will develop increased independence in formulating your approach to work, conduct relevant research and translate this into design processes. You will learn to present in both 2D and 3D until you are capable of presenting a complete collection. In this second year, you also work on your portfolio.
Third specialisation year
The third specialisation year is dominated by the final examination. You will conduct research and write a thesis on a subject of your own choice. You will also develop your portfolio. You will develop and realise a complete collection. You will contribute ideas to the show concept and present your collection during the Rietveld Academie’s annual fashion show. You will be involved in developing the exhibition and present your graduation project, including your collection, 2D presentation and portfolio at the annual Rietveld Academie examination exhibition. By that stage, you will have developed into a fully independent designer.
Our projects and presentations often involve collaboration with other departments. e.g. Graphic, Photography, Architecture, designLAB, Audio Visual, to name some, frequent and/or potential partners. During the course of the study you will have many chances to join us on excursions both in Holland and abroad, visit exhibitions, seminars and trade fairs, join competitions and collaborate with other institutions and companies.
The Rietveld Fashion show is our departments largest annual project. In line with our general vision we often experiment with both context and content, making for a reputable event on the Amsterdam fashion schedule.
Work placement & exchange
Internships are not compulsory but certainly among your options. Make sure to confer with your mentor well in time. Exchange programs with other academies are also possible. However this calls for careful planning and preparation so again; discuss with your mentor in time.
Students 1st year
Students 2nd year
Students 3rd year