Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts vs Central Saint Martins College.
Who occupies the first places in the ranking of the best universities of design in the world? And where do the frames that create a modern fashion come from?
IKONA RUSSIA introduces two excellent specialized institutions among the leading universities of fashion.
Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts
Date of Foundation: 1663
Cost: from 8000$ per year
Up to the '80s, no one heard or knew what the Belgian fashion was until the government revised the plan of textile industry development and opened the Fashion department in the Antwerp School of Fine Arts.
At the same time the program “Fashion: It's Belgian” started and helped talents to express themselves.
Soon the unpronounceable names gradually started to appear in the lists of the London fashion week shows. Due to the difficult pronunciation, the critics chose to unite them under a common name. Thus “The Antwerp Six” appeared. No one thought that the next visitors would become a sensation, but the Belgians created a furor!
They still believe that graduates of the Royal Academy of fine arts are the most creative. It is undoubtedly true! The point is about the approach to learning. The mission of the Academy is to help the students to express their individuality and to show all the aesthetics of intelligent clothing.
Walter Van Beirendonck, the current dean of the Academy, sets the teaching staff only one goal: to turn the students into real creators and unlock the potential of everyone.
The results of the activities can be seen yearly in May during runway shows of final collections of the graduates, which has already become a tradition and a great reason for those who care about the future of modern fashion to gather together. Here the best are chosen. Nowadays, it is considered prestigious to be among 13 nominees for the H&M Design Awards. No wonder the Swedish fashion conglomerate sends their scouts to Antwerp and not to other universities.
Why so? A forge of high fashion fosters a thoughtful approach to creating collections. The graduates do not adapt to commercial fashion, they are free-thinking and taught to set trends and benchmarks themselves.
Central Saint Martins College
Date of Foundation: 1854
London, Great Britain
Cost: from 21 000$
Riccardo Tisci, John Galliano, Zac Posen, Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan have graduated from it. However, you shouldn't despair! It is not difficult to get a bachelor's degree at Central College of Art and design named after St. Martin even if you have modest experience in the fashion industry. As a rule, most of the students get disappointed and leave the university themselves. Here you are clearly explained that the fashion is difficult and devastating.
The concept is based on the same principles as in Antwerpse Academy: 50% of study time is for making research, the rest is for practice. The only difference is that you have to take an exam every month.
Students show their works, receive criticism and evaluation. In the end, there is a gift for the most enduring. After a four-year-course of studying among untalented people and those who, striving to become the second Paul Smith, sleep as little as possible, you have a chance to enter a master's degree program. Here the most interesting starts!
MA is not for everyone. Furthermore, a 2-year torture is not cheap, but having withstood it, you're ready for everything in the fashion business. During this time you are snubbed and are assured that you have no talent. Only half of the students reach the finish. What is there in the end? There is a runway show of personal collections at the London Fashion Week (a special section for graduates of Saint Martins).
So what is special about training? Besides invaluable knowledge, they teach you a simple truth: nobody will ever give you anything.
P.S. About employment
Two completely different higher education institutes, two mentalities, two prestigious diplomas. Though the following is interesting: will an education provide the applicant with a special privileged relation?
No. Practical experience and desire to create are much more important. A сollege diploma won't provide you with any benefits but for endurance and understanding if you need this all. So, the choice is always yours...