Pursuing a graduate study in fashion prepares students for career opportunities from research and teaching in academia to product development and design positions in corporations of different scales. Students advance both in theoretical and practical knowledge, and skills in fashion design by working with established scholars, participating in rigorous and creative research and engaging in interdisciplinary learning. Gaining new knowledge and skills at the intersection of new technologies and materials in fashion or building an in-depth understanding of sustainable practices in fashion could also lead to non-traditional careers or new ventures.
The graduate study in Fashion offers an interdisciplinary research environment where students can engage with other fields of design and disciplines to gain an in-depth and critical understanding of a specific aspect of fashion design and to think creatively about transferring knowledge from other fields to solve problems in fashion design. This could include studies in sustainable fashion, theories and processes for designing clothing for social justice (e.g.,diverse user populations), smart clothing and electronic textile applications, connections of fashion to social and cultural identities, aesthetics and wearable art and others.
Recent MFA thesis projects focused on:
Training swimwear development for athletes recovering from injury
Material culture analysis of Hmong textiles and crafts and its reflection into contemporary clothing
Zero waste sustainable clothing that uses locally grown materials
Exploration of biomimicry in athletic shoe design
ONGOING PROJECTS OF INTEREST
Graduate students can participate in funded research conducted by faculty such as the design of pneumatic actuating clothing or exploring 3D printing for textile and clothing applications and others. Graduate students can also initiate their own research projects through independent studies and internships with a faculty advisor and get support in finding internal and external funding.
As a graduate student in Fashion emphasis area you can find access to a wide range of facilities and technologies for your research and creative work. The JoAnn C. Stabb Design Collection includes a superb collection of global textiles and fashion examples available for hands-on research. Fashion design studios with industrial sewing equipment, textile surface design and weaving studios are other available infrastructures. Hands on experience opportunities with high-tech equipment including 3D body scanner, industrial scale CAD embroidery and digital textile printer, 3D printers and laser cutters are available based on research interests.The JoAnn C. Stabb Design Collection is associated with the museum and contains over 5,000 design related objects, mostly ethnographic textiles and fashion. Specialized tools, vinyl cutting and large format inkjet printing equipment are housed in the museum office. See MFA handbook for a list of additional maker spaces on the UC Davis campus belonging to other departments.