Artwork, Etcetera

Basic Fashion Design course at Fashion Institute of the Philippines: How was it?

In my previous post, I wrote that I enrolled in a Basic Fashion Design short course at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines (FIP). Classes started last 2014 January 8 and I went to school for about eight (8) Wednesdays (two months). Their schedule indicated that classes are from 9:00AM to 6:00PM during weekdays, but it really depends on the instructor. In my case, the instructor preferred to have our classes start at 10:30AM and they all ended earlier than 6:00PM (depending on the seat work).

I wanted to give a detailed explanation of every lesson and seat work that we did but I am not sure if I am allowed to disclose it. But I’ll explain it anyway and just omit some details.

First Day

I arrived at 8:55AM and I was the first one in class. I had time to take pictures of the place. There are no dividers or whatsoever — just long tables and whiteboards. Not so many people enroll in fashion school so the place is not really crowded even when there are 3 other classes.

So anyway, the instructor arrived at 9:30. That’s okay, traffic in the Philippines is usually heavy specially during rush hour so arriving late is not uncommon. So the instructor announced that classes will start at 10:30AM starting next week. By the way, our teacher is Korinne Vinarao. She’s a graduate of FIP, a designer and an entrepreneur.

It was a typical first day of classes — we introduced ourselves by starting with our name and we said our reasons why we enrolled in the first place. Then we discussed things about fashion, i.e. types of fashion, different fashion groups, elements of fashion, etc. For our first seat work, it was a bunch of hand exercises to get our hands warmed up. Then we had to design two (2) unique garments appropriate for a red carpet appearance to be worn by any two (2) celebrities that we can think of, and we had to draw them on separate bond papers. I immediately thought of Lady Gaga, and my fascination with peacock fashion. Here’s what I drew:

It’s not very detailed and we were not required to color it. I just wanted to finish it right away so I could leave early, haha.

For the second one, I recycled one of my old designs. I was too lazy to think of something else that day. Even my drawing was crappy. And I cannot think of a celebrity who would wear this design.


Second day

More topics about fashion. We also started drawing bodice and dress flats on a graphing paper. Not too much work today and no homework.

Third day

Drew a lot today: types of skirts, necklines, sleeves, collars and pants. There were too many that I didn’t finish pants and collars.

Fourth day

More drawings! And this time, it’s the fashion figure. It’s a good thing that I already started drawing croquis last year (a lot of tutorials online). They’re not the best drawings but at least it’s a good start. Those basic skills came handy on this day. The seat work was a bit challenging. I’m not telling what it was, haha.

Fifth day

Continuation of the fashion figure. This time it is more on the face. I love drawing faces, specially the eyes. I used to draw portraits so drawing the fashion face is easy for me (they are less detailed than portraits).

Aside from this activity, we also practiced drawing straight lines and spheres with our paintbrush and watercolor (brand: Prang). This is not a good medium for me. I have never used watercolor in my drawings before (except when I was in grade school I think). I wish I could use markers instead.

Sixth day

We tried rendering all our previous sketches using watercolor. Then we discussed about fabrics and textiles.

Seventh day

Field trip! Went to Fabric Warehouse to get swatches for our portfolio, then went straight to Taytay to do some fabric shopping.

Eight day

It’s our last day! Lesson was more on fabric construction and costing. Expect a lot of math.


So, how was it?

All in all, it was okay. I did learn a lot but not the amount of knowledge I was expecting. What were my expectations? Here’s a list:

  • drawing and rendering fabrics
  • creases on clothing
  • showing movements in sketches
  • more about fabric and textiles and garment construction

But then, I can always search for sketch tutorials online (here’s a good one). And maybe they’ll teach these in the Advance Fashion Design course :) (wishful thinking)

Did I regret enrolling here?

Of course not. Aside from the fact that it’s cheap, it’s also more accessible from my place. Aaaand the environment doesn’t feel like a school at all. I also met new people, which is a very big deal for me since I haven’t been going out much lately. I have become close friends to some of my classmates and hopefully we’ll be in the same classes next time (it really depends on what they’ll take next term).

Would I recommend this [taking up Basic Fashion Design at FIP] to you?

If you are on a budget and want to finish the course in a short amount of time, then this school is for you. They also offer Saturday classes so they can accommodate people who work during weekdays. If you don’t know how to draw fashion figures, they teach that here, too (only the basics, of course. The rest is up to you. There are a lot of tutorials online, anyway. And you can always create your own style of figures.).

But if you have advanced drawing skills, this course might bore you. You might be thinking of taking up the advance course without taking the basic course, but sad to say, they have certain rules. Advance Fashion Design can only be taken when you have completed Basic Fashion Design. Also, the certificate will only be given when you have completed BOTH of them. Since I have only completed the Basic Fashion Design course, I haven’t received my certificate yet. So I will be taking the Advance Fashion Design course soon. (Note: This is the case for all courses with Basic and Advance)

Interested? You can always check their website for schedules and rates. One course is worth PHP 11,500. Discounts will be given to those who enroll in more courses. Please take note that their prices might change someday. If you want to enroll, do it now! :)


UPDATE (March 26, 2014)

I am currently enrolled in a Basic Pattern-making course and one classmate also finished the course Basic Fashion Design last year. However, she took the Saturday classes and she doesn’t recommend it. Why? Saturday classes are only 4 hours per day (according to their schedule online) and you have to attend for 16 days. And since classes doesn’t always start on time, the average duration of the lecture (for this certain course) is only 1-2 hours per Saturday. Sound like a rip-off, huh? I couldn’t imagine attending 16 Saturdays for that. It would really bore me :( So if you can, please attend the weekday classes instead.


UPDATE (May 2, 2015)

I just remembered something: I NEVER got the ID I paid for. It’s just Php150 but multiply that amount to how many students who paid, that’s quite a lot. I tried to remind the person in-charge (when I was still taking courses at FIP) every time I had the courage to approach him/her. But he/she would just tell me (or any other students who asks) that they already looked for another supplier and that the ID will probably be available next week or next month. Well it has been more than a year since they took my picture and payment. But where’s the ID???

If you’re a new student at FIP Ortigas and they asked you to pay for the ID.. well I don’t really know what advice to give. Maybe you could try asking them something like “Did the students last year received their IDs?” or “How would I know that I will receive my ID after I pay you this amount?”. Or maybe you can skip getting an ID. It’s useless anyway.


  1. Devi Ann Fortes

    Ill take up the basic fashion design and pattern making starting on the 29th. Thanks for this! Btw, do you need to bring materials?.or they’re included in the tuition fee? Thanks!

    1. Julianne Author

      Hi devi :) good for you! Materials are not included.. On your first day, bring bond paper or sketch pad and pencil :) bring your notebook as well.

  2. Pay

    Thank you for this. Took me a lot of time to find an honest review about FIP. Coz’ a little heads up would be nice, right? Sana hindi ako ma culture shock (well, that’s impossible) hehe thank you po again.


I would love to hear from you