MA degree Fashion Design programme is distinct and unique among programmes in design field for MA degree. This second cycle programme is unique in Lithuania as it is dedicated to studies into apparel fashion, involving fashion research and research-anchored creative projects. Flexible studies and individual MA degree students’ study plans provide for quality in analysing relevant theme of research and better development of creative projects.
Convenient infrastructure of VAA provides for cross-department collaborations as well as with other educational and research establishments and institutions. This stimulates cross-subject, cross-field and cross-area studies and contributes to the development of students’ conceptual and creative capacities. The Department is advantageously situated in the capital city, the centre of culture, research and production. Students have the opportunity of actual collaboration with stakeholders, it is possible to compose a team of competent teaching staff. Students enjoy convenient time-tables and are able to attend lectures in other institutes and universities, they can design an individual study plan and pursue selected specialization strands and themes, by emphasising a close link between research field, idea and its realization. The Department maintains links and collaborations with individual fashion designers, fashion design schools, fashion industry enterprises, fashion homes in EU.
During interactions with foreign colleagues, during students’ trips to professional practice with foreign fashion houses, the Lithuanian title of this MA degree is puzzling. A literal translation of the title Kostiumo dizainas is Costume Design, yet indeed, translating it as Fashion Design (literal back translation – Mados dizainas) seems appropriate. The concept of kostiumas (costume) in Lithuanian culture and its usage has a wide semantic field and embraces not only dress (of a historical period) but the entirety of garments, accessories, behaviour, assumed roles, finally, an image, where matching of all these segments pursues a certain goal. The concept of fashion (mada in Lith.) is not necessarily associated with the individual, but perceived as a totality embracing life-style, home and urban environment, kitchen, trends of consumption. Mados dizainas as a Lithuanian title risks sending wrong message to potential candidates about skills this course develops and getting confused with other MA degrees in the study field of Design. Based on MA degree students’ survey regarding changes of the title, 50 per cent recommended changing it. The meaning of course title of and content of study is best evident in the descriptions of study subjects. Further changes in society and the structure of design field studies in VAA are likely to make the change of the title appropriate and timely. For the time being, current title of this MA degree programme is Kostiumo dizainas in Lithuanian, with its semantically equivalent Fashion Design in English, (the Department keeps its name of Costume Design).
The MA degree in Fashion Design is intended to develop higher competences as compared to BA degree in Fashion Design offered by the Department. Graduates with MA degree are able to:
- apply the acquired knowledge and learning, and contemporary design methods to fashion industry where analytical abilities, innovativeness and skills to integrate knowledge are required;
- apply the acquired knowledge, understanding and abilities to solving of complex problems; make artistic solutions and employ them in different projects in a new and constantly changing national and foreign environment of fashion, in broad interdisciplinary, cross-field and cross-area contexts related with the field of their degree, be aware of ethical and social consequences of own solutions and assume responsibility;
- even in cases of limited information availability, underpin own conclusions with arguments and present them in adequate way to interested individuals of different backgrounds;
- continue self-guided learning, progress to a higher cycle of studies, keep doing research work.