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01-05-2010
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New MA in Fashion Studies at Parsons program
Is anyone interested/applying/attending this fall? http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/ma-fashion-studies/

I spent all of my teen years thinking I'd love to become a fashion historian and work in the Costume Institute, only to be sucked into the world of academia, where fashion is typically viewed as frivolous and frowned upon. Despite a deep and enduring appreciation of well-made clothing, my intentions up until this semester were to apply to Ph.D. programs in archaeology with a focus on museum studies for Fall 2011 (I graduate in Spring 2011). Then I realized a few weeks ago--hey, I get bored with this a bit too easily, and I'll be damned if I pursue a career where I'm constantly looked down upon and considered unintelligent and a poor scholar just because I like pretty things. So I started considering my former plan, which still got my pulses racing, and looked at fashion programs for graduate school, with the intention of perhaps completing a Ph.D. a bit later in life.

So has anyone seen the new MA program at Parsons in Fashion Studies? It sounds a bit too post-modern BS for my tastes at times, but overall it sounds like an excellent program well-suited to my interests and career goals. I wish I had an academic advisor who I could speak to about applying to this program (and also, likely, FIT's Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, and Museum Practice program), but alas, all of them think I'm all but throwing my life away (ironically, the second curator-in-chief at the Costume Institute, with whom you might be familiar, Richard Martin, was an alum of my college).

If there are any graduate students entering Parsons' Fashion Studies program, I would LOVE to hear what you already know about it. If anyone is interested in the program, I'd love to hear about your backgrounds, why you're considering applying, etc.!

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03-05-2010
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Hello! Fantastic thread!

I applied to the program for this fall and am currently on the waiting list. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in fashion journalism as an editor/stylist and I think the program sounds perfectly tailored to what I would like to learn. I am particularly attracted to the aspects of the program which focus on fashion and popular culture and fashion as image.

From what I know, the program is EXTREMELY competitive. And, from my interview, I know that there is a heavy focus on research and the final thesis. From what I can understand, it is highly academic.

If I find out anything more or am accepted, I will definitely give you more details !

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Last edited by vavavinny; 03-05-2010 at 12:08 AM.
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03-05-2010
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(Okay, so I'm the OP, just waiting to have my accounts, both about 5 years old, merged)

Great! I am so excited to hear of someone else who is interested in the program. Do you have any idea how many applicants applied and how many were selected? And what's your background like, what did you major in during undergrad? Any relevant fashion industry experience prior to applying? Do you think you'll apply for next fall if you're not accepted off the waitlist or will you go somewhere else? Good luck!!

And "very academic" sounds like a good fit for me. I've had my butt kicked by academia for the past five years so I might as well put the skills gained to good use! I think I'd probably be bored in something less, frankly. I took summer classes at FIT a few years ago and was pretty astounded at how...well, remedial they were. Like, the people teaching could barely string sentences together and, when responding to my questions, answered as if they hadn't even understood what I'd asked. I know that's not how all teachers at FIT are, but the fact that the school even hired people so incapable of teaching was pretty bothersome.

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03-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamsethereal View Post
(Okay, so I'm the OP, just waiting to have my accounts, both about 5 years old, merged)

Great! I am so excited to hear of someone else who is interested in the program. Do you have any idea how many applicants applied and how many were selected? And what's your background like, what did you major in during undergrad? Any relevant fashion industry experience prior to applying? Do you think you'll apply for next fall if you're not accepted off the waitlist or will you go somewhere else? Good luck!!

And "very academic" sounds like a good fit for me. I've had my butt kicked by academia for the past five years so I might as well put the skills gained to good use! I think I'd probably be bored in something less, frankly. I took summer classes at FIT a few years ago and was pretty astounded at how...well, remedial they were. Like, the people teaching could barely string sentences together and, when responding to my questions, answered as if they hadn't even understood what I'd asked. I know that's not how all teachers at FIT are, but the fact that the school even hired people so incapable of teaching was pretty bothersome.
I'm not sure how many applicants applied, but I know that the program only takes fifteen people, which is probably on par with other graduate programs. For my undergraduate, I majored in English and minored in art history. I have more of a journalistic background (I wrote for my student newspaper) than a fashion background, but I am very knowledgeable when it comes to fashion history (designers, models, photographers, editors, etc.) and am also very acquainted with gender and cultural studies, two types of analysis that are employed in the program. If I'm not accepted for the fall, then there is probably a good chance I will apply again next fall. I have been accepted to NYU for journalism and it looks like I am going there as of now, but if the program there ends up not fitting what I want, then I will most likely end up re-applying at Parsons.

From the sounds of it, the program is most pertinent for an individual who is interested in pursuing a careers as a fashion scholar (Valerie Steele/Colin McDowell type), so if that is what you would like to ultimately do, this sounds like the program for you !

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09-05-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vavavinny View Post
Hello! Fantastic thread!

I applied to the program for this fall and am currently on the waiting list. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in fashion journalism as an editor/stylist and I think the program sounds perfectly tailored to what I would like to learn. I am particularly attracted to the aspects of the program which focus on fashion and popular culture and fashion as image.

From what I know, the program is EXTREMELY competitive. And, from my interview, I know that there is a heavy focus on research and the final thesis. From what I can understand, it is highly academic.

If I find out anything more or am accepted, I will definitely give you more details !

hi vavavinny, i am on the waiting list for Parson's MA Fashion Studies too!

i understand that the programs is extremely competitive but wasn't aware that only 15 people would get through! i hope i would get through too as i aspire to start a fashion initiative that would help budding asian designers.

have you heard from them since the letter of notification that you're on waiting list? i have received no news since and the wait is killing me.

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31-08-2010
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Careers in Fashion Studies
Hi All,

I graduated in 2006 from FIT's Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory and Museum Practice MA program. While I can't speak to the new Parsons program (other than that I have some friends teaching in it, who are great), I did want to touch upon the lack of jobs in the field which you will find upon graduation. Not only are steady, full-time academic jobs hard to find in general, for fashion studies they are nearly impossible (and the pay is very very poor). The main factor which I think gives FIT grads a leg up (more so than Parsons, NYU or BGC grads) is the practical skills which the FIT curriculum requires (along with heavy doses of fashion/textile history and theory). All FIT grads have a ton of experience handling objects, working in fashion/textile collections/archives, as well as working on exhibitions. If you do decide that Parsons is the best best for you, due to its heavier emphasis on theory, then I strongly recommend that you seek out internships that involve working with actual objects (like in a gallery, museum, etc.). By broadening your skillbase, you are more likely to find good steady employment after school.

As a disclosure, I teach in the FIT graduate program, but I'm also employed fulltime by a different museum working in the textile/fashion department. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the field of fashion studies in general.

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07-06-2011
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Hey guys- nobody has posted on this thread in a while and I wanted to see if anyone has done this program or has any additional info about it?? Also- does anyone know if the program has gotten any bigger (i.e. admits more than 15 people, as previously stated)?? Thanks!

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09-01-2012
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I'm bumping this thread because i'm also interested in both the Parsons program and the FIT one.

By description the Parsons one says it could also be of interest to someone who wants to work with media and consultancy, but judging from what you guys are saying here it's much more academic?

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20-12-2012
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bumping again b/c I'm interested and actually just applied! Would love to hear if anyone has any more recent input about the program

I majored in fashion design at a very academically based school. I want to eventually work in the industry but also really love research/academic writing.


Last edited by CoffeeAndPearls; 20-12-2012 at 03:14 AM.
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21-12-2012
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^I don't really have any knowledge on the program, only that I've looked into it as a possibility after I graduate. It sounds like a really fantastic program. I like that it's an interdisciplinary major and that it's so academic based. Have you looked into the program at London College of Fashion as well? They have a MA in History and Culture of Fashion, that sounds amazing and similar to the one offered at Parsons. Wishing you the best of luck CoffeeAndPearls, and let me know if you find out more about the program, I'd love to hear about it!

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22-12-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoninahAliza View Post
^I don't really have any knowledge on the program, only that I've looked into it as a possibility after I graduate. It sounds like a really fantastic program. I like that it's an interdisciplinary major and that it's so academic based. Have you looked into the program at London College of Fashion as well? They have a MA in History and Culture of Fashion, that sounds amazing and similar to the one offered at Parsons. Wishing you the best of luck CoffeeAndPearls, and let me know if you find out more about the program, I'd love to hear about it!
I have looked into the LCF program--I actually studied abroad there for a semester though and was relatively unimpressed with the faculty/classes (except for one that I did really like) and didn't feel challenged at all by the work. I mean, I literally travelled every weekend and drank more alcohol that semester than I think I have the entire rest of my life combined, and I still got straight As...which is pretty ridiculous, but was a nice break from my usual stress at school/I had a great time. I'm not willing to pay for and waste two years of my life on that though, if I go to grad school I want it to be worth it!

I don't really know what I want to do, but I am interested in Fashion Theory/History so I'm approaching grad school as one option. I mostly am hoping for funding though, I will need some funding to make it a worthwhile option for me at this point. If I don't get in or get in and don't get any scholarship money, I will probably try to get a job and consider re-applying in a few years, once I've saved up some money. That's another thing, the LCF Program basically doesn't seem to offer scholarships--it's kind of confusing--it seems like you can only apply for scholarships once you get in, and you won't find out whether you receive funding until after you have already confirmed that you'll be doing the program.

So I'm applying to Parsons, Courtauld, and Royal College of Art (they have a program with the V&A). I'd love to use this as a way to live in London for a while, so I'm hoping for those two. We'll see what happens!


Last edited by CoffeeAndPearls; 22-12-2012 at 12:32 AM.
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