Remember the first day back at school after two and a half glorious months of summer? The smell of raincoats and freshly covered notebooks would be in the air. Your classmates would be chatting animatedly away about their vacation adventures, new backpacks and even newer wellies. The circumstances may be a little different now that we’re all grown up, and we may be a lot more excited about our new iPads than a box of crayons, but the electric atmosphere when you step into a school, college or university always stays the same.
I was invited down to the the ISDI Parsons Mumbai campus last week to meet with the students, the faculty and to take a look at what makes them different from the other fashion and design schools I’ve been to. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, Parsons is one of the world’s most esteemed design schools that started out in New York, moved on to Paris, and has now opened their third institute in Bombay. Fun fact: It also happens to be the design school Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) went to on Gossip Girl!
I’ve wanted to take a course at this university ever since I decided on a career in fashion five years ago, but never really got the chance to move to New York and live the dream. Luckily, for those of you considering a career in fashion, or those of you looking for a refresher course on what you already know, the institute, situated in the heart of the city, is set to span eight floors of Bombay’s most prestigious business center, the glass and steel masterpiece that is the IndiaBulls building.
A walk through it’s hallowed halls boasted excited students working together on art installations and design projects for their various courses, ranging from fashion design, interior design, product design, fashion business management, creative entrepreneurship and communication design across various levels of study, and using state-of-the-art tools and machinery, under the watchful eye of their professors.
An ever-evolving initiative, the institute has just moved into a larger office space to accommodate its growing number of students, now being placed at Vogue, Guess, Kimaya, Inglot and Major Brands for life-changing internships I would have killed for back in the day. Their faculty, however, consists mainly of working professionals – creative directors, editors, interior designers, architects and the like who take time out to share their skills with their enthusiastic students , by way of an organized curriculum, delivering real-world work experience to the students before they take their first baby steps into the big, bad world of design.
My favourite part of the visit? The library which houses shelf after shelf of beautiful, vivid fashion and design books I’d love to sink my teeth into! Oh, and the fact that their students have the freedom to use every single available surface (walls, desks, floors even!) to express their ideas and design doodles! I can’t wait to see what it looks like in a year!
If you’re as excited about ISDI Parsons Mumbai as I am, come say hello to me or hear Nachiket Barve speak this Friday at their talk, ‘Dialogues on Design‘ at their campus in Parel. Anybody can show up, just be sure to RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +91 7718865341. See you there![/one_fourth_last]