The Couture Design program is a three month intensive program that teaches students these skills through the creation of a cocktail dress and gown with a corset included.  Students will begin by mastering their hand and machine sewing skills. From there they will move on to learning the art of draping to create a gown. When the program concludes, they will have the technical expertise to drape a corseted gown. This impressive skill set will prepare them for the exciting world of couture within the fashion industry.  

Our students have gone on to work with Couture Design houses and presented at Couture Fashion Week.

It’s funny, you never know how talented and how many qualities you have until you try something new. And I have to be honest, Haute Couture was more than what I was expecting. I found love and passion in this program.
— Jemina A., Class of Winter 2016

Program Snapshot

3-4 Months
Certificate Program
Career Guidance
Payment Plan Options
Fashion Show

Next Start Date: 4/17/2018

Program Overview

Once students finish the Fashion Design program they have the opportunity of advancing their skill with an intensive specialized program. Couture Design challenges students to create intricate designs through various hand sewing techniques. Students will understand the appropriate stitches used for couture fabrics as well as learning how to attach feather, lace, beading, etc. to fabric. Their draping skills will be tested with garments such as the bustier and bodice. By the end of the program, students will have created a gown and bustier.

Program Outline

  • Sewing for Couture Design
  • Couture Draping
  • Advanced Sewing for Couture Design

Program Facts

Application Deadlines: Rolling Admission

Average Course Length

3-4 Months


8 hours per week with additional studio time for construction courses.


Intermediate - Advanced.

Program Schedule

Evening - 2 weeknights (Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu), 5:30-9:30pm

English Language

This program requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.



High School Diploma or College Degree. GED Certificate. If you do not have any, ask us about the Ability to Benefit test (ATB).


Students MUST have previous fashion design work or education experience for entry into this program. Students should have knowledge in both, sewing and draping.

Documentation for Domestic Students

  • HS Diploma/College Degree
  • Government Issued Photo ID
  • Proof of Address

Documentation for International Students

  • Original and Translated HS Diploma/College Degree
  • Passport
  • Valid Visa
  • Proof of Address in the States

Getting a Student Visa

If you're not from the United States, you'll need to apply for a visa to study at New York School of Design.

Note: the school does not provide students with I20s for a student visa. Students will need to apply for a (B-2) tourism and visit visa.

Upon acceptance, students will receive an acceptance letter that states the student will be studying at NYSD for the duration of the program. This letter should be used as proof for the nature of your visit to the United States.

Visit the visitor visa website to learn more.

When should I start applying?

3-4 months before the start date of the program.

How long is my visa valid for?

6 months.

Application Fee

$160 USD


The information about the visa is true and complete to the best of our knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the publisher. The publisher denies any liability in connection with the use of this information.

Tuition Fee

$2,200 USD for Domestic and International Students.

Application Fee: $100

Books and Supplies: approximately $200

Living Costs for New York City

Prices are based per month:
  • Rent: $1,000-$1,400 for 1 bedroom
  • Transportation: $121 monthly Metrocard
  • Food: $260 for groceries

Find out more living costs here.


We do not offer financial aid, however, there are several payment plans available.

Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.



In the first section of Couture student’s gain a further understanding of the techniques needed to craft these exquisite pieces. The development process is taught along with the necessary sewing fundamentals, both hand and machine. In this portion students will create a cocktail dress to utilize these skills.


After the sewing techniques are mastered students then move onto Draping. The specific tools and supplies required for Draping are established and students are then taught to drape and create slopers. Here they will use fabrics specifically for couture and begin to build their corset.


This last section of Couture is where it all comes together. The students will take the corset they have been working on and incorporate it into a gown. The students take the skill set learned from the prior two phases of the program and create a gown fit to walk down the red carpet.


Our instructors for the Couture Design program have years of experience in creating custom couture gowns for New York City's elite. They are experts in patternmaking, tailoring and embroidery. They are true fashion designers.

Program Requirements

Couture Design students should have a strong foundation in sewing and draping. Students must have knowledge of sewing techniques, how to operate an industrial machine, and basic knowledge of draping. A demonstration of one's skills is required prior to acceptance into this program. Please contact us so we can tell you more about the process.


Next Steps