InterArts / Fashion Design

Idyllwild Arts Academy

InterArts / Fashion Design

InterArts is an interdisciplinary department that provides you with structured pathways to move between art forms. If you are interested in how to combine art forms or in how different art forms intersect then InterArts is the department for you.

Gather skills in several art forms while discovering what it means to be an artist for you personally. InterArtists are independently motivated thinkers who dissolve the barriers between art forms to give birth to their own unique artistic voice.

In ninth and tenth grade InterArtists focus on learning techniques in different art forms, while at the same time being introduced to questions such as:

Does art influence society or does society influence art? Should art try to change people’s opinions? Who decides whether art is good or bad? Does art have to be beautiful? What is beauty? Is art political?

In eleventh and twelfth grade InterArtists continue to hone their skills in different art forms, but, at the same time, must synthesize their studies to create their own project, which will culminate in their Senior Show.

The InterArts department allows dedicated time and space as well as one-on-one mentorship, for each upper level student to work on their own interdisciplinary project. Senior shows may take the form of gallery or site-specific installations or performances, films, conceptual fashion collections, websites, or a published text. There are as many different kinds of Senior Shows as there are different students.

InterArts Pathways:

  • Fashion Design
  • Design
  • Storytelling
  • Performance Practice
  • Digital Communication

Fashion Design

Fashion Design through the InterArts department provides professional, in-depth training which includes hand and machine sewing, pattern making, draping, textiles, accessories, fashion illustration, fashion history, fashion photography, and conceptual design.

Students’ designs are modeled in the Winter and Spring Fashions shows, which are highlights of the year at Idyllwild Arts Academy.
In addition to designing for the twice yearly fashion shows, Upper level Fashion students are expected to develop their own interdisciplinary project. Fashion students are encouraged to collaborate with other departments, for example in designing and fabricating costumes for the Dance department, or to develop an extended conceptual collection for their Senior year Spring Fashion show.


Myth, memoir, documentary, drama, webseries, graphic novel: Storytelling in the InterArts Department can take many shapes. Whether your stories are written, filmed, performed or painted; whether they are fictional or non-fictional, we work closely with Creative Writing, Film, Visual Arts, and Theatre to provide an interdisciplinary focus to storytelling. One of the strongest human impulses is to create narrative, and in the InterArts department we examine the possibilities for storytelling from many angles.

Performance Practice

Coming into Idyllwild Arts Academy, most students already have a good idea whether or not they love to express themselves through performance. InterArts Performance Practice builds traditional skills in Theatre, Film, Music, Dance, Visual Art and Creative Writing, with the aim of bringing these skills back to the InterArts space where any form of performance is possible. InterArts Performance Practice focuses on interdisciplinary, collaborative, original, devised performances with a theme or message. Students are expected to contribute to the performance with their personal passions, and to work collaboratively to make performance art. The InterArts Performance group presents its show towards the end of the academic year.


There are many Design opportunities at Idyllwild Arts Academy and Design focus students may choose from Design classes in InterArts, Theatre, Film and Visual Art. InterArts Design students will also work closely with the Creative Technology Lab where they have access to a laser cutter and a 3D printer, and where many design projects are born.

Digital Communication

Students who identify with a Digital Communication pathway within InterArts can explore, among other areas, Digital Photography, Computer Graphics, Creative Technologies, and Documentary Film Making. A focus on Digital Communication offers to students a unique opportunity to engage with communities beyond Idyllwild Arts Academy and link their work to the outside world. Like all InterArtists, students who focus on a Digital Communication pathway will produce an original and innovative Senior show.

InterArts/Fashion Design 2016-17

This year in the InterArts department we are highlighting Body Image as a theme. This theme may influence some of our group projects, field trips, master classes and individual designs. In addition, we are continuing to develop and grow our own business within the department. We are currently looking at different business models, and at ways to partner with various international non-profit organizations.

Audition Requirements

1) Please tell us which Pathway you would like to follow: Fashion Design, Design, Storytelling, Performance Practice OR Digital Communication.

2) Essay: What is the Point of Being a Student in the InterArts Department? Please use these questions to structure your essay (3 paragraphs)

  • What attracts you to the InterArts Department?
  • Which Pathway would you like to follow and why?
  • Which Art forms do you find most interesting?
  • What experience do you have in those Art forms?
  • Explain your point of view as an artist, (Fashion Designer / Designer / Storyteller / Performer / Digital Communicator) along with your main artistic influences.
  • The InterArts Department, more than any other department, changes depending on the strengths and interests of its students: what do you think YOU would like to contribute to the department?

3) Submit 5 – 10 examples of work in at least 2 different art forms. Please refer to guidelines in the other departments for help with this. This work should reflect your chosen pathway as much as possible. No matter what, you should always submit your best work. All work must be original. (See specific guidelines for Fashion Design.)

For Fashion Design your examples of art work must include:

  1. Creative personal artwork in any art form, although Visual Art is preferred.
  2. Three to five design sketches.
  3. At least one original design. This could be a garment you have made or something you have designed that someone else made for you. Examples could include street wear and/or any design of yours that has ever been on stage: costuming, fashion, school mascot, something for an event, etc.

For Specific questions regarding the InterArts/Fashion Design admission process contact:
Kelly Wills at 951.659.2171 x2341 or

InterArts / Fashion Design Faculty
InterArts / Fashion Design Chair & Creative Writing Faculty
Visual Arts / InterArts Faculty
InterArts / Fashion Faculty
InterArts / Fashion Faculty
Junior & Senior Shows
Fashion Design