1. CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS (London, England)
-Programs: Fashion, Textile, and Jewelry Design
-Number of students: 1,200 Fashion Students
-Tuition: £13,300 ($20,500)
-Famous Grads: Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Phoebe Philo, Christopher Kane, Hussein Chalayan, Zac Posen, Hamish Bowles, Paul Smith, Giles Deacon, Luella Bartley, Jenny Packham, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Alice Temperley, Riccardo Tisci, Matthew Williamson
-What the Students Say: “CSM is focused on pushing the boundaries of creativity; innovation is their priority over technique and making skills.” “CSM is what you make it. There are many opportunities that no one will force you to make use of.” “It’s true that Central Saint Martins is awesome. But it’s also what you make it. It allows you to get loads of knowledge and experience, but you have to go and get it, not wait for it to magically come to you.”
-The Bottom Line: Central Saint Martins’ elite fashion design program was the clear winner here. (To be sure, most of the most famous students have attended the graduate program, although the undergrad is well-thought-of also.) The school is partially government-funded, which means that talented British students from all walks of life have a chance to work their way in. What’s more, the teaching staff is legendary. Professor Louise Wilson has schooled all the greats–from McQueen to Giles Deacon–and she’s become an international fashion figure because of it.