Paris London: New Approaches To Fashion Design

Course Dates

Paris 3 July - 7 July 2017
London 10 July - 14 July 2017
(Travel days: 8 - 9 July) / Course Fee £1750

If you would like to be notified when the Dual City 2017 courses are open for booking, please complete the registration form.

Teaching in London is delivered by CSM short course tutors, and teaching in other cities is delivered by our partner institutions.

Central Saint Martins and Institut Francais de la Mode are world leaders in the field of Fashion education. This is your opportunity to understand what makes them different, how their teaching methods differ and immerse yourself in an advanced course for fashion graduates to rejuvenate your current practice.

Who should attend? 

This programme is aimed at current fashion students or new professionals who wish to broaden and enrich their design experience in two great fashion capitals. Fashion design studies will include references to London and Paris, with projects incorporating influences particular to each city. Studio sessions will be supported by visits to places in Paris and London to gather research material.

Entry criteria 

To attend this practical course participants must have completed at least two years of an undergraduate degree in fashion or have at least three years fashion industry experience and be competent in pattern making and sewing.

Course includes 

  • Contemporary Fashion in London 
  • Research Skills 
  • Practical Fashion Design, Draping and Textile Development 
  • Developing 2D Concepts into 3D Prototypes


The course content will be articulated around 3 main phases aiming to:

1/ Accomplish an in-depth analysis of your inspirational and narrative universe based on a « 5 senses » workshop method. 
The process we propose aims to help unravel the meanders of your creative universe and process by a better understanding of the inspirational sources that define your creative personality. This comprehension will enable you to better understand and define your creative intention and help develop a new insight into how to materialise it in your creative production. 
This phase will enable you to answer the following fundamental  questions: 
What makes my creative universe unique?
How do I proceed in my design process?
During this phase you will produce the following elements that will allow to articulate and communicate your creative identity and vision:
« 5 senses » pictorial board(s) that will visually communicate the key aspects of the creative universe and inspirational sources
A concise written "manifesto" of your creative intention with a choice of the key words that make up your individual creative vocabulary.
2/ Allow you, through this second phase, to define the key elements and components of your style and how they can be translated into a collection in terms of key pieces, structure, volume, colour range, details,  choice and use of materials and consistency of vision.
3/ Venture, with this final phase,  upon an in-depth understanding of whom your creative process it is aimed at, thus conceptualising your work as a fashion designer in response to the following questions:
Whom am I designing for?
What can I offer in order to catch his/her attention?
What are the reference brands I should take into consideration in order to position myself on the market ? 

The course will provide additional contextualised topics through lectures and workshops that will allow participants to enrich their fashion design creative data base and vision. These include: Haute Couture, Brand DNA and how to analyse a Fashion Show. You will explore the contemporary Parisian world of fashion by researching the retail scene and thus discovering the newly launched major Winter collections. You will also be given the opportunity to discover the design process of a young fashion designer.


The course content will focus on:

Understanding your research and your creative identity: The London side will be an initial analysis of past projects and of your current research. Through group discussions and individual tutorials the tutor will help you to focus your research and identify your individual strengths. The tutor will help you to distinguish characteristics within your research that will lend itself to a successful design process. Together you will discuss design methodology, creative identity and developing your own creative philosophy. You will have time to digest and analyse your own work in preparation for the creation of the Pictorial Board(s) and their Manifestos in Paris in week two.

Translating your research in to a design process (initial stages): This phase will differ for each individual and will be discussed at length in individual tutorials. You will be free from restriction and able to explore the transition from a body of research in to the early stages of your design process. For some 2D work will commence be it sketching, collaging or photo-shop experimentations. For others further research may commence through sourcing and styling experiments.

How to explore initial ideas in 3D through stand work, draping and styling exercises on the mannequins: The group will spend half a day on a group exercise named the mannequin experiments. This is an exercise that will free up your attitude to stand work. It will explore possibilities in shape and silhouette through the augmentation of existing garments. There is one rule. Nothing is to be used in its conventional sense. All students will be expected to participate in this section irrespective of the specifics of their project, and this touches heavily upon the influences of styling upon design and image making. This exercise is designed to free up your expectations and increase your fluidity from 2D to 3D. You will then return to working on the stand with a more considered approach that is relevant to the specifics of your current projects.

Continuing through a design process in 2D and 3D: In groups and individual tutorials, you will evaluate how to push the specifics of your design process to the next stages, thus incorporating your 2D and 3D developments. You will have the time to develop your work further at this stage. Throughout the week you will be given the opportunity to explore London, experiencing first-hand, our culture and how it has affected the contemporary fashion scene in London. We will focus on the east end of London: the most densely populate area in the world for creative people. We will access the rise of the young designer scene, the new labels immerging and its impact on the London Fashion week schedule. There will be a series of hand-outs that will recommend areas of London to visit.

There will be an opportunity to meet several key speakers:

A young designer/creative director Hannah Martin (CSM graduate and visiting lecturer) who will reveal the specifics of her own design process and discuss her relationship to working in the Capital.

A visiting lecturer, the stylist Kim Howells. Kim's work as a stylist and fashion director is submerged in the digital age. She is a stylist that is at the forefront of cultural movements and works predominantly with the up and coming!

A second visiting lecturer, Johnathan Miles (cultural studies tutor CSM) to lead an afternoon session. He is a very philosophical speaker. His take on the 'creative processes' and 'what is a design methodology' is a breath of fresh air. I'm sure the participants will find him highly enlightening.

Tutor Information

Aimee McWilliams is a graduate of Central Saint Martins and Associate Lecturer within the BA Fashion Design department and is also a tutor on the MA at the Royal College of Art. In 2007 she won the prestigious Scottish Designer of the Year Award. Find out more and view her collections at

Jayne Estève Curé reflects her French-English heritage by being a graduate of Park Lane College in Leeds, the Ecole Supérieure des Industries de Vêtement and the IFM in Paris. She worked with the Paris-based designer Olivier Guillemin, for whom she developed and implemented an international development strategy, helped Les Chemins Blancs to reposition their women's ready-to-wear brand, and is currently working with the Berlin-based Esther Perbrandt on the launch of her contemporary fashion and accessory line. Through her own consulting business, she provides regular advice on marketing and development strategy. At the same time, she has always worked as a teacher of fashion marketing, product development and fashion culture, at the IFM and other highly-regarded schools in France, as well as in the UK and Asia.


Please bring with you to the first session, Paris:

All types of visual data (on paper and / or USB key) you find inspirational and that convey/symbolize your creative universe and sources of inspiration. You may already have these and/or will collect during the summer before your arrival in Paris

These can include: Photos: your own or photos (taken by others) that you find inspirational Drawings/Paintings. again, your own or by other painters/artists Magazine cut-outs/photocopies/scans Other references to sources of inspiration music / films / poetry / literature / architecture).

Please bring with you to the first session, London:

Please bring in your portfolios, past projects and your summer project for the first day.

SUMMER PROJECT: this may be research for a new collection or continued research from an existing project that you would like to continue.

The rest of the week will vary from student to student. But we advise that you to bring your laptops and camera, and your preferred media for design ie; pens, paper, tracing paper, collage material.

Please note the course is tailored to the needs of each individual designer. So please allow a small budget to respond to the advise of your tutor. For example you may be asked to explore in a material you have never worked in, or to use alternative drawing equipment that is more preferential to your style.