London Florence: Fashion Trend Forecasting and Styling

Course Dates:

London: 3 July - 13 July 2017
Florence: 18 July - 28 July 2017
(Travel days: 14 - 17 July) / Course Fee £2900

If you would like to be notified when this course is open for booking, please complete the registration form.

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


Taught by: Jo Simpson, Silvia Tolaro

A professional stylist's role is far more than deciding on an outfit. They source garments, book models, plan the look, adapt to their audience and the media they are using to present final images. This course will take you through the skills required to become a stylist and give you an opportunity to work on your own shoot, enabling you to come away with images that will make your portfolio stand out from the crowd. 

Who should attend? 

This course is suitable for beginners. No specific skills are necessary but candidates should be prepared to work hard and fast and experiment with new ideas whilst also having lots of fun. 

Outcomes: By the end of this course the student will have looked at the following themes: 

  • Analysing the emerging trends in contemporary editorial fashion images
  • Interpreting the personality of a client and his/her lifestyle through your styling
  • Culture of fashion communication business
  • Creating a professional editorial fashion image developing a unique image by considering clothing, accessories, photos and locations


During the first nine days of your studies you will learn the fundamentals of fashion styling. You will develop techniques for sourcing garments, accessories and props, learn to work within a team with live models and to tight deadlines, as well as undertaking individual creative projects. You will have London as your key reference point and you will use the college and the surrounding public spaces to create amazing fashion images. You will learn about the fashion magazine business in the UK, both the glossies and the more independent art-based magazines, and identify the differences that their editors demand. The course will be practical and fast-paced with talks from stylists already working in London, and is ideal for anyone who wants to take their first steps in the fashion industry. The work that you create in London will be key to the success of your studies in Florence. 


The second part of the course in Florence aims to introduce students to the complex dynamics of the fashion styling profession through a mini styling project. Today the stylist plays a fundamental role that does not only affect how a concept look is created in the press or in a fashion show: the stylist nowadays plays a vital part in the creative phase, supporting, or even replacing the job of the fashion designer. In the last few years some well-known fashion stylists have headed famous fashion houses as art directors.

Stylists require the ability to build imaginative worlds; to collect and re-imagine outfits; to create and merge styles and concepts; to spot colours and styles that characterise a season or part of a collection; to capture or create a trend. These are the foundation of one of the most special professions in the fashion sector today, requiring a deep sensitivity and a sound knowledge of fashion.

This is a trans-disciplinary job that covers apparel, accessories, photography, press editorials up to cinema, editorial movies, presentations for fashion shows. You also need to be able to research, scouting the Fashion scene for new designers with whom to work.

The course includes lectures and a live styling project. You will meet with internationally renowned stylists that collaborate with fashion magazines such as Vogue Italia, as well as make-up artists that will help you understand the importance of stylists working hand in hand with the fashion designers and the fashion photographers.

You will meet a fashion professional, visit a fashion showroom, an atelier and a press office. This will give you a good understanding of how designers, stylists and editorial offices interact.

The course will culminate in a photoshoot, during which you will create a concept look for man or woman and work at a micro editorial of 3 pictures (result of the photo-shoot). Some garments for a photo-shooting (outdoor or in a studio) will be made available by the fashion showroom and the atelier while you will also need to source other garments or accessories either from your wardrobe or local shops.

You will end the course with a mini-portfolio of images from your shoot.

Tutor Information:

Jo Simpson is a freelance fashion stylist and model casting director. She has taught at Central Saint Martins for 10 years and is the Curriculum Leader for the Fashion & Textiles department as well as the lead tutor for the Fashion Communication pathway on foundation at Central Saint Martins. Jo graduated from CSM with an MA in Fashion (Print) and has been teaching Fashion, Textiles and Fashion Communication at a range of institutions for the last 12 years, including regular visiting lecturer positions at City and Guilds of London Art School and University of Creative Arts. Jo has worked on various shows for London Fashion Week over the last 14 years including backstage production and in the role of Casting Director for: Alexander McQueen, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Aquascutum, Ghost, Sophia Kokosalaki, BStore and Clare Tough. Other fashion projects have included roles such as Styling CoOrdinator for YSL-24/SHOWstudio film, Giorgio Armani’s RED project and Fashion Rocks. As a Stylist Jo works for both editorial and advertising clients, including the styling of Lacoste’s L!ve worldwide campaign and consultation for brands such as Fred Perry and Pringle of Scotland. Jo is currently undertaking a practise based PhD at UAL investigating the themes of the future of the fashion show and the hidden creative fashion communities.

Silvia Tolaro is a researcher and lecturer in Sociology of the Imaginary and Trend Forecasting at Polimoda and International Institute of Fashion Design and Marketing, Florence. Specialised in cross-cultural research, Silvia Tolaro analyses the collective and symbolic dimension of society addressing new paths of social behaviour. As Polimoda Resident Teacher, mentored by Danilo Venturi, Head of Department of Business and Communication at Polimoda, she develops a conceptual and interdisciplinary approach to cultural and countercultural fashion phenomena.


Please bring the following with you to the first session in London:

  • Drawing Equipment including scissors, coloured pens/pencils, Pritt stick glue 
  • A favourite Fashion editorial magazine (they will use this as inspiration for the course)
  • Digital Camera (if possible / not essential)
  • Lap Top Computer (if possible / not essential)