New York London: Fashion Design, Process and Practice

Dual City 2017 - New York

What is it about Central Saint Martins and Parsons that produces the best fashion designers in the world? How do the schools teach creativity in fashion design and how does their approach differ from each other? This four-week course will give you two weeks in each city enabling you to immerse yourself in the culture of the schools and leave reinvigorated...more information below

Tutors: Steven Faerm (Parsons) and Rosemary Wallin (Central Saint Martins) 


What is it about Central Saint Martins and Parsons that produces the best fashion designers in the world? How do the schools teach creativity in fashion design and how does their approach differ from each other? This four-week course will give you two weeks in each city enabling you to immerse yourself in the culture of the schools and leave reinvigorated. 

Who should attend

This course is suitable for students who are thinking of applying to Parsons or Central Saint Martins and want to understand the colleges to make an informed decision about which is best for them. This course is also suitable for graduates or people working in the fashion industry who want to rejuvenate their practice and have the opportunity to relearn the key skills required for a fashion practitioner.


Course Outcomes

  • An understanding for how to develop cohesive collections through design, concept, and narrative
  • Diverse methods of collecting and analysing research through primary and secondary sources
  • An introduction to diverse design processes that engage research contextualisation,
  • An awareness for the fashion markets and industry systems
  • Participate in peer-critique and reflect upon personal development
  • A final project showcasing your design story from inspiration, through design development to final large scale illustrations.


New York

This course introduces students to the design principles and conceptual processes used in designing apparel. In NYC, the focus will be on conceptual development, research methods, and visual presentations. At Parsons we will focus on developing your conceptual thinking, design processes, research, and methods of visual communication/presentation. You will learn to perform primary, secondary, and ethnographic research; source and creatively manipulate inspirations and concepts; discover how materiality and colour strengthen design and one’s viewpoint; and develop methods for creating dynamic and well-conceived design processes. All of which will help you to refine and strengthen your vision as a fashion designer. We will also investigate the current—and future—of the fashion practice/industry, and question why and how it’s evolving. You will interrogate the question: What is the role of the future designer, and how can we best prepare?


The most important thing, as a designer, is to have your own design language and the ability to create and communicate your own world. In London you will embark on a project using a combination of personal and external research to investigate and begin to locate your own style and interests, and understand how these can be interpreted in your design work.

You will use a variety of techniques to invigorate your creativity and try new ways of gaining inspiration. You will use London and its museums and galleries as a stimulus for ideas as well and getting inspiration from more unusual, personal, sources. You will be introduced to mind mapping techniques using your research and objects to develop a 2D design brief and from these develop 3D experimentation with fabric and paper. The course will include practical sessions on fashion illustration that will ensure that you are able to present your ideas in a visually interesting and compelling way. Through a series of workshops we will refine your ideas and you will illustrate them to portfolio standard.

Tutor Information

New York

Steven Faerm (M.S.Ed.) is an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School for Design (Program Director, 2007-2011). A Parsons alumnus (‘94) and Designer of the Year nominee, he began teaching in 1998 while working for designers Marc Jacobs and Donna Karan. Steven has been awarded ​The New School's University Teaching Excellence Award (2008) and the BFA Fashion Design Program's Teaching Excellence Award (2011).  

Steven has created college and pre-college courses for Parsons and several international institutions, and has served as a program consultant for Rhode Island School of Design, Otis College of Art and Design, and Pratt Institute. He lectures internationally about fashion design education and pedagogy, and develops design and pedagogy workshops for institutions worldwide.  Since 2012, he has co-produced an academic journal that examines fashion design education with The University of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

His publications include two books that are available in seven languages: “Fashion Design Course: Principles Practice, and Techniques” (2010) and “Creating A Successful Fashion Collection: Everything You Need to Develop a Great Line and Portfolio” (2012).  His scholarly research has been featured in leading academic journals and he currently serves as an editorial advisor for three publishing houses. Since 2008, Steven has served as a Board Member for The Arts of Fashion Foundation and Director for the Foundation's annual "Fashion.Edu" lecture series.

Steven's area of scholarship and research examines the future of fashion design education, pedagogy, and student development.  He received his M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education.


Rosemary Wallin (MPhil RCA, SFHEA) is Pathway Leader for BA Fashion : Design with Marketing at Central Saint Martins. Her teaching has been recognized with a Vice Chancellors Teaching Award, and disseminated at the INSTIL Teaching and Learning Conference.

Rosemary is also a designer and academic specialising in the field of sustainable luxury for the fashion industry. Rosemary graduated from Central Saint Martins in Fashion Design and worked in industry as a designer before completing an MPhil at the Royal College of Art where her research explored the use of new technology (CAD and 3D printing) to enable sustainable fashion product. Her work has won numerous awards and scholarships including The British Standards Institute ward, The Ted Powers Scholarship, The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Award and NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) funding. Her work has been featured in Vogue and The Guardian as well as International Design Exhibitions and Sir John Sorrell’s book on British Design innovation: Creative Island. Currently completing a PhD at Central Saint Martins supported by a Gucci Fellowship, she is investigating ‘Technology for Sustainable Luxury’.

Rosemary continues to work with industry, and consults on sustainable design for Louis Vuitton, Loewe and Marc Jacobs as well as lecturing on sustainable luxury at the Mode am Institut für Design in Vienna and CREA Genève.

She is a regular contributor to SHOWstudio, reviewing ready to wear and couture collections during Fashion week.


Please bring with you to New York

  • Materials list coming soon

Please bring with you to London

  • Your sketchbook and drawing materials
  • An object (it does not need to be fashion related) which is important to you, and which has significance and meaning - .This must be a small object, which you can bring with you to London, and it really can be anything you find inspiring. It might be a piece of jewellery owned by your grandmother, a small toy you had as child, the ticket stub for an important theatre visit or a found object from a holiday or time which was important to you or your family.
  • Please note: You will need to bring your object with you to the class, so make sure if you are travelling that you have chosen something practical!
  • Choose a line from a song or a poem.  - This can be from your favourite pop song, a hymn or poem. Once again, choose something, which has meaning to you, which speaks to you and makes you feel something important.


Booking Terms and Conditions

Additional Information

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

All Dual City course fees are inclusive of teaching. Please note that accommodation and travel fees are additional and to be organised directly by the student.