BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion
Explore the role of creative direction within fashion communication and develop skills and knowledge to produce imaginative creative outcomes.
This course has places available. View the ‘How to apply’ section on this page for more details. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, including others available at LCF, visit the Places available page.
This fashion illustration course will teach you how to communicate by creating fashion images, using drawing, multimedia and digital techniques and will explore illustration's potential in branding, editorial platforms, advertising and graphic design.
You will combine your creative practice with academic knowledge, business awareness, industry-led projects and work placements.
The course is situated in the School of Media and Communication. Students explore fashion illustration via traditional and contemporary approaches to drawing and image creation. Contextual and conceptual ideas are explored, which challenge the role of the fashion illustrator within a broader fashion context. Developing your drawing skills with new technologies, artisanal techniques and exploring visual communication skills, your illustrative stance is cultivated and nourished.
Take a tour of LCF's world renowned fashion library, ideal for research and study.
Take a tour of Lime Grove's media facilities from drawing studios to photographic studios to darkrooms.
Explore our social spaces, for collaborative study and breaks, across our six sites in London.
BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration's specialist curriculum is underpinned by drawing in all its guises and enhanced by digital technology, photography, moving image and animation. You will gain refined visual and academic research skills, culminating in a final major project and dissertation in your final year.
Live projects include collaborations with Fine Cell Work, DASH magazine, H&M, London Fashion Week, MarKings Festival 2016, Apple, Goodmans and Showstudio.
The course has many links to industry including DASH magazine, Apple, Showstudio and the many practitioners who teach on the course within a teaching capacity. The courses is also currently working with House of Illustration and also run live-streamed events with the Paris School of Art.
Alumni include Alina Zamanova, Kojey Radical, Displaytoy, Adriana Deco and Bex Cassie.
Year one - stage one - level 4 - 120 credits
Term one: Introduction to Study in Higher Education: Fashion Illustration (20 credits); Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images (20 credits)
Term two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Cross Media Narratives (20 credits)
Term three: Fashion Illustration and Moving Images (40 credits)
Year two - stage two - level 5 - 120 credits
Term one: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); The Client Brief (20 credits)
Term two: Situating Your Practice: Placement / Situating Your Practice: International Study Media / Situating Your Practice: Fashioned Spaces (40 credits)
Term three: Research Methods for Illustration (20 credits); Creative Directions (20 credits)
Third Year - stage three - level 6 - 120 credits
Term one: Concept and Research Development (20 credits)
Terms one and two: Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation (40 credits)
Term two and three: Final Major Project for Fashion Illustration (60 credits)
Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.
In the first term you will study two units.
Introduction to Fashion Illustration introduces you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.
The Fashion Illustration and Drawn Images unit introduces you to the principles and skills of communicating ideas and proposals through fashion illustration. You will learn research skills that encourage you to recognise, interpret and demonstrate the importance of direct observation, visual analysis and synthesis. You will develop your visual vocabulary, using both traditional craft and digital techniques, and expand your sources of reference, linking research and content to fashion illustration.
In the second term you will study two units.
Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.
The Cross Media Narratives unit will introduce you to narrative and story as a means of communicating to an audience. You will be paying specific attention to the fusion of traditional and experimental drawing techniques and digital technology. This unit explores the processes by which contemporary fashion imaging communicates style, content and context. Your visual literacy skills will be developed and extended through the investigation and application of associated technologies.
In the third term you will do the Fashion Illustration and Moving Images unit, which introduces you to time-based media and the fundamental processes associated with the moving image with specific reference to illustration. You will be encouraged to examine the relevance, effectiveness and power of moving image, from social media to cinema, within the context of fashion promotion and communication. During this unit you will be introduced to understanding the requirements of the brand and client within the fashion industry.
In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment.
Also studied in the first term, The Client Brief unit will build upon your prior knowledge of fashion imaging in the context of the demands of the fashion industry. You will be applying knowledge of the role of the illustrator in the fashion industry and your relationship to marketing, public relations, advertising and branding. You will be working with an external client, either simulated or actual, and you will analyse the brief to ensure full understanding of the requirements. You will establish working methods to ensure your response to the brief includes the specific fashion illustration requirements for your client and a professional approach to presentations. This unit will increase your awareness of product knowledge, and you will research and investigate competitive brands and markets.
Second term options:
Situating Your Practice: Placement aims to develop your professional skills within an industry environment. On your placement you will be able to experience the pace, atmosphere and discipline of working in the industry. This will give you practical experience of the roles, functions and operations within the industry. The unit requires a minimum of 60 work placement hours.
Situating Your Practice: International Study Media provides an opportunity to apply previous learning whilst studying your subject in a different institution. You will develop skills within your practice and gain credits for your current course whilst engaging with the academic culture of your host institution. The unit also demands a critical approach to the management of your own learning through reflection and planning.
Situating Your Practice: Fashioned Spaces will introduce you to the processes, platforms and formats which are available for you to use in order to showcase your specialist creative practice. The unit will offer you the opportunity to situate, curate, produce and display your innovative body of work within a site-specific context and devise and promote its exposure to a real-life audience. During the course of the unit you will be able to experience your discipline as a public event, which will give you hands-on experience of the roles, functions and operations within the context of professional fashion community.
In the third term you will do two units.
Research Methods for Illustration provides you with an overview of a variety of different research methods that will underpin both your Cultural and Historical Studies dissertation and your Final Major Project in the third year. For the dissertation you will be introduced to the first two key stages, the literature review and the research, and how each relates to each other. You will also look at primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and methods of appropriately realising the research for the dissertation. Parallel with this you will develop research ideas for a visual research proposal for a notional research project, and will formulate a plan for future research into your chosen area. Your preliminary research will include both primary and secondary sources.
In the Creative Directions unit you will increase your knowledge of professional illustrative and collaborative working practices. You will work in a small team to undertake the research for a simulated or real professional brief. You will be required to collaborate, assume responsibility, organise and communicate with the team to collate your research to culminate in a joint oral and visual presentation. You will also consolidate your professional illustrative skills and develop a signature style. You will have the opportunity to explore individual interests and platforms and channel your creative direction into a context such as drawing, experimental image creation, packaging design, animation, app design creation, graphic design, books, publications or website design.
In the first term you will do the Concept and Research Development unit. This unit requires you to expand your research practice and skills, and will be a space for you to experiment, develop and cultivate your ideas for a Final Major Project proposal. You will consider the theoretical and professional contexts of your project and develop an appropriate methodology, paying attention to narrative, audience and production values. You will explore new ideas, processes, and methods, and will take risks and experiment with design and production values, working to an intended outcome. The way that you structure your work within this unit is up to you; for example you may choose to focus on one line of enquiry, or produce a series of smaller test projects, or explore a range of visual and theoretical research avenues and methods.
In the first and second terms you will undertake a major piece of written work for the Cultural and Historical Studies Dissertation unit. This allows you to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory, and how you can apply these theoretical perspectives in a specific study, which you will have already identified in the third term of the second year. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to undertake primary and secondary research that examines in depth cultural issues relating to a particular aspect of fashion, lifestyle, the body, performance or the media, and to produce a written piece of work that reflects the critical debates around your chosen topic.
The Final Major Project for Illustration, undertaken in the second and third terms, gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your specialist skills and specific interests through an individual body of work. You will test your ability to respond innovatively to the challenges involved in your chosen context. The structure and outcomes of your project will be determined through your project proposal. You will identify and construct individually negotiated outcomes to develop your concepts. You will be expected to plan and organise your time carefully with reference to your written project proposal. You will develop your research, methods and approaches and produce a significant body of work that demonstrates innovation, design development, application of skills and a heightened level of understanding of fashion illustration in its broadest terms.
The extensive facilities at Lime Grove that support this course include the Mac suites, photography studios, edit suites, sound studios and other specialist areas which can be utilised if required.
Sue Dray, Course Leader, made her name illustrating for groundbreaking feminist publications Spare Rib and The Women’s Press, now archived in The British Library and the Victoria & Albert museum. Through the 80s she made regular contributions to Gay Mens Press and Gay Pied in Paris, and drew backstage at Soho’s infamous cabaret den, Madame JoJo’s. Her roster of high profile clients includes Marks and Spencer, Liberty, Johnnie Walker, Sainsburys, Brit- ish Rail, South Bank Arts Centre, BHS, Swatch and Arts Council. She’s been published in Sunday Times, Cosmopolian, Time Out, Fashion Weekly, Elle, New Scientist and The Observer. Sue currently draws backstage for Vivienne Westwood and Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World in a signature style that combines strong lines with painterly textures and bright, contrasting colours.
I am interested in experiential sessions that provide students with a space to explore both notions of the ‘self ‘ and the creative process, in relation to the expansive genre of fashion illustration and imaging.
Daniela Hatfield, Senior Lecturer
Richard Kilroy, a menswear illustrator, combines photorealism with abstract graphic elements, and has won him a host of prominent clients including Paul Smith, Christian Dior, Canali and VMan. Most recently he’s collaborated with Disney and ten of London’s top designers for Star Wars: Fashion Finds The Force. An exhibition of works in collaboration with A Magazine Curated By was displayed at Tom Greyhound, Paris in 2014. Richard wrote and curated Menswear Illustration (2015, Thames & Hudson), the first survey of contemporary menswear illustration. Richard also self-publishes Decoy, a limited edition fanzine featuring work from prominent and emerging illustrators. He has previously tutored at Central Saint Martins and Royal College
Amelie Hegardt is an illustrator with over 10 years experience in the industry. Harrods, MAC Cosmetics, and The Sunday Times number among her clients and her wide ranging practice encompasses drawing, performance and film: other projects have seen her work with the Pompidou Center in Paris and London’s Serpentine Gallery.
The thread connecting her work is the struggle to relate human experience through depictions of the body. Viewing her work as a stage from which her drawings perform, Amelie has even taken method acting and mime classes as part of her research - Amelie is also a passionate advocate of observational drawing and the importance of an intimate knowledge of materials.
Alex Mullins is a British menswear designer, educated at Central Saint Martins, where he was runner-up in the L’Oreal Professional Young Designer of the Year Award. He then went on to complete the MA (Menswear) at the Royal College of Art. While at the RCA he was awarded a full scholarship with Kopenhagen Fur, and was nominated for the Dazed and Confused/Casio G-Shock ‘Spirit of Toughness’ award. After working for Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, Jeremy Scott, Kanye West and Dirk Bikkem- bergs, Mullins set up his eponymous brand in spring 2013.
Itai Doron is the Programme Director for Fashion Media courses. He is an established photographer with particular interests in fashion, portraiture, social documentary, body politics, identity and queer theory. Working as a lens-based artist since graduation from Goldsmiths College of Art, Itai has twice received the UAL research project award to develop a body of work on immigration, combining social documentary with notions of fashion. Itai has a proven track record of public dissemination of visual and written work through exhibitions, publications, and academic research and was invited to deliver talks and lectures about his research at various international academic conferences. He has exhibited at the White Cube gallery in London, and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe, Japan, Israel and the United States. He has authored a selection of photography books, including End Of Real in 2005, Yassin in 2009, Chokras’ Mahal (Boys' Palace) in 2011, and Fifteen Minutes With You in 2012.
Other visiting and guest lecturers and contributors include:
We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
Contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7514 7344
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form
Please note that the equal consideration deadline was 15 January.
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
International applicants may apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the Applying through UCAS page.
If applying through UCAS, you will need the following information:
For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:
We continue to accept applications throughout the year, but please note that the equal consideration deadline was 15 January.
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page or contact the UAL admissions team who can answer any specific questions that you may have regarding LCF's courses tailored for international students. This can include guidance for your portfolio, advice on the application process and fee advice. We offer a ‘drop-in’ facility for applicants who may be in London and wish to obtain further course and admissions information.
Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.
English language requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.
Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.
What We Look For
The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:
Portfolio and interview advice
For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office at email@example.com to find out about the portfolio application process.
All applicants invited for interview with the course team will be asked to complete a small drawing activity. This will aid and assist the course team in the interview process. Applicants should note the importance of the work in the portfolio presented at interview in determining whether or not you are offered a place.
For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: drawing / presentation skills; examples of creative visual imagery; research skills; experimentation; and engagement with technology for image production.
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in, and awareness of, contemporary fashion and fashion illustration; a cultural awareness of society; visual awareness evidenced through portfolio work; an interest in, and knowledge of, technical processes for image production; a motivation for working in fashion illustration; and a motivation to succeed on the course.
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed in the Entry requirements and What we look for sections.
Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.
Deferred entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
Applicants on some courses may be invited to attend an Interview. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter, confirming location and date. International applicants should contact the Admission Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.
All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.
Please note: the information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course. Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year. In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.
We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.
This applies for the 2017/18 academic year.
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.
This applies for the 2017/18 academic year.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
All of our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry.
Graduates who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere.
Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration students also go on to do curation, painting, art direction and freelance fashion illustration. Recent graduates from this course are working at ASOS, Browns Focus, Love magazine, and Vauxhall Fashion Scout. This year graduates include musician Kojey Radical who is MOBO nominated, and explores themes that he looked at through his illustration within a sonic context. Other alumni Bex Cassie, who is at SHOWstudio and Olivia Bilson will graduate from RCA this year.