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Fashion Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds Short Course

Course description

This course is for young people who love fashion design and would like to know more! Specifically designed with the beginner in mind the course will guide you through the design process for fashion design. You will work from a set brief through the research process to generate and develop new ideas for fashion: Womenswear, Menswear, Fashion Design with textiles (print or knit), Gender Neutral and beyond.

The course is project-based and encourages the development of ideas, experimentation and creative approaches to fashion design and fashion illustration, which underpin and define the spirit of fashion study at Central Saints Martins.

Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of fashion design study through: research, documentation of ideas with sketchbooks, creative fashion illustration, experimentation, development of concepts, 2D to 3D experimentation, design presentation and portfolio preparation and advice for further study at FE or HE level.

The course offers a taster of more advanced university-level modes of study and therefore students are expected to engage with independent learning within their project work.

The course is co-taught by visiting designers, fashion practitioners, working independently or with international brands, and graduates from Central Saint Martins.

Course outcomes

  • You should leave the course with more confidence in your research skills for fashion.
  • You will have a portfolio of fashion illustration in several media and your portfolio could be used for future studies.
  • Experience in visual communication for fashion using a variety of different materials and methodologies.
  • You will have developed a better understanding of the design process for fashion.
  • Having enjoyed generating new work and experimenting with research and idea.
  • The course will give you an overview of what makes studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins so inspiring.

Level: Beginners

Entry requirements: An interest in the creative arts and fashion

Who should take this course?

  • Students interested in exploring and developing personal creativity
  • Students interested in studying at Central Saint Martins at FE or HE level
  • Students interested in learning about fashion
  • Those looking to build a portfolio for further study
  • Students interested in pursuing a career in fashion
  • Enthusiastic students at the start of their creative careers

Please note: This course is for students aged 16 to 18 years old only

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

This course is scheduled to run on campus in a face to face delivery format. Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation this course may be adapted in line with UK government guidance or other operational requirements. This may include changing course location (to another UAL site), cancellation of the course, or moving part or all of the course online. In the event of any changes being required we will inform you as soon as possible and support you in any changes required. Please bear this in mind when making any travel, visa, or accommodation arrangements.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


This course includes: 

  • Experimental idea development for the body
  • Research methodologies and sketchbook techniques for fashion
  • Introduction to CSM library and digital learning resources 
  • Introduction to fashion illustration, and live fashion illustration class
  • Experimental collage and juxtaposition techniques
  • Live project brief
  • Research field trip to central London gallery or museum
  • Consolidation and development of research ideas to inform original ‘mini’ fashion collection
  • Group and peer critiques
  • Individual tutorials
  • Presentation methodologies
  • Portfolio and application advice for further study at HE level within UAL and beyond


Students should bring the following materials to the first session:

  • A2 Sketch pad / Drawing pad of white or off white cartridge paper
  • Drawing kit - pencils, and coloured pencils
  • Colour drawing and painting materials: These can be a felt tip or marker pens, Conte or charcoal, pens, acrylics or gouache etc.
  • Scissors
  • Pritt stick or glue stick
  • Camera (with film or memory as appropriate)
  • Selection of Magazines: (Interior design, home decoration, national geographic, fashion, art or any other image heavy publications). The magazines do not have to be new and will be disassembled and used as creative resources within the course

All other materials and specialist equipment will be provided by the college, including mannequins, individual sketchbooks, textiles and art and design mediums.

Suggested reading list:

  • Davies, H (2013) Fashion Designers Sketchbooks Two. London. Laurence King
  • Davies, H (2013) British Fashion Designers (Mini) London. Laurence King
  • Jenkins Jones,S (2011) Fashion Design (Portfolio), London. Laurence King
  • Leech, R ( 2012) The Fashion Resource Book: Research for Design. London. Thames & Hudson
  • Leech, R ( 2014) The Fashion Resource Book: Men. London. Thames & Hudson

Suggested links:

Meet the Tutor:

This course is for young people who love fashion design and would like to know more! Specifically designed with the beginner in mind the course will guide you through the design process for fashion design.

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