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Introduction To Fashion Design Short Course

Introduction To Fashion Design Short Course

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Ian Kettle


Have you ever wondered what a fashion designer actually does, whether it is the right career for you, or how designers come up with a fresh collection every season? This introductory course was specifically designed with the beginner in mind. It will guide you through the fashion design process. You will work from a set brief through an extensive research process to generate and develop ideas for fashion. 

By the end of this course you will have developed a good understanding of the design process for fashion. You will have the tools necessary to communicate your ideas and to begin developing a portfolio for application for further study in fashion. It will give you a clearer idea of whether the work of a fashion designer, or some other role in this diverse and vibrant industry, is for you.

Both Menswear & Womenswear are covered.

Topics covered:

  • design briefing (setting up a project)
  • new research methods for designers
  • colour palette and texture sourcing workshop
  • figure drawing workshop 
  • multiple design exercises (collage-detail placement-negative)
  • preliminary design development workshop
  • sketchbook development
  • runway review (deconstructing a designers collection)
  • individual advice, diagnostics and portfolio review (next steps in fashion)
  • guidance on developing a personal design ‘language’

Who should take this course?

  • absolute beginners
  • business start-ups
  • experienced students looking to refresh their design practice.

Entry requirements: None

Level: Beginners - Intermediate

Follow-up course: Building A Fashion Collection

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Ian Scott Kettle BA (CSM) MA (RCA) Fashion Design

Ian is the head of Fashion Design on the Semester Study Abroad Programme here at Central Saint Martins, along side running the Introduction to Fashion programme, as well as setting-up and delivering bespoke one-to-one and group design courses here and in Mexico, Buenos Aires and China for beginners, industry professionals and the odd celebrity.

Ian is a well respected freelance designer with over twenty years experience, having worked for several independent designers, including Dexter Wong - Head of Womenswear & Alberta Ferretti – Designer and running his own business. His own work has been profiled in many magazines (Vogue, Elle, Grazia, WWD, ID, Nylon & 125…) He has contributed to projects in the arts, film, theatre and pop. (Cindy Sherman, Toyah and Michael Jackson…)

IAN SCOTT KETTLE is Ian’s current business of Gentlemen’s Bespoke Accessories. One-off, hand made pieces, catering to private clients, run from his studio at Cockpit Arts in London. Studio visits (by appointment) are welcome. Come see a working studio or simply to discuss your course options.


For the first session:

HB Pencil-Pen-Rubber
A5 Note Pad
£5 cash for Research Photocopying
USB memory stick (Min 8GB)
Colour (any) pencils-Pens or Pastels

Needed later into the course (your tutor will advise you)

(A4) Portrait or (A3) Landscape Sketchbook (white paper)
(A4) Layout Pad
HB Retractable Pencil 
Black 0.1 and 0.5 Fine Line Pens 
Letraset Pro-Markers: 1 x ivory & 1 x cool grey no1
Small paper scissors 
Paper glue
1cm Masking Tape
Camera or Smartphone (for research only, high quality not necessary)

All the above available at the CSM Art Shop open during course time

Available dates