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Fashion Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Fashion Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Helen Bullock, with others


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.

Research field trip in London
The course includes an inspirational and research gathering field trip to a London museum or gallery, that feeds into your studio course work.

Students will be introduced to techniques and approaches to the development and visualisation of design ideas for fashion. Students will complete a one week project brief, building a body of work that can contribute to portfolio building and preparation for further study. They will learn about fundamental techniques for fashion design and methodologies used within industry and higher education.

The course concludes with a mini exhibition, feedback and advice for portfolios and further study.

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

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 of visual communication for fashion using a variety of different materials and methodologies.
  • You will have develop 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 

Related courses:

Fashion Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds is a stand-alone course. During the summer period the course also be combined with the Fashion Styling and Communication and Street Fashion for 16 to 18 Year Olds courses to make a complete Fashion Summer School course.

This will provide a more intensive, in-depth and multi-faceted experience, and really meet the needs of aspiring fashion students, and portfolio building. The courses are designed as a portfolio preparation and introduction to fashion study experience. The course will help students prepare for and can lead to further study at FE (Foundation Diploma) or HE level (Fashion Folio or BA Hons Fashion)

Fashion Design for 16 to 18 Year Olds is a very popular course which often fully books out; we also have plenty of amazing Courses for Teenagers to discover running throughout the year.

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

Tutor Description

Helen Bullock is a London based Fashion Illustrator and Print designer, and has worked with brands including Ralph Lauren, Liberty, Louis Vuitton, & Sunday Times Style Magazine. She teaches Fashion Illustration at various institutions including Kingston University, Glasgow School of Art & Central Saint


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

It is also recommended that you buy an Oyster card (a travel smartcard) in advance of the study trip on Tuesday. For more information see here:

Please note that all other materials will be provided by the college, and may include: 

  • CSM Sketchbook
  • Specialist art and design materials 
  • Fashion mannequins
  • Access to library, computers, printing, photocopying and scanning facilities 
  • Entrance fees to galleries and museums

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: 

Available dates