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Art Direction for Fashion (Online Short Course)

Art Direction For Fashion (Online Short Course)

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Schelay McCarter


The fashion industry needs compelling images to build brands, tell stories, make emotional connections, and most importantly, to sell products across a multi-media platform. This course is a fast-paced and practical introduction to Art Direction for fashion, led by a leading creative art director. You will discover how to plan and execute your art direction project to the standards demanded by today's fashion industry. You will explore the history of fashion photography right up to the work of contemporary photographers, learning how their work impacts on fashion-focused image production today, and you will get an overview of the practical skills - interpreting briefs, casting models, finding locations, working with social media, stylists, photographers and film makers - that you need to succeed.

You will develop your own project during the course, with practical and personal guidance and feedback at every step. Your final project will be reviewed by your tutor Schelay McCarter.


  • Visual Literacy - what is your USP as an individual image maker
  • Brain storming using catwalk trends
  • The business of fashion - how it really works
  • Guidance of basic lay-out design for publication
  • Psychology of image creation
  • Jobs - where to look
  • Technological trend developments
  • Weekly research tasks
  • The three stages of a fashion shoot plan
  • Online group critiques and discussion
  • The production - how to time manage - how to cost a shoot
  • Reviews and feedback
  • Presentation Guide - how to sell your ideas
By the end of the course you will have;
  • Developed a good understanding of the role of an Art Director in the Fashion Industry
  • Learnt how to market yourself as a successful Art Director
  • Knowledge of how to plan and deliver successful images that will inspire audiences and sell product
  • An understanding of the practical, legal and fiscal elements required in the management of a fashion shoot production
  • Received hand-outs to form an Art directors handbook of useful data
  • Personal feedback on how to progress your career
  • An invitation to join the Art Direction for Fashion CSM London Facebook, which provides excellent networking opportunities
  • Upon request, students will receive an outcomes review of their online fashion art direction project

Who is Art Direction for Fashion (Online) for
Suitable for both beginners and more experienced students, this course is a must if you want to find out more about how to manage creative projects in the world of fashion communication. It is a great opportunity for networking and collaborating, and would be of interest to fashion brand managers, film makers, photographers, graduate students and fashion retail staff.

Beginner / Intermediate

Why choose a CSM Online Short Course
Online short courses allow you to experience Central Saint Martins wherever you are in the world. Additionally all CSM Online Short Courses include

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • CSM Certificate upon completion

Visit Frequently Asked Questions for further details about preparing for your online course, including any equipment you need.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To compare times, please check World Time Buddy.

"The course provided a lot of insider information and resources for the Art Director enthusiast. Schelay was fantastic.... very knowledgeable and gave really great insights to the novice, transforming them to real contenders by the end of the course. Everything came together like magic at the end."

- former student

"I must say I didn't know what to expect from the online course, but I am completely satisfied. I feel that it has really helped me to tune into my instincts when it comes to idea generation and editing. I feel that I now have a much better idea of my style and voice. The first week's class really set the tone for helping with this by making us a choose a single image that we connected with. Brilliant. The interactive format between the other students was also really nice, as I didn't expect to have that with an online course. Thank you!"

-Rebekah Amosah, California, BA Honors in Fashion Design, currently working on a sustainability project

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Schelay McCarter is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London and has a commercial fashion branding background and career. This includes fashion forecasting, journalism, fashion branding for ecommerce and fashion image realisation project management.

Clients: Burberry, Kering Group, Inditex, British Fashion Council, LVMH, Farfetch, Marks and Spencer, Nike, Jack Wills, H&M Group, All Saints, Arcadia Group,  Amazon and YOOX Net-a-Porter Group

Magazines: Soma, Plastik, B magazine, Status magazine

Photographers worked with: Tim Brett Day, Kim Knott, Sean Knott, Tiffany Mumford, Emma Summerton, James Meakin, Kim Watson, Jean Pierre Mascalet and Nick Knight 

Please check out Schelay's website and fashiontent for more information.


Online Short Course Materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Firefox or Chrome)
  • The latest version of Java installed on your device
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection via WiFi or ethernet; 2G, 3G or 4G will not be sufficient

Course Specific Materials

Please have ready for the first session:

  • Pen & paper
  • Start collecting and putting aside a selection of fashion/life-style
    magazines for example Vogue (UK, Italian, French), Marie-Claire, Elle, Red,
    Wallpaper, ID, Dazed and Confused, plus any other magazines that inspire
    you. Don't feel you have to buy a huge selection of current ones, one or two
    will do from this year or from last.
  • Look at to be in touch with current fashion news.
  • Camera - (not essential but if you have one please have it available)

You will also need in later sessions:

  • Two A2 Poly-boards (don't buy this until you have discussed this with the tutor)
  • Sellotape (clear adhesive tape)
  • Pritt stick (paper glue stick)
  • Metal ruler
  • Scalpel (with cork protection)
  • Cutting mat
  • Scissors

Available dates