Secondary and A Level | The Fashion Museum
Image: A student sketching in the Museum galleries Image: A student sketching in the Museum galleries Show image info

A student sketching in the Museum galleries

Secondary and A Level

Specifications for KS3/KS4 and AS/A level identify a need for students to understand the history of fashion and design. Students also need to understand how to develop their ideas to create innovative designs for fashionable garments. These sessions look at both requirements.

Techniques with textiles

Students explore and investigate embellishment in this two hour session. They explore the galleries recording pleating and ruching techniques. Taking design ideas from sketches made in the galleries and displays, students create embellishments. They use hand-sewing and simple fabrics to make Suffolk Puffs otherwise known as Yoyos. This technique creates surface ornamentation which can be applied to garments to create a 3D layered effect.

Take one designer - Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Focus on the design work of Sarah Burton featured in A History of Fashion in 100 Objects. Her nature-themed design work offers the opportunity to focus on detail surface embellishment and cage-like structures. Students will explore and sketch surface embellishment and structures beneath and within clothing. Students consider Sarah Burton’s theatrical use of nature-themed embellishment. Using sketches in combination with images of nature students will create an original piece of surface embellishment and/or structural design. The outcomes are flexible according to your coursework needs.

Fashion past and present

This session explores the ever turning wheel of fashion. We will be looking at the last 400 years of fashion. We link costumes from the past with the latest fashion from the catwalk.

We concentrate on similarities and differences between fashions past and present and students make observational sketches of fashion details. Using research sketches students create a new design bringing in elements of fashions past and present. Water-colour pencils will be used to complete the finished work.

Manipulating Fashion

This allows students to explore and understand how designers from the past and present have manipulated two-dimensional fabric into three dimensional forms.

The focus of the session will be on the fine detail - ruching, gathering, pleating, smocking, buttoning etc. Students explore the displays, make drawings and take photographs to identify key shapes and structure. From these research activities they will develop their own fabric manipulation technique samples, in a range of media; they will also consider how these ideas can be transferred onto fabric using the techniques identified in the session.

These sessions look at both requirements. To book please call 01225 477757 or email us

Work experience placements are offered to students from age 16 years in our Visitor Experience Team. All placements are unpaid and are subject to availability and an interview. We welcome teachers’ visits and can accommodate risk assessments as required.