Pathway: Fashion Design

Pathway for Years 5 & 6

Fashion, Painting, Collage, Sketchbooks

Key Concepts:

  • That designers bring their own culture, experiences and passions into their designs, for other people. 

  • That as individuals we can grow our experience of the world by experiencing  (seeing, listening, taking the time to understand) the creativity expressed by other people.

  • That we can use colour, pattern, line, shape, form, material, texture to express our creativity.

  • That when we design fashion, we can understand what it might feel like to wear the clothes. How would they change the person wearing or seeing them? 

  • That when we design clothes, we can build an awareness of how 2d shapes might become 3d forms.

In this pathway children are introduced to the idea that design is often about relationships – between the designer/artist and the person who then sees, buys or wears the end result. Where and how do the experiences and passions of both designer and viewer meet? How is one affected by the other and what can we learn from each other?

Children are introduced to contemporary fashion designers and use sketchbooks to record things about the designers which interest them, or to note ways of working which may be useful. 

Pupils are then given a design brief and invited to make their own designs, again working in sketchbooks to explore and test, before making decorate papers through which they can bring their designs to life in 2d or 3d. 

Paper, Acrylic Paint, Tape

Artists: Alice Fox, Rahul Mishra, Pyer Moss, Tatyana Antoun, Hormazd Narielwalla

If you use this resource in your setting, please tag us on social media: #InspiredBy @accessart (facebook, twitter) (instagram) and share the url. Thank you!

unfurled paper
assembling the outfits
attached to mannequin
ages 9-11

A PDF of this pathway can be found here.

Teaching Notes

Curriculum Links

Geography: Trade links and the history of importing textiles from other continents.

History: Design clothing inspired by your chosen civilisation topic e.g. Ancient Greek elite, slaves, gods or goddesses.

Maths: 2D / 3D shapes, measuring.

Music & Drama: Create costumes for, or in response to, drama or music productions.

PSHE: Responsibility to the planet, Collaboration, Peer Discussion, Different Religions, Ethnic Identity.

I Can…

  • I have explored the work of contemporary fashion designers and I can see how their interests and experiences feed into their work. 

  • I can share my own response to their work, articulating what I like or don’t like about their work. 

  • I can use my sketchbook to make visual notes to capture key ideas about how the designers work.

  • I can listen to a design brief, and use my sketchbook to generate and test ideas, explore colour, line, shape, pattern in response to the brief.

  • I can use my sketchbook work to inform how I make a 2d (or 3d) design, using paint, paper and collage. 

  • I can understand how 2d shapes can become 3d form and the relationship they have to our bodies. 

  • I can share my designs and outcomes with my classmates and articulate my journey. I can listen to their feedback and respond. 

  • I can appreciate the work of my classmates and reflect upon similarities and differences. I can share my response to their work.

  • I can take photographs of my work, thinking about presentation, lighting and focus.


This pathway takes 6 weeks, with an hour per week. Shorten or lengthen the suggested pathway according to time and experience. Follow the stages in green for a shorter pathway or less complex journey.


Soft B pencils, graphite, handwriting pens, sharpies, coloured pencils, watercolour, acrylic paint, brushes, assorted coloured papers and fabrics, A4 cartridge paper, cardboard or wooden mannequins, clear tape (and ideally tape holders), scissors, glue sticks.


Pathway: Fashion Design

  • Aims of the Pathway

    This pathway aims to present pupils with an opportunity to see how designers work to bring their own background, culture, passions and concerns into their fashion design. The pathway invites pupils to work to a design brief and express their response in two or three dimensions. 

  • Week 1: Introduce

    Fashion Designers & Artists

    Choose 2 or 3 of the designers below and explore their work via the free to access Talking Points resources. 

    As you explore as a class, use the “Making Visual Notes” resource to help pupils to make visual notes in their sketchbooks. 

    A Trip to the Seaside - Alice Fox Graduate Collection

    Alice Fox

    Rahul Mishra

    Rahul Mishra


    Pyer Moss

    Tatyana Antoun

  • Week 2: Brief

    Working in Sketchbooks

    Pop Up Sketchbook By Tatyana Antoun

    Set a design brief. You might decide that pupils have free choice to design whatever fashion they like, or you might like to tie the project in with another curriculum theme, for example designing for another culture, era or geography. Be creative in your brief setting, i.e. If I was living in Ancient Greece, what would I wear which combines what I like about todays fashion, with what they used to wear? Or, If we live on Mars, what might we wear which reminds us of Earth? 

    Revisit sketchbook work from last week to remind pupils how the designers you looked at work. Pupils will use sketchbooks to generate and test ideas, experiment with shape and form, pattern, colour and texture. They will think creatively about what elements can be added and stuck into sketchbooks, e.g. paper, fabric, thread etc.

    Remember: Whatever the theme brief, once you get children to start generating ideas on paper, you must be able to provide suitable paint/paper for next weeks session so that they can continue the development. 

  • Weeks 3, 4, & 5: Explore & Make

    Fashion 2D & 3D

    assembling the outfit

    Use the “Making 2d & 3d Fashion Designs with Painted and Decorated Paper” resource to enable an exploration of fashion design. 

    Have sketchbooks open so that pupils can refer to previous weeks work, and also encourage them to keep adding to the sketchbooks as they explore and create. 

    If pupils need inspiration using collage, you may also like to explore the free to access “Talking Points: Hormazd Narielwalla” resource. 

    Hormazd Narielwalla - ‘Anansi Tales’

  • Week 6: Present and Share

    Share, Reflect, Discuss

    attached to mannequin

    Time to see the work which has been made, talk about intention and outcome.

    Display their work in a clear space, and walk around the work as if they are in a gallery. Give the work the respect it deserves. Remind the children of their hard work.

    Use the resource here to help you run a class “crit” to finish the project. 

    If you have class cameras or tablets, invite the children to document their work, working alone or in pairs, thinking about presentation, lighting and focus. Explore how children can take high quality photographs of 3d artwork with this resource.

See the Pathway Used in Schools...

Year 5 Ruth at Carden Primary School, Brighton
Year 5 Ruth at Carden Primary School, Brighton
Year 5 Ruth at Carden Primary School, Brighton
Year 5 Ruth at Carden Primary School, Brighton
Year 5 Ruth at Carden Primary School, Brighton
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 5/6, Histon and Impington Brook Primary
Year 6, Senacre Wood Primary School
Year 6, Senacre Wood Primary School
Year 6, Senacre Wood Primary School
Year 6, Senacre Wood Primary School

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