The Fashion Museum in Bath is home to a collection of contemporary and historic clothing, which students can explore as part its schools programme.

The Fashion Museum, Bath.

Both Primary and Secondary sessions are available, which can help to develop confidence, creativity and self-awareness and also offer links to the National Curriculum in subjects such as Art & Design and Design & Technology.

STO takes a look at some of the activities on offer…

Primary sessions

The Clothes We Wear

In this Key Stage 1 session, students will look at the different fabrics used for different items of clothing. Pupils will get to handle a range of fabrics and sort them into different categories, such as colour, pattern and what each piece would be used for.

The session then finishes with students making their own t-shirt design.

Investigating Pattern

Investigating Pattern is a Key Stage 2 focused session, which looks at the patterns used in the displays throughout the Fashion Museum. Pupils will investigate how patterns work in textiles and will study designers from history through to the modern day, such as Galliano and the House of McQueen.

Down the Decades

Here, Key Stage 2 students will explore fashion from the 20th century as well as either the 1960s or 1970s, depending on the school’s preference. Outfits designed by Mary Quant, Yves St Laurent and Jean Muir will also be on display for students to look at.

Then, using what they have learnt, pupils will design their own 60s monochrome or 70s jazzy pattern.

Students will study the contemporary and historic clothing on display.

Secondary sessions

Take One Designer – Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Said to be the most popular Secondary school activity, Take One Designer – Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen focuses on the work of British fashion designer, Sarah Burton.

During the workshop, students will consider Sarah Burton’s theatrical use of nature-themed embellishment and cage-like structures and will take what they have learnt to create an original piece of surface embellishment and/or structural design.

Fashion Past and Present

This session looks at the fashion of the past 400 years. Secondary-aged students will observe the similarities and differences between fashions past and present and consider how costumes of the past have been mimicked in the latest fashion trends.

The workshop will also involve students working to create a new design by bringing in elements of fashion both past and present.

Manipulating Fashion

Manipulating Fashion will see Secondary school students learn how designers from the past and current day have manipulated two-dimensional fabric into three dimensional forms.

Students will focus on the fine details of fashion such as ruching, gathering, pleating, smocking and buttoning and will explore the displays, make drawings and take photographs to identify key shapes and structures used.

Then using the observations, pupils will develop their own fabric manipulation technique samples and consider how these ideas can be transferred onto fabrics using the techniques identified in the session.

Guided tours

Guided tours of the Fashion Museum are also available for school groups of 20 or more.

For more information or to book call 01225-477757, e-mail or visit