Teachers' notes and Fashion Show project ideas

This resource is part of a  'Fashion and Food'  theme intended to provide a broad picture of product design, using selected items from the M&S Company Archive collection of clothing and food packaging images. The overall aim of the Fashion related resources is to show changing fashions throughout the history of the Company, changes in products over time and how this links to wider social history and world events.

Curriculum Links:

KS3 Design & Technology: Design | Make | Evaluate (Fashion)

Learning Objectives:

Knowledge of developments in fabric technology and 20th Century high street fashion

Understanding of how high street retailers match their products to fulfill customers' needs in line with new trends
Skills of identifying popular fashion trends and developments over several decades

Fashion Show Project:

KS3 Design and Technology (Fashion)
  • Look at the images of old and new fashions.
    - compare the images
    - what is similar about them?
    - what is different about them?
    - which items do you prefer?
    - explain what you like best and least for each one

  • Create a timeline of all the decades from the 1960s to today. Include a drawing of which clothes were in fashion for each decade (download the M&S Fashion timeline for background information).
  • Read the headline and first paragraph of the M&S Orlon advert from 1971. Choose a fashion advert from a modern magazine, or find one online. Prepare your own headline and top paragraph - write a persuasive article encouraging the magazine readers to buy the clothes.
  • Design a new item of clothing, or a handbag or holdall, that uses the latest fabrics and materials. Give your reasons for choosing those particular materials.

  • Design a survey to find out more about modern clothes. Ask friends, relatives and yourself these questions:
    - what are your favourite clothes?
    - what are they made of?
    - do you prefer man-made or natural fabrics, and what are your reasons?
    - list the advantages and disadvantages of man-made fabrics, then do the same for natural fabrics
  • Polyester is used in clothing fabrics - discuss what sort of items recycled plastic can be made into?
  • Who are your favourite fashion designers or brands, and why do you like them?

  • Find out what this year's new clothing trends will be (or make a guess!). Design a new fashion item that incorporates features of the latest trend and the retro styles found here.

  • Investigate the influence of art from different cultures and traditions on fashion and design. You could use the Related Links below and also our images of World Collections to help you.

  • Make final plans for making your designs and a fashion show.

  • Write a press release using the downloadable template to advertise your show.


Persuasive: convincing, forceful
Retro: design style of an earlier time

Capsule collection: a set of several clothing items by the same designer that can be put together in different combinations