Contour Fashion portfolio guidance

Looking for portfolio advice for other courses? See our main portfolio advice page.

We look at portfolios as part of our selection process as some of our postgraduate courses need specialist skills. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your creativity, innovation and design skills and what inspires you.

A good portfolio should indicate something of your personality, it should be clearly structured, easy to read and well presented. It should consist of quality work rather than quantity so be selective about what you show. Most of all, show your individuality and creativity.

Our main interest is your creative and technical experience, whether you are from a contour fashion or fashion background. We also wish to understand your potential to continue study at masters level to become a creative and innovative designer and problem solver.

Your portfolio should include project-based evidence of how you research and utilise this research to inspire new ideas, how you investigate and experiment with ideas, how you progress through resolved design development stages and how you develop finished items/prototypes.

Whether you have a contour fashion or fashion background, we would like to see your interest in the contour specialism within your portfolio pages, be that lingerie, underwear, swim, sports/active, athleisure or nightwear. In your personal statement it would be useful to explain which and why you are interested in and some initial thoughts on what you would like to achieve by study at Masters level.

What are we looking for?

  • A genuine passion for the subject – demonstrating knowledge of the sector and the impact of others working in the discipline
  • Ability to select, critically analyse and justify research outcomes to build design concepts and generate new ideas
  • Informed and creative design development skills and how you have applied these to a range of creative opportunities
  • Experience in selecting and applying professional visual presention skills (including computer aided design where appropriate) as part of a portfolio and visual communication presentation
  • Ability to develop and apply accurate methodologies and techniques in pattern cutting in contour fashion or/and fashion
  • Ability to develop and apply accurate methodologies and techniques in three dimensional garment/prototype/sample production
  • If relevant – appropriate skills and knowledge for the broader context of the subject such as photography and graphics etc.

What should a portfolio contain?


In your sketchbook and portfolio you need to demonstrate your working process and show how you develop ideas, experiment with them, design, resolve and select final designs.


Clear drawing and communication skills are important in this process but they should be communicating the content of your ideas rather than just drawing skills on their own. Visual communication skills can include computer aided design (CAD) techniques where appropriate.


We are looking to see how you develop an idea, how you research and respond to a project brief. Show evidence of a project in your portfolio that demonstrates creativity, a deep involvement in your work and your conclusion or final idea(s). This could be part of your previous course or an independent project.


Contour fashion is a complex specialism; one which requires significant technical understanding of the variable human form and how to create functional product around it to enhance, support and sometimes to protect it. The fundamentals of contour pattern cutting and construction will be explored within the first 2 terms of this programme, however a good base of technical understanding and experience is needed from applicants, whether this be in contour or fashion disciplines. This could be demonstrated through toile/sample documentation and final outcomes could be shown through a photoshoot and/or sketch/illustration work. Evidence of pattern work would be beneficial.

Written work

Please indicate which area of contour you are interested in (lingerie, underwear, active/sportswear, lounge/nightwear, etc) and what level of experience you have in this subject area. Also discuss any initial thoughts and ideas about why you want to study at Masters level and what you may be hoping to achieve through gaining such a well-respected qualification in a practical design area.

Size and format

Option one - online submission

  • Please submit your digital portfolio as a multi-page single PDF file
  • Files need to be compressed or zipped and not exceed 1GB in size and submitted via
  • For moving images such as animation or video please use .mp4, .MOV or .AVI format
  • All work needs to be saved in one folder and labelled with your name, student reference number and the name of the course you have applied for

Option two - personal website

  • You can also send us a link to a website that displays your work
  • The website must be public (no sign up, passwords or logins), written in English, and have clear navigation
  • Your website must render correctly in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari