Design and Innovation on the Runway

23 04 2016

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This is one event we do that takes months to prepare for and then when it comes up it is over before I can catch my breath.  This project starts in October and concludes in late April.  My students start with a idea and then start gathering materials.  We have the task to create a wearable garment with 75% recycled/repurposed materials.  This is a very serious competition among my own students and with the whole State of Arkansas.  There are Senior Scholarship dollars on the line with additional award dollars at the runway show.  My group is hard working and dedicate all the hours outside of their regular school class schedules and other extra curricular activities.  The creation of the garments are done outside the studio art class.  We have several workshop design days on the weekends to help shape the progress of each individual but a lot of the work is done by the students at home late at night.

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My studio explodes with random materials that come in multiples from household materials to industry castoffs.  It’s all viewed differently once it enters my studio.  The questions we answer when looking at the materials are:  Can it be cut, bent, colored, weaved, stitched, layered, etc.?  Then the concept the designer created is merged with the available materials and design solutions begin.  There are trials and errors, redos and failures. It’s all about the process.

I have had some of the designers for four years and some for one year.  I have even had one student model only and then turned designer this year.  We have a lot of fun and we learn so much from our explorations of the materials.  Our goal is always clear, create a wearable garment that doesn’t look like the original materials.  Reinvent, inspire, and make something amazing.  I am never disappointed.

This year we won first place, third place, and best creative design.  In addition my Seniors won both Thea Fashion Design Scholarships.  I could not be more impressed with how much my students have developed through this process.

I have many of my students moving on to college this next year but I know I have returning designers and a few hanging in the wings ready to take on the challenge next year.  I’m excited about the new possibilities.

 

 

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