FAD’s Fashion Futures workshops drew to a close on Saturday 21st March, as expert panels judged the students’ creations. FAD volunteer Beth Moffett reports.
It was a packed day, with FAD’s North London and South London students presenting their designs to the judges in Hackney and Lewisham respectively.
In Lewisham the panelists included Carole Robb, who has worked at Tie Rack, Cath Kidston and Mothercare; menswear designer Nadine Peters, London College of Fashion’s Fiona Howard and FAD CEO Maria Alvarez.
The brief was a garment inspired by Japanese or Korean culture. Each student made a basic version of their designs, using pattern cutting and sewing skills they gained in the workshops to bring them together. Each of them hopes to expand their designs in the next stage of the scheme which will involve working with tutors at the University of East London.
Over the last few weeks students visited the V&A, where they browsed the Japanese and Korean art sections for inspiration, and given tutorials on skills needed in the fashion industry.
All from local schools and colleges, the students attended workshops learning how to sew, how to print, illustrate and cut a pattern. They learnt the techniques of draping as well as handling different types of fabric.
The designs included creations for men and women, with ideas coming from vases, textiles and paintings.
Carole Robb, who has judged the scheme for two years now said the standard had improved. “The standard this year was much better than last year, and I felt the students enjoyed the project more”, says Carole.
“A lot of schools don’t have the facilities to teach textiles or fashion as part of the curriculum so for some students this is the only opportunity for them to get a taster”.
“I think FAD is an amazing charity because it opens up opportunities for young people from all walks of life and gives them insight into the world of fashion”, says Carole. “I would have loved to be part of FAD when I was at school!”
FAD participant Melissa Fernandes, 17, designed a dress with pleats and waves inspired by a vase she found at the V&A. “I got involved because I wanted to have a bit more experience of fashion, because I didn’t understand the whole industry. I now know more about how you put together a garment”, says Melissa.
Another student, Patricia Arujo, 16, who is currently studying for an extended diploma in art and design says FAD had been “a great experience!” Patricia’s designs were inspired by an origami dress at the V&A, which gave her inspiration for the shape and techniques she would use.
Judge Nadine Peters said: “This programme helped me in my journey. Being on the other side of the table and judging the students was a huge eye opener. The standard of work was great!”
“FAD Fashion Futures scheme is a fantastic platform for creatives looking to explore or pursue a fashion route”, said Nadine.
The best individuals from the scheme will get the chance to send their designs down a London Fashion Week catwalk in September, showcasing their creativity to top industry professionals.