Two weeks ago the Ogden Museum of Southern Art opened its doors to fourteen students, all with fashion on the brain. These teenagers were more than ready to get down to work on their future designs and upcoming show. Taking lead from instructor, Veronica Cho, and with the help of Sally Hall and myself, the process unfolded.The journey began with introductions and a brief history of fashion and its transformations. Our budding talents learned that the key to creating fresh new ideas is learning where they have already been. Later they sat down for a necessary lesson in sketching and some useful “fashion lingo.”After splitting into two groups, the campers created inspiration boards. They used them to help gather ideas for their individual designs. Extra inspiration proved to be essential when the moment came to learn what the design challenge would be: recycled materials. Once done sketching and re-sketching multiple ideas, each designer presented their pieces to their peers who served as an industry-like critique board.After much planning and gathering of materials, the campers had one last thing to do before constructing garments: make a dress form. Using old t-shirts, staples, and a healthy serving of duct tape, they learned how to create a custom dress form. (see pictures below.)Added to the title of designer, the teens also modeled their own fantastic creations. To prep for the catwalk, the were lucky enough to enlist the help of Fashion Week NOLA’s own Tracee Dundas. She gave the new models the tools they needed to perfect their runway walks and choreography. Along with Dundas, the industry hopefuls met with Mr. Edmund Kee, creator of local fashion magazine, Amelie G. He introduced them to a behind the scenes and real world view of the fashion industry.Week two arrived in a flash, and now it was time to bring their ideas to life. The studio was filled with recycled Post-Its, pizza boxes, and puzzles (oh my!) A long list of other re-used, re-cycled, and reconstructed materials soon made their way on the forms as well. The girls and guy worked tirelessly on their garments, constantly problem-solving any and all obstacles encountered.The end result was a stunning runway show that spoke true to the innovation and ideas of these young designers and their up-cycled fashions! Samantha Spahr, Summer Intern, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
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