What is the Fashion Explore Stage?
The Fashion Explore Stage brings together all the schools who chose fashion within the TICE programme this academic year. For this stage, we had 57 students (year 9 and 10) from 4 different North East schools, Burnside Business & Enterprise College, Longbenton High School, Royal Grammar School Newcastle and Whitley Bay High School join us for 2 fashion-fueled days based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was a busy one! but a lot of fun…
Day one – Meeting industry professionals.
For day one, it was important for our young professionals to meet some people working in the fashion industry but also have some interesting challenges along the way. To kick off the day I invited in our first special guest, Louisa Rogers, from Trendlistr. Trendlistr named one the 19 for 2019: The companies to watch in the North East was established by Louisa in 2017 and has achieved incredible success ever since. Louisa gave a fantastic overview of her journey through school, through studying fashion at university to study for her masters here in Newcastle. This leading onto starting Trendlistr with all the struggles that go with starting a new business and even incredibly difficult personal battles to overcome too. It was nothing short of inspiring.
After hearing from Louisa, our short challenges were set, we were inspired and ready. The fashion industry has so many strands to it, therefore so many skills to develop and understand about the sector. It’s also important for young people to figure out what aspects they like best and are more suited to. Today, we decided to look at brand design knowledge and a little about fashion photo-editing. To do this, we headed straight into town and split the groups, one set was first tasked with looking at 3 best sellers given by designer Andrea Miller, who designed for Missguided among other brands. The students were to go into stores such as TopShop, Miss Selfridge, New Look and River Island and see how the other retailers had interpreted these best sellers from Missguided and what features were different, this included price, fabric and particular design details. Our second group headed straight for the Apple store (Eldon Square). Here, the students were tasked with a fashion photography editing task using Procreate. All groups achieved both tasks with great success and hopefully a little more understanding of these two essential fashion skills.
After a busy morning, it was time to sit, relax, eat some lunch and gear up for the afternoon. This took place at Ampersands Inventions, a multi-functional space that provides a creative and supportive environment for artists, designers, creatives, entrepreneurs. For the afternoon session, I wanted to bring together more individuals working in the fashion industry but from completely different areas. Our very special guests included Melanie Kyles, Itala & Declan from Uncaptive and clothing designer Andrea Miller, (who set our morning ‘Best Sellers’ challenge).
Our fashion students heard from all three areas including careers in fast fashion to contemporary embroidery to fashion retail in sustainable and organic products. Areas of design, to craftsmanship to the highest standards of ethical fashion.
Our final element of the day was to visit some of the studios and businesses housed in Ampersands Inventions, this included tours and talks from Osseus, Artwear Emporium, Melanie Kyles, Studio 92, Uncaptive, ReFashion Exchange.
An absolutely packed day, yet filled with information, some excellent advice and guidance from all areas of the industry and two top challenges to boot. Now onto day 2!
Day two – skills development and a touch of higher education.
Now loaded with industry knowledge our TICE Fashion Explore stage students were brought to Northumbria University, Design School. Famous for world-renowned research, alumni and programmes in particular – Fashion. Back in our Insight Stage, a lot of the students had asked what it was like to study fashion. So, here to tell all, Gayle Cantrell, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Ann Marie Kirkbride, senior lecturer in BA (Hons) Fashion and BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Marketing discussing their programmes plus give a guided tour along the way.
After the tour, just a little fun photo to do. In the spirit of all things fashion and a little nod to one my designer favourites – THE Victoria Beckham in one of her famous stances…(ha ha!) this one was for you VB! 🙂
Back to business… our final series of tasks for the students was to delve a little further into fashion skills, along came TICE mentors Lottie Maddison (illustrator) and Charlotte Liddle (Textiles designer) to facilitate two mini masterclasses.
The masterclasses concentrated on digital fashion techniques and the other in garment upcycling and moulage. The project titled: The White Shirt. Both challenges saw the students take on more industry skills but more importantly, skills in teamwork, communication and time management.
So that’s it… our Fashion Explore Stage for 2019! I actually can’t quite believe how much we fit into 2 days but we did it. An excellent couple of days, with excellent students, speakers and workshops. What more can we ask for? Oh yes… the Create Stage!
Thank you to everyone involved in making this happen.