This year we had the pleasure of introducing the fashion industry to students from 4 secondary schools across the Tyne and Wear region; Longbenton High School, Royal Grammar School Newcastle, Burnside Business and Enterprise College and Whitley Bay High School.

The aim of the TICE Insight Stage is to support students in understanding the basics, for example, what is fashion? OK… that’s a huge question to debate however it’s important to understand from everyone what fashion actually means to them. And the best bit! they can’t be wrong, and that Ladies and Gentlemen is the beauty of the fashion industry.

Within the TICE fashion insight stage we take the students through the multi-billion pound industry, first discussing the stages of the sector and giving the students a thorough understanding that, depending on their likes and dislikes, their skills and ambitions the lovely part is they get to see where (if they choose to work in the fashion industry) they would like to end up. We break the industry up into 5 key areas;

– Trend prediction/business
– Illustration and Design
– Sampling and manufacturing
– Retail
– Communication.

This is then aligned with 5 challenges the students must complete throughout their Insight Stage.

What’s great is we have the luxury of spending the entire day talking about what influences fashion. Particularly when we are discussing trend prediction and fashion forecasting. The students are introduced to many different influences some added by them but also getting them to think about what world events or political decisions may trickle down to affect how they buy and what they choose to wear.

“I went into the Insight workshop without knowing what to expect from the day but came out learning a lot about the TICE program and what I could do in the future. I was particularly interested in seeing what the main trends of our generations were and was shocked to see that “folding scooters” were the most iconic toy of Generation Z! Facts like these continued to surprise me throughout the day and I very much enjoyed learning about them.” (Sanjana, Newcastle).

The next part takes these influences and we start to apply them to design. This year the students took both their own ideas but also trends based on information gathered by WGSN and Spring/Summer 2020. The students then started to see how trends were pulled together and then used to influence a new season’s colour, textures and prints.
After design, the ever-loved TICE fashion sculpture! Every year, this is a complete hit with all students as they get to construct the informed designs they have created. This day is not about sewing technique, it is not about pattern cutting or manufacture processes, although discussed, the day is about inspiration and using influences and enabling imaginations to flow.

“I really enjoyed the day; it helped me understand more about fashion. I think that fashion is the most interesting area and it is a way of expressing yourself. I learnt about everything – from marketing to designing. It gave me a chance to portray the visuals in my head and not only see them but think about in-store ideas. I learnt things which I did not expect to learn and I did not expect to be doing everything that we did. However, I loved every part of it – especially designing my own clothes!” (Keerthi, Newcastle).

Our fashion sculptures are serious stuff. Each group is given nearly an hour and a half to support design ideas and create something that really showcases a trend. It’s an opportunity for students to discuss ideas, develop a strategy and ultimately create something they would love to see in a flagship store. A highlight piece if you will.

Once our creations are complete, we now move onto fashion retail and fashion communication. The areas which have a huge job conveying design and trends to the public to pursued them to buy into new collections. To explain these areas further, we took the groups through various retails concepts. Topics such as online marketing campaigns such as Ted Bakers #meetthebakers – genius! To pop up concepts by Adidas, Hunters and more to experiential marketing campaigns using everything from VR, AR to music festivals and screen showings to promote new ranges. With this new-found insight, the students then went ahead to create their own campaign topped off with choosing an appropriate influencer who may help to launch their new ideas.

With the TICE insight stage, I tend to tell the students that after a full day of talking about the fashion industry and going into depth about how it all functions, their lovely little heads will hurt. Not that I like to inflict any sort of pain whatsoever but there is certainly a lovely moment when you see how much they have understood, how creative they let themselves be and how much budding talent there is on our doorstep.

Here’s looking forward to the Fashion Explore Stage!