It’s time for the results you’ve been waiting for! After all the spring work Rebecca did on the Eco-Fashion Design Project, she was able to participate in the contest’s Eco-Fashion Runway Show as a designer and a model.
The Eco-Fashion Contest
The task was to construct original or redesigned fashions and accessories made from reused denim, plus at least one other reused material (thread & fasteners can be new).
The entries were judged by a multi-generational panel on the following criteria:
- quality of construction
- non-wasteful use of materials
- and general coolness
The contest was an opportunity for Rebecca to take her skills to the next level and to create something of her own design within the parameters set by SewGreen.
The Eco-Fashion Runway Show
The designers were invited to participate in the runway show wearing their own design. Some of the designers had others model for them- especially if they entered more than one garment.
By joining in as a designer and a model she:
- Got a front and center view of what the fashion industry is like on a small scale
- Participated in a runway show- another look at the inside of fashion as a designer-model
- Had a LOT of fun!
There were four sets in the show and Rebecca got to model in three of them- the third was an audience participation set.
- Set 1: What is Ethical Fashion? Apparel that meets one or more of the following criteria: locally-made, US-made, organic or sustainable fibers, vintage/used, refashioned, or repurposed, classic style wearable for many years. Rebecca modeled a classic vintage, wool coat dress in this set.
- Set 2: Viva Classic! All about wardrobe basics. Items that will work for many situations. Things like: white shirt, denim jeans, hoodie, leggings, pencil skirt, scarf, little black dress, etc. Rebecca modeled a hoodie. Which, she declared, would not be on her list!
- Set 3: Surprise! Members of the audience modeled aprons made by class members for the volunteers at a local soup kitchen.
- Set 4: Denim Plus- the featured set of the evening with original, hand made fashion by entrants in the Denim Plus contest. Rebecca modeled her original dress made from lots of leftovers.
The show focused on the reuse and refashion of denim and featured many unique garments and accessories. Prizes were given to one designer in each of three categories- adult, teen, and child. There were fifteen participants with one winner in each category. Two additional awards were given. One was for “Best Use of Multiple Materials; Best Artisanry” awarded to a woman who made fabulous garments from denim and vintage table clothes. The other was given to Rebecca for “Most Creative Combination of Materials”.
She worked tirelessly on this dress from start to finish and she is really pleased with the outcome.
Benefits of The Eco-Fashion Project
Choosing to enter the contest was a major undertaking for Rebecca. How was the time well used for her homeschooling?
- Opportunity to put to use all the fashion research she’d been doing in her history & fashion studies for this year
- Practice in pattern design and construction
- Trying and learning new skills with new types of fabric
- Meeting a goal within a set time frame
- Finishing a project well
- Made a connection with a design professor at a nearby university- it was one of the highlights of my evening to talk with her about pattern drafting and how we can continue to encourage Rebecca’s talent
- Received an invitation to be a part of a curated show at the library
All in all, it was a great experience which allowed her to stretch her skills and knowledge and gain new experiences in the area of her intense interest.
An Invitation to a Curated Gallery
At the end of the runway show, the director of the show told us that a local gallery curator was interested in having her dress for an upcoming show this summer. We worked with the curator to prepare the curated display of Rebecca’s dress.
The show is called, The Common Thread: To Sew or Not to Sew, and is a collection of garments and fabrics which highlight change in the fashion. Rebecca’s dress was chosen to represent the reuse and refashion of many materials into one garment. This new show is all about change in the fashion world, moving from one-at-a-time garments made with scissors, needles and thread, to unlimited quantities produced by industries that cut with laser beams and held together with seamless seams. The question for us is: do they have anything in common?
After months of waiting, we delivered the dress to the gallery this past week and it’s now on display. Rebecca helped to get the dressform and dress into the case and we are excited to see the final display on Friday when we attend the opening night of the show!
Admittedly, she is pretty jazzed about having her first curated show as a designer and will be there dressed for the occasion. The gallery is in our county library and she is in good company with local designers and students from Cornell’s Department of Fiber & Design Apparel.
A High School Plan
I can hardly believe it, but Rebecca is entering 9th grade this year. That means two high schoolers now! I’ve been working on their four year plans (really my junior’s last two years) and all of her interests and opportunities this year have solidified one of her electives. She will be leading the way in a course just for her entitled, “Sewing & Design”. More on this in future posts, but it will involve goal setting and growth toward those goals.
We are excited to see what happens with this. I have known for a long time that we would be incorporating art and sewing into her high school coursework, but it wasn’t until this weekend that a clearer vision of the plan came into focus.
It’s been a lot of fun to see how she is using her gifts to build experience and learn more. When the details unfold, I’ll be sure to post. I hope our journey is helpful to others who want to build a custom high school program.