Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I was flattered and honoured to be one of the judges at the Recycled Fashion Show held in St. Christopher's School in Letchworth on February 28th. The show is organised annually by Emma Semple, who heads the art department. My fellow blogger Dick Jones, whose Patteran Pages many of you frequent, is Emma's husband and was the drama teacher at St. Chris for many years. The spontaneous, supportive, creative atmosphere of the school was palpable and I must admit I felt a bit envious in retrospect - my own schooldays were nothing like this!

I was stunned by the kids' inventiveness and skill and wanted to film the whole show but while the catwalk was in progress, we judges had to take notes and then adjourn to a quiet room to decide who should win the prizes. It was a real struggle because all the costumes had been interesting and quite a few were exceptional but in the end, we managed to agree. During the final parade and prize-giving I was able to bring out my camcorder and kept it running for about half an hour. Unfortunately, there's a ten minute limit on videos posted to YouTube so I've had to edit drastically and jumpily. But at least you can have a glimpse of the event and some of the amazing designs created by children and teenagers from throw-away materials: eat your heart out Armani, Gucci, Miyake, Prada, Versace and all - the fashion future belongs to creative kids and recycled junk.

The interviewer is Michael Wright, author, artist and lecturer, who was also one of the judges.

The video is on my YouTube page:



Mindy said...

These kinds of shows are becoming very popular at schools of art and design. UW Stout in Wisconsin has a show called Fashion Without Fabric. Check out pictures from the 2009 show at VolumeOne magazine.

Natalie said...

Thanks Mindy, very interesting pictures. The kids at the school where I was a judge were not so sophisticated but produced really original costumes from junk materials.