WITH all major global fashion shows cancelled this year, children and young people at leading charity, Kibble, have hosted their own virtual fashion show with lockdown inspired designs.
Staff working across the charity suggested the initiative in order to engage and connect the young people across each of the care houses and bring a sense of community back to what has been an isolating time for some. Preparing for the fashion show brought important structure and routine to the young people’s lives while formal education became disrupted.
A team of fifty-five models and thirty-seven designers, made up of staff and young people from fourteen of Kibble’s care houses participated in the making of the show. All were then able to watch the virtual show live from their houses.
Each house separately designed and prepared their catwalk creations which were then modelled at Kibble’s Gannochy Centre for Expressive Arts. All costumes featured had to fall under one of four themes: Lockdown Loungewear, Kibble-Comic-Con, Reconstructed or Junk-to-Funk
At the start of the programme, each house was given a box of materials and items they could use, in addition to a mannequin and sewing machine. A panel of judges was chosen to select the winning designs at the live showing.
The Kibble Expressive Arts Team set up weekly art workshops using social distancing measures where young people could bring their designs to life. In addition to this, iPads which were kindly donated by Children’s Aid were distributed to the houses as a learning tool. These were utilised to create instructional videos detailing processes and step-by-step instructions, for example, how to tie-dye and how to make a face-covering.
The young people also got creative with donated items from a local organisation and experimented with design processes to create the looks they envisioned. They also used newspapers, plastic bags and bottles, cereal boxes and other household waste products to create outfits for Junk-to-Funk and superhero costumes for Kibble-Comic-Con.
Organising a fashion show during the lockdown and following government guidelines was not an easy task, however, the IT department and Expressive Arts Team’s organising ensured it ran smoothly and kept all guidelines in place throughout.
The Fashion Show has enabled each department across the organisation to work together in a creative way, bringing exciting energy across the school. With care, administration, maintenance, catering staff and teachers all working collaboratively alongside pupils to create a truly inclusive and entertaining show.
The initiative was not only an opportunity to showcase young people’s creative talents, it has also contributed towards their Trinity College Arts Award and Dynamic Youth Awards, allowing the young people to learn new skills and keep connected with their friends across campus.
In the spirit of keeping connected, each house used their assigned iPad to film their designing process and lockdown experiences, with all videos and pictures then shared between houses.
Sarah Falconer, Kibble Arts Development Officer, expressed her delight at how the young people and staff embraced Fashion Show Live. She said:
“The young people really jumped on board with the fashion show and seemed to love every minute of it. It has been fantastic to see them come together and share their experiences between each house.
“Whether they were using the tie-dye kits for a lockdown leisure piece, creating clothing using the sewing machine or bringing scraps of material together to create an item, they have all been really creative in their ideas.
“It was a great success and we’re so impressed with the final costumes. It goes to show a lockdown doesn’t need to stop young people from learning or having fun and it is vital that we continue to ensure they don’t feel isolated during this time, maintaining connections virtually where possible.”