Fashionistas, at the ready! Team Fashion were in full swing for Create Stage 2017, all based in the heart of Newcastle City Centre and Sunderland University.

Students from 5 different schools across the North East region had joined us for the final stage of the programme and it was only right to give these talented young people to decide what world of fashion they wished to explore, simply because there’s too much to choose from! To help them narrow down their choices, they were to pick one of the three briefs:

  1. Design and Make with Charlotte Liddle:

This project was for students who were keen to learn more about the designing and making side of the fashion industry and enjoy a practical and hands on element e.g. sewing and textile techniques.

Working with Textile Design Company Pier 74, you’ll have the opportunity to re-use fabrics that had once been destined for a landfill to make imaginative garments that reflects the brand and style of Pier 74. Your finished creations will be exhibited at the Final Show.

  1. Design and Illustration with Lottie Maddison:

This project was for students with an interest in fashion trends, styling, design and illustration. A cheeky bit of Photoshop also thrown in the mix!

This is in response to the growing popularity of high street brands launching unisex collections. Working with Topshop, you are expected to develop your own ranges where his and hers are one and the same.

  1. Fashion Communication with Katherine Wildman:

This project was for students who wanted to explore their photographic style and develop their writing voice.

Inspired by reading fashion magazines and following online bloggers, you will be researching fashion trends and in collaboration with Urban Outfitters, you will be crafting a street style and collating this into your very own blog post.

Day 1 began at Sunderland University, otherwise known as their headquarters for the create stage. Each team were scattered across campus, all entering the first day feeling slightly nervous and equally excited for what was in store. As students took their seats, each mentor introduced the day, revisiting the briefs and specifying what was expected – enthusiasm, professionalism and passion being some of the buzz words thrown about to kick-start their motivation.

Lottie delved into the recent phenomenon of gender stereotypes in fashion trends, for instance, the pink/blue representation. She spoke of many legends who began to contradict these expectations including the likes of Bowie and Bananarama, expressing themselves freely in whatever they wished to wear. As this noticeable social trend has become more respected and widely accepted over time, the likes of Topshop were jumping on the bandwagon. This was the perfect opportunity for our students to see how this trend has been applied to high street stores.

With all of this in mind, the team set out on creating their own mood boards which would summarise their inspirations for their final designs. They began collecting a series of images and used this to decide who their chosen muse was going to be. Names such as Zoella and Cara Delevingne were thrown around – one student even found inspiration in her own brother who has an online modelling portfolio!

Team Charlotte involved an introduction to Pier 74 and the fantastic work they do in ‘re-purposing materials destined for landfill’. Students were left stunned by the products their sell on their Etsy store which inevitably gave the young designers that drive to make a simple concept into a beautiful piece of art. Charlotte gave them the specification of making a dungaree dress using recycled fabrics and so the research into this hidden technique began. Drawings and doodles were filling pages and eventually the room was decorated with patterns and designs that could potentially be used for final projects.

Meanwhile, Team Kath spent their first day learning about fashion trends, the emergence of street style and the rise of fashion bloggers vs. traditional fashion journalists. By doing this, the hope was that these students could begin developing their own writing voice. To support the students in this process, ex-TICE student and current Fashion communication student at Northumbria University, Joseph O’Donnell stopped by with a few tips and tricks. He covered some interesting points delving into the world of journalistic writing, trend reports and many other aspects of the industry which he continues to explore himself. It sparked various thoughts and creative buzz amongst the students, as they ended the day with a solidified outlook on what their final project could look like.

As the Fashion mentors supported their brainstorming process, the ideas that these young fashion gurus had were beginning to take shape. There was a vision forming and it was exciting to see.

As we moved on to Day 2, TICE Fashion students had the opportunity to step out of their base at Sunderland University and instead continued their work at Northumbria University, one of the top 20 universities for Art and Design. Their Fashion department is noticeably spectacular and it was a fantastic opportunity for students to see what they could progress onto in the industry.

To add an extra dynamic to the day, Team Lottie made a quick trip to Topshop. They were faced little tasks in the store to help them brainstorm and visualise what their designs could look. This was in prep for designing their capsule range, including jeans, sweatshirt and a t-shirt – including a graphics t-shirt. When they arrived back at the University, they began to sketch out the garments, pull together the small unisex clothing range and used Photoshop to create their t-shirt graphics and prepare backgrounds for designs.Not only was there a Topshop trip but an Urban Outfitters one too! Kath led her students to the huge store at the centre of Monument and were given full access to the shop and dressing rooms. They were expected to pick their outfits and get those perfect shots for the final blog. The poses put ‘the dab’ to shame!Charlotte stayed back with the textiles team, as they began actually making the garments. Mannequins were laid out in front of them, ready to be decorated with their beautiful designs. They concentrated on cutting out the fabrics as well as applying any embellishment or manipulation.Day 3 brought everyone back to Sunderland University for one last time, as they finalised their projects. To even get that last bit of inspiration before the final show, Naomi Austin and Jill Kirkham from Sunderland Uni stopped by to give them a brief talk about the courses they offer in the art and design department. They were then given exclusive access to the Graduate Showcase, filled with so much talent and inspirational projects. Students were in awe by the detail in their work, thus giving them that final boost to finish the day with a bang. And that’s exactly what they did!

Beautifully illustrated designs were plastered on mood boards, blog posts were polished and the garments were sewn to a finish – all ready to display at the Final Show.

Check out their final projects below…

Fashion Communication:

Design and Illustration:

Design and Make: