As Fashion Designer in Residence at Heathfield School, my project for Spring 2017 was to produce their annual ‘Fashion Show’. Unsatisfied with their traditional format of school recital, I transformed this event to integrate the entire expressive arts faculty under the theme of “Circus”.
The nature of this project involved my working closely with the students throughout the development of the show. Under my creative direction they assisted with everything from initial visual research, to painting backdrops, faces and props!
Following are images of research gathering, show design, fashion editorial photography, and images from the show. All garments featured are student work from academic year 2016/2017 which I helped to create.
Above is the noticeboard we began to build a mood-board on, inviting all the students to get involved with collecting images to inspire the showcase. This continued to develop, being collated into more refined visual prompts like the one below.
I was keen to showcase the student work in an editorial style rather than a garment catalogue. This allowed the students to get a sense of what a fashion shoot is like in industry, allowing the opportunity to be a part of the styling and creative direction. I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with fashion photographer, blogger and stylist Simon Schmidt of Own Way Of Inspiration for this project within a project! Working with an industry professional was not only inspiring for the students, but resulted in some truly beautiful imagery, worthy of any fashion publication.
INVITATIONS, POSTERS AND PROGRAMME
With the graphics, I was particularly drawn to the idea of traditional paper tickets you would find at a funfair: a grainy, matt smudge-able ink aesthetic. So with the design team, we leant into that, choosing matt papers and keeping the colour scheme simple, adding flourishes within the typeface and framing.
My vision for the show was to create the most immersive performance space possible within the theatre to really capture the circus feeling . Sadly, renting a big top was way out of the budget, so I decided to set about making one instead by hanging copious lengths of fabric from the light rigs, draping them out to stage side panelling and down to the floor to create the ‘tent’. With the assistance of the girls, I also made a variety of props including creating circus plinths from half whisky barrels. Anything that couldn’t be made was sourced locally such as the hay bales used to create the illusion of a circus ring.
The show was almost two terms in the planning. This included: a full photoshoot, creating a fashion film to be screened at the event, backdrop painting, prop making, face painting, garment making, graphic design and not to mention the huge range of performances from across the creative arts which were featured in the showcase. In attendance were professionals from London College of Fashion, Brand Directors from fashion label Mulberry, Top 10 international fashion bloggers and Mark Wadwa, school patron and owner of The Vinyl Factory in London.
A lot of work went into this show, and it was such a thrill to pull it off to such great success.
Due to school safeguarding policy, I am unable to share my full portfolio online. However further images of the show are available on request.
The show went so well, and the girls creations so brilliant, that we were even featured in Tatler Bystander! A huge credit to the girls for all their hard work, I couldn’t have done it without them.