Fashion is at the same time, a high form of art and the most accessible. It combines the aesthetic qualities of sculpture and painting with the applied art of sewing. Yet, because we all get dressed, it is more accessible than other forms of art. We all have the opportunity to make a statement about ourselves and how the world will see and react to us before we even leave the house each day. This is the message that I wanted to impart upon the students in my middle school fashion design summer camp. On Monday, June 23, I arrived to find four stylish young ladies eager to spend a week talking about fashion and designing looks for a number of occasions.
After a bit of discussion about what it means to have style and how they express their own style, we jumped right into the designing. Each camper chose a season, spring/summer or autumn/winter and a genre, ready-to-wear or couture, and started creating their own looks. On day two we played celebrity stylist. We talked about what a stylist does and then designed looks for our favorite celebrities. On Wednesday, the wonderful ladies of Meeps Vintage in Adams Morgan welcomed us to their store. The campers each chose a few vintage pieces and took photos. We returned to CHAW and created looks with the chosen pieces as inspiration. On Thursday I asked the girls to come in their favorite outfits because we had a special guest coming. Personal style blogger Sahra Schukraft of the blog Queserasahra.com volunteered her time to come in and meet with the campers. After some discussion of what she does and how she does it, we took to the streets to take some photos. Photographer (and CHAW’s wonderful Education Coordinator) Leslie Mansour joined us and took photos of the Sahra and the campers at Garfield Park in southeast DC. The skatepark offered us the chance to get some cool photos of the campers, some of which Sahra even posted on her own blog! This was definitely the campers’ favorite day and I expect that we may see a few new fashion blogs spring up here in DC! On the last day the campers created poster boards as portfolios of their work.
This year was the second summer I led this camp and was so lucky to have wonderful, stylish and CHAWsome students!
Clay Hollenkamp, CHAW Teaching Artist