To launch our community education project we ran a pilot fashion project with a group of young teenage girls, exploring current issues surrounding social media and its impact upon teen mental health and wellbeing. The creative and personal outcomes far surpassed our expectations. Their openness to communicate and share experiences, skills and challenges was incredibly positive and inspiring. Below are some of the unique designs produced by this very talented group of young girls. We look forward to continue working with the group on their journey of creative self expression and entrepreneurialism. #teenfashionactivism
Teen Fashion Activists: Esme
'My garment is about how people feel like they can hide behind their screens and say things to people which can affect them in many ways. I've put the words on the back of the shirt to show what it's like being stabbed in the back and how the people who are affected by this put it behind them and try to forget about it all.' Esme age 14
Esme chose text as a means of expressing her feelings and concerns around teenage cyber bullying. Having initially sketched the words to form a repeating pattern, she then hand screen printed her design in black onto a deconstructed, donated work shirt. She then skilfully reconstructed the garment, attaching the sleeves and a pocket printed with 'dumb.' A tremendously bold and graphic visual statement that unveils a hidden, teenage dialogue.
Esme hand screen printed her garment at The Egg Factory Co-Working space in Hebden Bridge using non-toxic, water based inks.
Katie and Bella:
Romanticising Depression and Self Harm
Bella: 'Our shirt is about how, on social media, depression and self harm are romanticised and often seen as a cool thing. We wanted to stitch that upsetting idea onto clothing to show how tragic this is.'
Katie: 'Yeah, it's like to show people it's not something to be congratulated about. It's something for people to acknowledge and support people with these mental illnesses and that the media isn't spreading a good message on this. Katie and Bella, age 14
Ellie: 'Who's Perfect?'
'My design is about the unrealistic standards and ideas of women's bodies in modern society, and how we are expected to look a certain way, which is ridiculous because everyone is different' Ellie aged 14
Ellie boldly challenged the sensitive topic of the female body shape to explore, using two discarded garments as the structure for expressing her creative talents. She selected black and white, stretch and non stretchy fabric as opposing colours and materials, reinforcing the contrasting opinions around the 'perfect/imperfect' female body. Her final garment incorporates structured tailoring with internal deconstruction, layering and padding; undoubtably demonstrating Ellie's incredible design and making talents.
''To express my thoughts about social media through a t-shirt was amazing because I had no limits" Molly, age 12
Molly, aged 12 chose to tackle social media filters and questioned why many young people now see cutting, editing and filtering their online appearance as normal behaviour. Molly reverses the negative connotations with over editing and produces an creative, wearable interpretation of her ideas. After ombre dyeing a piece of reclaimed cotton calico for the front panel of a reclaimed mens t-shirt, she then appliquéd the letters onto the ombre background. Finally, to add an additional personalised finish, she cut away the upper sleeve sections to create a drop shoulder effect. Fantastic work for a very first time machinist and designer!