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Year 2 A-level Textiles students from Cirencester College have recently completed an ‘Upcycled Couture’ project, which saw students working in teams and competing against each other to create exciting new garments from recycled denim.

Textiles student Amelia Legg, who also studies Journalism and Art and Design, wrote the following report about the project.

“The A-level Textiles course at Cirencester College is full of creative thinking, independence and supportive advice from our lecturer Daisy. The project was a chance to experiment and create a fashion garment using recycled shirts and denim, which gave us the opportunity to understand the concepts of successful outcomes and independent thinking before we start creating our final pieces later in the year.

The teams were chosen by our lecturer; giving us an opportunity to devise and emerge our creative ideas together to create a fashionable, successful fashion garment full of abundance. The competition was a key introduction of the fashion concepts which gave us an insight into cooperation and fast thinking.

We had a week to produce our fashion garments, which included two lessons and independent time to finish and create a fashion design illustration of the outcome. Each group also took part in an independent photoshoot with the final piece modelled by one of the team members.

The photoshoot was extremely fun, being able to work with your teammates to find the correct setting which related to the garment was important. The photoshoot allowed us to think about our surroundings, and choose lighting and settings which would complement our fashion garments.

Furthermore, some students worked in the photography studio and others took photoshoots outside; some students took their photographs on cameras which created clear, authentic, and professional photos which really complemented their competition entry.

We were able to create our fashion illustration drawings in our own style. We were required to create a top and bottom, some students created skirts, dresses, jackets, tops, and corsets. Moreover, some students also chose to add extra garments such as jackets/ two pieces and bags. Alongside the garments, we had to think independently about adding complimentary accessories to use for the photoshoot, for example, jewellery, props, and shoes.

The garment making and the voting was a two-week process in total. Other classmates from the Textiles course had the chance to vote for their favourite garment. The whole class worked incredibly hard to produce garments full of creative thinking, teamwork and cooperation by dismantling old fabrics, shirts, and denim clothing to create upcycled, sophisticated garments.

The project also included hand-embroidery, free-machine embroidery, and screen-printing. Textiles allows students to create mature and stylish outcomes using their initiative to produce a high-level standard quantity of textile work.

Overall, there was one winner and a runner-up: the end results for all the fashion garments were incredible and packed with extraordinary and freestyle outcomes.

I really enjoyed getting involved and expressing my ideas and thinking freely. I liked the way we were put in random groups, because it allowed us to work with other peers that we would not normally work with. I was inspired by my classmate’s final outcomes, I really enjoy looking at other students’ work, it amazes me that everyone has their own creative spin”.

Textiles lecturer Daisy Roberts said ‘Working in small groups the students transformed unwanted jeans and jackets into fantastic garments. After a close vote, the winners were Lily Day, Freya Clarke and Maddy Wardle with their bodice and skirt ensemble.’

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