On the final day of an exhibition of contemporary textile design and fashion from Britain called Fabric of Fashion, on Sunday the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague organized a creative workshop, where mainly young participants gathered to design and create new models for themselves. Alena Skodova was there and has this report:
I came to the Museum in the morning and was among the first visitors. I could see the first group of children sitting with pencils and notepads in a circle trying to answer the first question: why do people wear clothes in the first place? I soon found the organizer of the event, Vladka Jinochova, who explained to me what it was all about:
"The name - Play fashion - refers to the fact that the whole idea was inspired by computer games, where the object is to reach higher and higher levels, Vladka told me. It starts with the children receiving a guided tour of the exhibition during which they fulfil various tasks. Then the event continues in the museum's garden. Children explore macro and microcosms in relation to how fabrics are produced. Finally, they are invited to sew together a piece of clothing for themselves, bearing a special label featuring the logo of the workshop."
I went to the garden and saw what macro and microcosms meant: children had to specify pieces of fabrics according to their structures and compare them to objects in the garden and then they looked at them through the microscope. There were several makeshift tables in the garden, where creative arts students from the Pedagogical faculty of Charles university were helping the participants with their tasks. Barbora Skaloudova was one of them, and she told me more about what all those tables overflowing with fabrics were for:
"Each table shows children different techniques which they will use when making their own garments - said Barbora. For instance the first table offered so-called high-tech materials, that's plastics and wires which the girls plait together and make pieces of fabrics to be used for sewing. One of the techniques was called destruction, which sounded pretty destructive to me, but Barbora explained that it meant they cut old dresses and other garments into pieces or perforated them to be later used for new models."
Making new clothes from old ones was inspired by the contemporary British textile designer Jessica Ogden, whose models were to be seen at the exhibition. The main idea behind that technique is to make use of clothes that somebody used to wear and each of which has its own history. I believe that participants in Sunday's creative workshop made good outfits - and even if everything did not come out the way they wished, at least they spent a nice sunny day learning why - and how - we wear clothes.
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