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Trends to the Runway participants study fashion

June 18, 2015

Girls participating in Trends to the Runway, the Stephens summer fashion camp, oohed and awed—but also heckled—at fashion from the 1960s through early 2000s during a trip to the College’s fashion archives yesterday.

Students in the camp are studying trends from 1900 through 2000 for a timeline project they’re wrapping up this week. Yesterday, Jennifer Cole, assistant curator of the collection, pulled selective garments to show just how much fashion has evolved—or devolved—over the past 50 years.

A sleeveless A-line striped dress with a large pocket watch graphic from the 1960s was a hit among the middle school girls, as well as a sheer white jumpsuit complete with ruffles. Patchwork denim short-shorts for men and crocheted vests from the 1970s, not so much. (Those in the room who experienced the ’70s attempted to explain the collective cultural mindset.)

Understanding the history of fashion is one of the main goals of the Trends to the Runway camp, said Sheryl Farnon, assistant professor and camp director.

“Clothing is simple now, disposable, but people didn’t always look at it that way,” she said. “People took care of their garments. They altered and restyled them to keep wearing them.”

The camp also teaches students how clothing is made. Participants have a chance to experience it first hand by making tote bags, complete with an originally designed and embroidered logo.

“Some of our participants are interested in fashion as a career, and that’s great, but I really hope students just get a better understanding of how clothing is made,” Farnon said. “It’s not an easy process.”

Parents and friends will have an opportunity to see the girls’ designs during a showcase from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. tomorrow in Room 108 of Catherine Webb Studio.

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