Jesmond fashion stars of the future host their own show

Over 60 textile students from Newcastle High School for Girls celebrated their hard work in a  fashion show on March 3rd.

In addition to designing and creating the impressive garments used in the show, the girls – who were in Years 9 to 13 – produced, staged and choreographed the evening themselves.

“We are very proud of the creative talent we have here at Newcastle High,” said Alison Goldie, Head of Creative Arts at Newcastle High. “The girls put their hearts and souls into the whole creative process from design, production, choreography and staging.

“Seven of the eight girls studying Textiles at A Level this year are hoping to going on to study Fashion or Textiles at University, or work in the industry, and already some have secured exciting offers on world leading courses.”

A-level textiles student Megan Fletcher, 17, produced an ‘unsettling’ four-outfit collection partly inspired by Tim Burton using modern techniques, such as 3D printing and colour-changing paint, to produce a theatrical look.

Fletcher has recently secured one of only 25 places at the exclusive BA Hons Fashion Atelier degree course at University College of Arts (UCA) in Rochester.

Goldie said that Newcastle High School’s vast range of equipment allows her students to create such creative collections.

“We are very fortunate to have an exceptionally well supported department equipped with unrivalled facilities including laser, screen and 3D printing,” she said, “which are all at the girls’ disposal when they are producing their collections.”

Hope Turnbull, also 17, created a collection inspired by Agnes Richter, a 19th century German seamstress who was held as a patient in an insane asylum. Turnbull’s garments were overlaid with embroidery featuring first-hand accounts of patients suffering from mental health problems and anxiety.

Turnbull hopes to go on to study Fine Art at University and has applied to Central St Martins and University of the Arts London, among others.

Year 9 girls modelled their own creations at the fashion show, inspired by a range of different artists and social movements, including the 70s punk movement.

Emilia Cooke, a Year 11 pupil studying GCSE Art, created a collection based on packaging and paper, an idea she first had during a Year 9 project in which she created dresses out of cardboard, cling film and Sellotape. Her collection for the fashion show included Tudor-style bustles and corsetry made from packaging materials, brown paper, and string.

“In Year 9 when I created my first piece I came into the art studio every break, lunchtime and after school to get it finished,” said Cooke. “Last night I was in the studio until about 5.30pm with my younger sister, who I’ve roped in to help me create all the origami flowers I’ll need.”

Cooke’s outfits featured delicate, paper flowers that decorated wire frames, and took a very long time to make. “It takes about one hour to create 20 flowers, and I need hundreds! I also used three rolls of Sellotape to produce one of the corsets.”