Members of FAD’s Heritage Lottery Funded Black Icons project had the chance to share the inspiring stories of the Black British trailblazers they researched for their Black Icons of the
Young people from London have collaborated on this multi faceted project to celebrate Black Icons of the British Jazz Age, inspiring people from all backgrounds with a creative exploration of Black British heritage.
This unique project enabled young people to conduct hands-on archive research with original source material, as well as speaking to some of the UK’s most respected experts, including Stephen Bourne and Gary Crosby OBE, to inform their investigations. The young people then designed and printed textiles, inspired by East African Kangas, to celebrate their chosen Black Icons. These cloths were then styled and modelled by the young people themselves, providing the images that illustrate the inspiring life stories brought to life in the magazine.
The group stepped away from Google and into the archives of London: Black Cultural Archives, National Jazz Archive, British Library, British Film Insitute and Positive Steps Archive. They sifted through magazines, flyers, ephemera and photographs, drawing and making notes. They heard lectures, watched films and listened to original recordings. Combining their new found research skills with their creativity, they used original source material to tell thirteen exciting life stories.
The project is launched with a day of induction and research at the V&A. Launch day is followed by 10 weeks of industry led fashion workshops on Saturday mornings. 70 teenagers receive expert tuition to learn about the complete design process – from initial research and garment design to technical drawing, pattern cutting and constructing a finished toile.
At the end of the 10 week course the young designers present their finished toiles and portfolios to a panel of industry experts, who select the Fashion Futures Finalists.
The final stage of the project sees the Finalists spend an intensive week at Summer School expanding on the designs they have created and developing the skills they learnt in stage 1. By the end of the week their designs are complete and ready for the London Fashion Week catwalk in September.
9 lucky Fashion Futures graduates got the opportunity to take part in an exclusive masterclass with FAD Patron and star of BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee, May Martin. May shared
It was London Fashion week this week, and I was invited to attend the FAD Fashion Futures Final, where young innovative designers got the opportunity to present their masterpieces on