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Students Step-Up to Fashion Project

Salisbury is not normally associated with luxury fashion, but some young students from Salisbury are challenging this. Godolphin’s art students designed bespoke boots, after being inspired by an art project. Godolphin is passionate about bringing education to life. Most people struggle to learn effectively, when forced to study abstract concepts within a classroom setting. Therefore, Godolphin looks for every opportunity for students to apply their learning in real-world situations. With this in mind, Sharon Duggan, Deputy Head of Department and lead in textiles, was determined to make last year’s art project as interactive as possible.

Mrs Duggan first took students on a trip to Salisbury Museum, where they made sketches of historical textile items. This was followed by a trip to the Wallace Collection in London, to experience the “An Enquiring mind” exhibition, produced by the international shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik. The 10 rooms, each with a particular theme in relation to the designer’s work, proved inspirational.

When the students returned to the classroom, Mrs Duggan tasked students to design an item for a contemporary fashion line and they unanimously chose to create boots. The girls then spent many hours developing concepts, producing larger pieces of fabric and making design choices. The result was the class produced an incredible range of boots, which combined classic techniques with contemporary tastes.

One student, Olivia, used inlay felting techniques and machine embroidery to capture the quality of the vintage artifacts on display at the museum fusing them with more modern influences, by using vibrant colours. Another student, Lexie, took a different approach. Lexie was inspired bythe delicate lacework on the costumes at Salisbury Museum. Using heat transfer techniques, lace and dissolvable fabric to impose them on her materials.

Their teacher, Mrs Duggan, said: “When I’m teaching, I want it to be exciting. I want to push the boundaries all the time and challenge the girls to keep them on their toes – inspiring them to go that step further, to hunt ideas out themselves and to want to know more.

“When I’m with my GCSE or A-level students, I teach them in exactly the same way I have taught first, second or third year degree students in the past. Because only then can they show their true potential and immerse themselves in a world of design and textiles and beauty. If you challenge and inspire your pupils in equal measures, I believe the sky’s the limit!”