Totality - Blackheath High School Fashion Show 2023
This year’s Fashion Show, entitled ‘Totality’, was a true celebration of our incredible creative community, with designs ranging from Year 9 Fashion Society, through to Sixth Form students showcasing their final Textiles coursework collections.
Opening the show, our Year 11 GCSE class impressed with an array of unique garments which saw processes such as foiling, screen printing and embroidery used to create striking designs. They explored the theme of ‘Hidden Beauty’, drawing inspiration from the evolving coastline of Whitstable and microscopic natural forms.
Students in Year 12 all worked with the theme ‘Deconstruct’, creating three spectacular catwalks. Emily, Esme and Lara kicked things off with an energetic catwalk, soundtracked by Blondie, featuring designs inspired by historical fashion detailing, juxtaposed with a sense of grunge and anarchy. Lara’s voluminous garment silhouettes adorned with cobalt-blue prints channelled a modern-day Marie Antoinette, while Emily’s leather tasselled designs added a punky twist to the collection. Completing the catwalk, Esme’s models brought a 1960’s edge with foil printed micro-skirts and headscarves.
Ivy, Jo and Maddie worked together to produce some innovative creations all utilising a muted colour palette of earthy browns, creams and sludgy greens, injected with flashes of orange and copper. Maddie’s architecture-inspired graphic prints and quilted gilets provided a striking contrast with Jo’s edgy laser-cut embellishments and overlaid garments. Ivy’s subtle decorative prints and sophisticated backless dress completed the vision for their collection.
In the final Year 12 catwalk, Textiles students Cait, Elena, Natasha and Shanti’s designs set a more romantic tone with a pastel colour palette and elegant silhouettes. Cait’s collection explored the juxtaposition of brutalist architecture with natural forms, portrayed through linear prints and quilting. Elena’s inspiration came from organic forms, depicting their fragile and complex surfaces through machine embroidery and intricate patterns. In contrast, Natasha’s use of foil printing and fabric distortion was inspired by mechanical forms found at Chatham dockyard. Completing the collection, Shanti’s work was inspired by biological cell structures and hidden internal forms, conceptualised by using complex fabric manipulation techniques and delicate prints.
Year 13 students all presented collections based on their personal themes. First to showcase her work was Dulcie, whose collection ‘Beauté Bacterié’ took inspiration from the hidden beauty of bacteria. These unusual organic forms informed her print designs, utilising a muted colour palette highlighted with metallic accents and embroidery. In stark contrast, prompted by mankind’s unnatural presence in space, Eden’s collection, ‘The Final Frontier’, juxtaposed soft and organic fabrics with sharp and structured embellishments. Using a monotone colour palette, her work featured flashes of metallic detailing, complimented by her choice of sculptural garment shapes.
A musical interlude mid-way through saw the fabulously talented Ruby Hammond performing a spine-tingling rendition of Sam Smith’s ‘Lay Me Down’.
Taking inspiration from cloud formations and effervescent surfaces, Eloise’s dreamy collection was next up. These concepts were explored using a wide range of construction methods and surface treatments such as printing, intricate stitch work and a complex use of crochet. Entitled ‘Essentia Avum’, Natasha’s collection was inspired by birds and she explored both their anatomical and textural features, creating sculptural silhouettes and using experimental techniques to highlight the diversity that exists within the avian world. Last up was Bo , whose colourful catwalk closed the show in style. Bo’s designs were inspired by the notion of ‘technophobia’, portrayed by contrasting the use of wildly fluorescent prints to convey a feeling of overstimulation, with darker colours to denote the dark side of technology.
Massive congratulations to everybody who took part in this year’s show and thank you to all the students and staff who have worked so incredibly hard to make the event such a huge success!
Written by Mrs Imogen Gilbert, Art Department