Students will explore the future of fashion
A new kind of fashion is coming to town. On Thursday, May 19, the group You Out Loud will kick off a new, multi-week project for youth in Routt County. ‘Reimagined, Fashion for the Future’ will allow participants the opportunity to create their own clothing line for a fashion show and exhibit in the fall.
Partnering with Déjà Vu, the group will explore using repurposed and sustainable materials to create their own visions. Jen Latham, manager of the local consignment store, donated 20 bags of clothes to Mitchell for this project. They’re clothes that can’t be sold in the store, Latham said, but allowing the textiles to be upcycled will keep them out of a landfill.
Participants will meet weekly at the Attic on Seventh Street which is managed by the Boys and Girls Club of Steamboat, the group’s fiscal umbrella. The project is open to students in 8th-12th grades and is free for participants.
The idea for the project came from participants in You Out Loud’s first session which was called ‘The Octopus Project.’
“We talked about sewing, fashion and a desire to be more sustainable,” said You Out Loud founder Suzi Mitchell. “The idea is to be open minded and to allow the students to explore their own individuality and style.”
The group will be led by local artist Brie Kole, who will act as a guide, planting ideas, teasing out themes and helping with sewing, design and concept.
“I have always done fashion from a lens of reused and repurposed materials,” said Kole. “It’s all very thrilling for me to be able to share my love of fashion in all its faceted stages. I hope to also convey in my time on this project that, much like fashion, we don’t have to exist in the rigid binary society tries to force us in. This place may be small and rural, but I’m hoping this project can help these community members see a bigger picture that they feel a part of.”
This message is perhaps the core goal of the group You Out Loud which Mitchell recently founded to help encourage youth community members to get involved and be a part of something positive within the community.
“You Out Loud is an outlet for self-expression in a safe environment without judgement,” said Mitchell. “Everyone can find a place in our group, which promotes connectivity and inspires a sense of community.”
Sophia Picking participated in the group’s first session, The Octopus Project, and is signed on for session two.
“When I did The Octopus Project, I felt like I connected with my art and the people around me, and when the project came to a close, I ended up really missing the environment,” said Picking. “I am not a very experienced seamstress, but I thought that making clothes would be a way for me to expand my artistic horizons and give me a chance to become better at trying new mediums. I am also very interested in having my own unique style and I thought, ‘what about making it my very own, as in creating the pieces myself.’”
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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