Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

From the classroom to the catwalk

Hight school students debut their designs at public fashion show

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Forget about Project Runway and Fashion Star -- 43 up-and-coming teen designers from right here in Winnipeg are getting ready to press and pin, stitch and cinch, hem and hang everything from skirts and suits to sundresses and couture creations at Now in Full Colour -- a show featuring the latest designs by the Fashion Design and Technology students at Murdoch MacKay Collegiate Institute.

"There will be designers participating from grades 10 to 12 and all the garments in the show are drawn, designed and constructed using industrial techniques," explains fashion technology teacher Denise Miller.

The student designs include tailored suits, fully lined gowns, skirts, blouses, pants, mini knitwear and sundresses. And according to the students participating in the show, the four-year program is challenging, rewarding and, most importantly, fun.

"It feels so good to make your own clothing," says Grade 11 student Jessica Garn. "I like being able to show off all of our work at the end of the year -- it's so exciting to show off what you made."

Garn, who is also enrolled in the entrepreneurship course, not only designed garments for the show, but is also part of the team responsible for promoting the fashion show to the public. It's given her lessons in the behind-the-scenes world of being an indie designer.

The students are also getting a lesson in what it's like to meet the public's critical eye. Local industry experts will judge the students' garments at the fashion show on a number of criteria, including marketability and technical skills -- something student Kerstin Betz knows all about, as the provincial gold medallist at the Skills Manitoba Competition.

"I had to sew a trench coat with a notched collar. I wasn't really nervous at all; I just relaxed and ended up doing good," says Betz, who is also looking forward to showing off the knitwear and sundress she designed for the show.

And while spectators will get a look at the very best from the design class of 2013, they are also in for a fantastic treat.

Now in Full Colour will also feature couture garments and cutting-edge creations straight from the young designer's imaginations as part of the fantasy segment.

"The fantasy portion of the show is a chance for the students wildest and wackiest side to let loose," says Miller.

This year's themes include Colour Confections (bright garments inspired by sweets), Abstract Nature (creatures or plants that don't already exist in the natural world) and Good vs. Evil (fabricated superhero pairings and their enemies).

Now in Full Colour takes place Thursday, May 2, at Manitoba Theatre for Young People. Show times are 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets for the event can be purchased by calling 204-958-6460, ext. 2712, or emailing dmiller3@retsd.mb.ca.

Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at connietamotofashion@hotmail.com.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 27, 2013 E10

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