Dressing for success at Newcastle High fashion show

The next generation of the North East’s very own creative talent took to the catwalk on Friday 23rd February at Newcastle High School for Girls for the annual Art and Design Fashion Show.

The work of over 100 girls from Years 9-13 was showcased during two choreographed catwalk shows organised by the girls themselves.

The staging, music and lighting together with the design and fabrication of all the garments has been done by the girls and this year the inspiration for the collections ranged from the artist Frieda Kahlo to New York and India.

Emilia Cooke, Year 12 presented her outfit as part of a collection based on the theme of New York. Emilia has developed a real passion for fashion since joining the school.

“I have always been interested in design but when I was younger I thought I wanted to be an interior designer. After transferring to Newcastle High though and having the opportunity to see the school’s annual Fashion Show, I changed my thinking. It was the first time I had been exposed at school to Textiles and fashion and I loved it. 

“When I was in Year 9 I had my first taste of designing an outfit for the Fashion Show – it was a dress made out of cardboard! I then used the same basic design to go on to develop an outfit for my Art GCSE.”

Emilia was over the moon to achieve an A* in her GCSE and is now studying A Level Textiles.

“My outfit for the A Level New York collection is a pompom  jacket covered in 300 individually made pompoms – to represent the subways in New York – in colours reflective of the lights in Times Square.

It is a bold piece which shows both skill and creativity. To be worn with the jacket are trousers embroidered with a design based on New York’s road grid.

Emilia said: “I so admire Karl Largerfeld as a designer and am drawn to the detail in his work. I always try to put a lot of detail in my work so that you can see the hard work and effort that it takes to create a garment. Another factor that I have considered is to make sure that the design has a wow factor on the catwalk and not just on the mannequin in the studio.” “To anyone viewing the outfit, my design doesn’t immediately say New York and that’s deliberate. I want people who see it to think of the bigger picture and try to make their own interpretations. I love explaining why I have chosen a particular design route.”

Looking ahead to the future, Emilia is steadfast in her ambition to work in Fashion. “I am going to take an Art Foundation course before deciding which Fashion route to take – Design, Marketing, Journalism or Events Management – I am interested in every aspect of Fashion.”

Emily Mair, Year 12, also presented her ‘New York’ themed work at the Fashion Show.

Emily studies Textiles at A Level and finds it to be a great creative release and contrast to her other subjects – Geography and History.

She has not yet settled on her plans for the future but has a few dreams: fashion journalism or future study in Social Sciences or Humanities. Emily’s collection was inspired by the American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose 1970s work she has always liked.