Victoria’s youngest fashion designers set up shop at Royal B.C. Museum

Fashion Machine will give budding young designers the opportunity to develop their skills by reimagining and recycling clothes.

Looking for a wardrobe update? This spring, the Royal B.C. Museum is joining forces with Victoria’s youngest fashion designers to offer a unique take on the latest looks.

On Saturday (March 28) and Sunday (March 29), Fashion Machine, held in partnership with Theatre SKAM and The Makehouse, will give budding young designers, between the ages of nine and 13, the opportunity to develop their skills by reimagining and recycling clothes.

“In or out?” will be the question at the door, and any attendee who opts “in” could be handpicked by one of the designers to have their clothing exchanged for a robe.

The young fashion stars of the future will have a quick conversation with the participant, then the designers will have one hour to work in the Fashion Machine, a creative sculpture-like fabric structure housing the students’ sewing machines and work stations – a work of art worth visiting in and of itself.

Finally, the audience members will model their new threads in a fashion show.

In preparation for the event, the youth are working with one another and experts to hone their talents. The students are participating in workshops to learn the necessary skills and working with museum conservation experts to learn about the history of fabrics.

During the evening, the young designers will also lead tours of the museum’s Modern History Gallery, giving those participating in Fashion Machine a chance to discover the connections between history and fashion.

“The Royal B.C. Museum promotes the historical importance of fashion, and this event will bring this history right up to present day,” said Chris O’Connor, who leads the museum’s Schools and Family Learning program.

The young designers must also take part in public presentations as part of the program, including some held at local schools, learning to speak publicly and share their passion for fashion. And they are paid for their final creation, so they can feel what it is like to have a paid gig.

“The power of the project is bringing agency and ownership to these young designers,” said O’Connor. “It shifts the power in a way.”

 

There will be two Fashion Machine events, March 28 and March 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person or $30 for a family, and are available online atroyalbcmuseum.bc.ca.