Our Pilot Program--The Canberra Collection
THIS PROGRAM IS CURRENTLY FULL-- However, if you are interested, please contact us and we will assess your particular situation on 6103 0968 (calls should be returned with 48 hours)
Our project will see fashion-loving and skilled sewers from the local refugee and CALD migrant communities working alongside members of the broader Canberra community in a dedicated No Sweat Fashions Studio located inside the University of Canberra High School Kaleen.
Working primarily during school terms and school hours to mininise overhead costs, the collective will embark on a 12 month program mini-projects led by a skilled facilitator, usually with some affiliation to the Canberra Institute of Technology. The collective will be ‘in session’ for 2 days per week, initially up to 3 hours per session. In pedagogical terms, these projects will be quite similar to what a first year fashion design student would undertake. For example, we will rely heavily on the use of creative ‘mood boards’ to explore a source of inspiration, such as the work of a Canberra artist or a Canberra landmark. Once a level of skill is established, the work experience will begin: briefs (creative assignments) will be designed to highlight the individual’s strengths and skills, encourage team work and problem solving. The results will initially be small—children’s clothing, accessories, bags, jewellery, or other promotional items.
As the project progresses, and under direction of our experienced Creative Team, the collective will develop and produce samples of a unique and commercial-quality women’s fashion collection for Winter 2013. The collection will be edited, the design parade event will be held during Canberra’s centary celebrations. We intend for our collective to be involved in all stages of the process—not only design, construction of the samples, but selecting and styling the models, staging the event and managing related PR activities.
In order to expand the reach of the project and to accommodate those with less-flexible schedules, we also propose running “Social Sewing” sessions in the studio at least one day per week. For social sewing, the community will be invited to bring in their own project to work on in the studio space. Where at all possible, we will also encourage members of the multicultural community to take the lead in these sessions—as facilitators or as 'living libraries' to use the session to share some aspect of their own unique textile tradition with the broader community. A session on Karen embroidery or East African headdress will be well attended and a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and build new connections. Following from the NSF mission, the facilitator might discover a business opportunity that she/he can exploit to generate an income (outside of our program).
Underpinning this unique exercise will be an effort to collect and document a small number of the stories, friendships and insights that will be seeded by the project. More specifically, we would like to assist the participants themselves to tell their own stories of social cohesion and share those stories with the broader community. We propose the appointment of a ‘community engagement’ specialist who will provide the project leaders (and key multicultural community leaders) with ‘digital storytelling’ training. The consultancy also includes production and editing of the information submitted to the consultant over the course of the project.