December’s Teen Program–Future Fashion

Do you know a tween or teen that’s really into fashion? This month’s Urban Armor program will be right up his/her alley! If you’ve never heard of Urban Armor, it’s a monthly program offered for teens and tweens that explores identy through art making.

This month, we’ll be looking works from the incredible exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk. We’ll talk about the idea of transformation (materials, ideas, identities) and then make our own wearable art from everyday and recycled materials.

As my colleague Shelagh and I gear up for the program, we’ll be giving demos during the studio time to help participants with ideas and techniques they can use when making their fashions: Shelagh will be covering garment-making and I’ll be focusing on headwear. One aspect of the exhibition that I love is the way the headwear not only complements but truly completes each outfit.

Creating my own example for the teen program to show participants has been a really fun challenge and I thought I’d share a few photos as I’m working through my ideas.

The two considerations I want to keep in mind are material and ease of use. I decided to go with butcher paper because it’s flexible like fabric but it’s rigid enough to cut and shape easily. As for inspiration, I’m thinking Urban Armor + Future Fashionurban samurai/valkyrie. I like to incorporate pop culture influences from my childhood into my work, so there’s also a dash of giant-robot cartoon flavor thrown in.

I’m using a styrofoam mannequin head to make things easier and decided to just start cutting shapes out and taping them directly to the surface. I generally don’t sketch ideas out, so I don’t really know how things will turn out. Here are a few shots of the headwear during different stages:









I’m using clear tape to hold everything together temporarily in case I want to take things apart. Since I’m still not finished, I haven’t decided how I’m going to permanently attach the pieces–maybe hot glue. I also will be interested to see if it needs some kind of internal structure–I don’t know if all the paper will be able to support itself on its own. Lastly, it might need some elastic to keep from falling off the wearer’s head.

I hope that you enjoy the pictures and encourage your teen to come not only for the Urban Armor program but to see the Gaultier exhibition as well. It’s truly unlike any exhibition we’ve had.

For more information on the Urban Armor teen program, go to: And don’t worry if you miss December’s workshop–we’ll be offering it during January’s Late Night as well.

Posted by: JC


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Filed under Art Projects, Center for Creative Connections, DMA Programs, Parents, Teens

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