Young fashion enthusiasts around the globe have begun to discover the magic of the TASIS Summer Program’s Fashion and Textile Design course, which grants students a fascinating introduction to the world of clothing design.
First offered by Italian designer Irene Barnes in 2013, the three-week course complements an examination of fashion theory with a practical component that includes sketching, creating a moodboard, and working with fabric and sewing machines. After learning about textile history, print techniques, marketing, brand and identity, visual perception, and color psychology, students apply their learning by moving through a comprehensive creative process that concludes with the design of their own fashion collections. Their work is then showcased at the TASIS Summer Arts Festival.
Eleven students representing eight different nations took this year’s course, which Ms. Barnes described as having a more even balance of theory and practice after being predominantly theoretical in the past.
“This year went very well,” said Ms. Barnes, who has worked as a designer in the Florence area since 2008, beginning with a two-year stint at Emilio Pucci. “The students completed many different projects, and they worked very hard and learned about what preferences they have. They were given a lot of different ways to express their creativity and were able to discover which parts of the process they like the most. Some loved working with fabric while others preferred sketching their collections.”
|I will keep it in my memories forever. Ms. Barnes is an amazing teacher. She is kind and patient and always wants the best for us. I will miss this class dearly.|
|-Cassia Edwards, Student|
“This was my best year ever,” added Cassia Edwards, a student who has now taken the course for three consecutive summers. “I will keep it in my memories forever. Ms. Barnes is an amazing teacher. She is kind and patient and always wants the best for us. I will miss this class dearly."
Students also benefit greatly from the TASIS Summer Program’s ideal location in Lugano, just an hour’s drive from Milan, a city that resides in the fashion world’s Big Four along with Paris, London, and New York. Class trips this summer included visits to the Armani Silos Museum in Milan and the Museo Studio del Tessuto in Como.
“I always enjoy going on all the fashion trips and listening to the designers discuss their experiences and their climb into the fashion world,” said Edwards, who has completed her final year in the TASIS Summer Program but hopes to return next year to serve as Ms. Barnes’ assistant.
The Fashion and Textile Course strengthens a Visual Arts curriculum that also includes Digital Filmmaking, Digital Photography, and Architecture and Design. For more information on the TASIS Summer Programs, visit the TASIS Summer Program page.