Students give voice and get fashionable

The Year 10 Villiers Park Hastings Scholars  - Creativity Day at William Parker Sports College. Photographer: Amy George
The Year 10 Villiers Park Hastings Scholars - Creativity Day at William Parker Sports College. Photographer: Amy George

A DAY combining art, history, debating and drama culminated in a fashion show for some of the town’s brightest students.

The group of 21 students from both The St Leonards and Hastings Academy, William Parker Sports College and Helenswood took part in a day of activities organised by Villiers Park Educational Trust, a charity aimed at helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The fashion show was created from scratch in just an hour with all clothes made from newspapers, inspired by workshop activities and current affairs.

Jerome Monahan, a freelance journalist who led the workshop, said: “In just four-and-half hours, we played drama games, explored images and literature relating to mythological and legendary inventors and free-thinkers ranging from Daedalus to Doctor Faustus, debated the meaning of a famous 1768 picture in the National Gallery by Joseph Wright of Derby depicting a scientific demonstration using an air pump, and explored rhetoric and the art of persuasion.”

In the afternoon the students working in small teams were challenged to come up with a costume created from a mixture of lining paper and old newspapers inspired by something they had learned during the day or reflective of broader cultural trends or social issues.

Helenswood student Imogen Piney, 15, was very keen that one of the boys in her group should do the modelling.

She said: “We wanted to make a statement about female empowerment and so we decided to go for some gender-reversal creating a costume inspired by Artemis, the huntress.”

Alex Bolton, also 15, who attends The St Leonards Academy ended up shrouded in mystery, his face obscured by a head-piece and mask decorated with a big question-mark.

He said: “It was a statement about the internet, how people can play with their identities online and also how difficult it is to trust people you encounter in cyberspace.”