With support from Whitecliffe and the Greg Whitecliffe Memorial Charitable Trust, fourth year Fashion Design student Samantha Chapman spent her mid-term break attending a summer workshop with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. The programme Body Contour was based around learning how to use four-way stretch fabrics with a mix of draping, flat pattern making and creating patterns from existing garments. The programme leader, Professor Cruz, described it as “an intensive crash course in stretch fabrics.”
This year Samantha’s Whitecliffe collection is focused on tailoring, with the use of wool and silks, producing garments that are very different to the ice-skating costume (pictured) and outfit akin to a cycling uniform that Samantha created whilst at FIT. She has found the exposure to stretch fabrics and more casual sporting wear is influencing her thoughts towards her collection designs. Samantha plans on introducing some stretch garments into her end of year collection to make use of what she has learnt at FIT.
Attending the programme offered Samantha a great opportunity to meet people from other countries, experience a different learning environment and to explore the many artistic and creative elements on offer in New York. Impressively, FIT takes up two city blocks and boasts a museum, bookshop and sewing supply store. It is an institution much larger and very different to Whitecliffe. Though there were many resources available to students at FIT, Samantha says, “being at FIT makes you realise how lucky we are at Whitecliffe not only for having our own space and such small classes but we are lucky with the quality of our equipment all the machines are much newer back home and I haven't yet seen a specialized machine we don't have access to.”
Overall, Samantha learnt a great deal in the workshop, relished the opportunity to get to lots of museums and art galleries, and was fortunate to stock up on lots of supplies to use now she is back. She is confident that the ice-skating costume will be a great addition to her portfolio for the future.