The ASOS/Collusion Fashion Event which took place on Friday 25th October gave groups from Hanbury and Seymour a chance to experience a new look, and show off their outfits in the Dream Centre.
Melissa Reeve and Niall Underwood work for the huge online retailer ASOS at the Head Office in central London. They chose to ‘Give a Day to Charity’ with Chailey Heritage Foundation, and to utilise their knowledge of the current trends – and take advantage of their access to some very cool clothes – we decided to make it a Personal Styling event for our older students who wanted to take part. What teenager isn’t interested in what they wear?! On a deeper level, choosing what we wear is an essential part of adult life and one which our students can – and should – be enable to enjoy and appreciate as they move into life beyond Chailey.
The morning involved talking and thinking about our current style, who chooses our clothes, and what it is important to think about when making those choices. Students tried on a range of amazing garments – chosen specially for their varied textures and colours – which Niall and Melissa had brought down from London with them. The students looked at themselves in mirrors to decide what they liked or went simply by the feel of a fabric. Lots of communication took place between staff and students throughout.
In the afternoon, the Dream Centre came to life again with fantastic music, chosen by the students in advance, polaroids, flashing cameras and exciting visuals set up by Mark Elms. Niall gave the voice over for the catwalk show and each student had their ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ as they showcased what they wore. A few members of staff couldn’t resist the urge to take centre stage either….
The biggest surprise came when the ASOS team announced that the students could keep the clothes they had chosen so they took them home with them at the end of the day. Collusion is an online brand that is one part of ASOS. It does include a range of ‘adaptive’ clothes i.e. clothes that are accessible for those with disabilities, and all of its product is non-gender specific. As we at CHF support students with the transition into adult life, thinking about how we present ourselves to the world and what clothes say about who we are, are ideas that our young people may well want to explore. – so watch this space…