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Canford Fashion Show 2024 – ‘Untangled’

Canford Fashion Show 2024 – ‘Untangled’

At the start of lockdown in March 2020 OC Eloise Grant (W15) decided to rethink her career. With a family background in the fashion industry, she set up the social enterprise, Wardrobe Foundation.

Wardrobe Foundation is a volunteer led Community Interest Company, providing clothing to women across Wessex who are in desperate need of clothing support. Their stated aim: At Wardrobe Foundation our aim is to redistribute clothing. Combating the societal need of clothing support, and the environmental issue around textile and clothing waste.

Two years ago the joint collaboration between Development, the Art department, the Layard technical team and the Friends of Canford School, to organise a Canford clothing amnesty, a full scale art project and finally Canford’s first sustainable Fashion Show was borne. Building on the incredible support of this inaugural event, Canford’s second Fashion Show took place on Friday 2nd February. Once again, Canfordians took to the catwalk in the Assembly Hall with lights and staging that would not have looked out of place in Paris, Milan or New York! 

Canford’s Resident Artist, Laura Buckle, has a passion for environmental projects and their incorporation into art, and was delighted to spearhead the planning of this year’s event:

As an artist whose research is rooted in textile waste and its impact on class and climate, Nicola Will, Canford’s Head of Art suggested I be involved in this year’s Fashion Show. I was then given the absolute honour of writing the brief. Untangled, is about looking at the complicated textile industry we are all woven into and figuring out ways to untangle some of those issues. I had the privilege of working with the students around this theme, and we explored different methods of reusing and repurposing materials to delay them from the inevitable end that is landfill or incineration. The Wardrobe Foundation, which already pioneers in making the most out of donations received, passed on some damaged items to the students to use as materials in their garments. Each student managed to create phenomenal outfits, each delivering their own important messages. The creativity was extraordinary, and through the medium of beautiful clothes, they delivered their messages to a wider audience about the importance of reusing, recycling, buying less and many more solutions, to a complicated industry. 

Woven into the school and the textile industry is the importance of community, and so it felt only right to decorate the stage with students work. A large collaborative weaving was hung, alongside a patchwork piece, and student protest banners. All these were made at different times during my residency with staff, pupils and other members of the Canford community.

It was important that students were involved in all aspects of the show including set design, lighting and music, hair and make up, photography, modelling, making and much more. Each student involved played a vital role in the huge success that it was, and they had an absolute blast! They were all utterly fantastic and I feel both privileged and proud to have worked with them.

Additionally, the designers put so much effort into their making, and the details in both the physical outfit, and the research behind it are extraordinary. So much so we are going to host a static show after half term. This exhibition will showcase the garments, alongside video footage and photographs, not only as a celebration of the wonderful show, but to extend it to a wider audience.

Canford sustainable art project


Read the full brief here: Canford Fashion Show brief

If you missed this creative showcase, head to the Canford YouTube channel at the link below to watch the fantastic film created by OC Lucas Francis M23

More photographs may be found at this link (parent password required):