I really don’t know the answer – but boy, is it a fun topic to talk to kids about!
(Our classroom feltboard)
This week I’m shamelessly ripping off the amazing Liza Jane Sews, who was kind enough to email me a detailed lesson plan of how she teaches Grade 1s to become fashion designers in their own right! It’s a really brilliant series of lessons: first look at designer sketches, then come up with their own. Choose a favourite, and collage it onto a large piece of paper… then cut out an oval so they can hold it up to their faces to “try it on”!
The first day, we talked about fashion as art, and how the clothes make up feel. I’m tying it all loosely to studying texture, colour, and seasonally appropriate clothing, but the real fun is share my love for sewing with them! At age 6 or 7, they are already really concerned with fashion… which makes me a little nostalgic for the pastel track suits I was wearing at that age! Instead of focusing on trends or looking “cute”, I’m trying to emphasize how clothing can make us feel happy, confident, and confortable with who we are. Big topics for little people!
I’m not allowed to share pictures of student work online, but I wish i could – they are hilarious! It’s such an amazing age, when some kids still have feet directly attached to the heads of their figures, and some have amazing detail and relatively proportionate figures!
To go along with the project, I’m introducing our feltboard, yarn, cardboard weaving and finger knitting as activities during out playtime. Bring on the fibre arts!!!
(My practice run weaving on cardboard – Looks just like what a 7 year old can do! :P)
As for clothing as art: I’m undecided. My gut says, “No”, but my husband says “Yes”! The kids are undecided, but I’m pretty sure that once they “make” their outfits, they’ll be convinced it is high art! To continue the discussion, I’ve promised to wear my Sharpie Dress tomorrow. They seem to think of art as 2-d involving drawing, so I’m curious what they think of a 3-d, wearable marker doodle!
What do you think? Is clothing art?