Purls of Wisdom

Fashion Bootcamp Helps Girls Break into the Industry, One Intern's Story

Posted by Laura Kelly on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 07:49 PM

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So many girls love fashion, especially in their teen years.  After years of teaching kids to knit, embroider, craft and machine sew, fashion was the next perfect skill to teach our young needle artists.  So 5 years ago we developed ourFashion Bootcamp for girls ages 12-17.  What makes our program special is that is that beside teaching sketching, inspiration and how to create a story board, we take it one step further by taking the girls on field trips to NYC and 4th Street in Philadelphia.  After a shopping spree for fabric, trims and accessories the girls come back to the design room and actually create their designs.  The pride and sense of accomplishment is just wonderful.  
Several of our girls have gone onto fashion school and we are so proud to have them come back and teach with us every summer.  This year, Maddie Kaplan, a Drexel fashion student, is with us helping in our Narberth camp before she moves over to Fashion Bootcamp to assist Miss Crissy with this summer's group of fashionistas.  
Here is a brief conversation we had with Maddie:
1) What do you love about fashion? The thing I love most about fashion is the creativity within it. People express themselves through what they wear every. With fashion, you can be whoever you want to be. It's hard to explain why, but my biggest passion is fashion design. And it has been since I was 5. I guess it's just fate sometimes. It's meant to be.
2) Is fashion school everything you ever dreamed it would be? Fashion design program at Drexel is very intense. And I can't say it's exactly what I expected, but I know all the hard work will pay off. Fashion school is not as glamorous as you think it would be. It's a lot of work, it's a lot of all-nighters in the sewing lab, and exchanging a night out with friends to do pattern making homework. I will eventually live my dream, but the road to that is a little bumpy. 
3) What suggestions do you have for young girls who think they want to go into fashion?  I would say: Expect a lot of work, it's not easy. But if you love it, like I do, you would be willing to work hard and be dedicated. If you can't imagine yourself doing anything else, fashion is for you.
4) How did Fashion Bootcamp and Miss Crissy help you? Miss Crissy sealed the deal for me. After completing Fashion Boot Camp and having that amazing feeling from a big accomplishment, I knew, hands down, this is what I wanted to do. Miss Crissy isn't easy on you, she pushes you to show your full potential.She has faith in everyone. She is one of my biggest inspirations. Fashion Boot Camp provided me with experience - experience with inspirations, drawings, patterns, and sewing. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in fashion design. I promise you, it is well worth the cost. You won't regret it.
--Maddy Kaplan