Stylist Dawn Bell has cultivated quite the reputation as a vintage expert, but before you think she’s stuck in the past, consider her take on kids' summer camp. Mood boards, sewing garments, hat construction and a full-blown fashion show are among the campers' daily activities at Fashion Camp Houston and, with a potential second session planned for July, this is a summer activity adults wish they could attend, too.
Bell started the fashion camp last summer after surveying the Houston camp scene and finding nothing like it here. New York is home to programs like Camp Fashion Design and Bell decided aspiring Houston designers deserved a camp of their own. A collaboration with Seventeen Magazine strengthened her 2012 program that much more.
New York is home to programs like Camp Fashion Design and Bell decided aspiring Houston designers deserved a camp of their own.
“I just kept thinking how much fun it would have been for me to have something like this when I was this age,” Bell says.
The first year Bell held fashion camp in her warehouse stocked with her vintage collection, but the lack of air conditioning and a burgeoning roster led her to look for a new space. This year, campers convened at Spring Street Studios to hear local fashion experts, sketch and design clothing and take part in fashion photo shoots.
“We have so many wonderful resources here in Houston and so much great talent. Everybody has been 100 percent supportive and the feedback from the kids has been great,” Bell says.
The response has been so strong that Bell has tentatively scheduled a second session this month and is also planning a trip to New York Aug. 10-15 if there is enough interest.
In fact, the response was so strong that Bell has tentatively scheduled a second session this month and is also planning a trip to New York Aug. 10-15 if there is enough interest. Highlights of the New York field trip includes visiting the The Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, a tour of the Fashion Institute of Technology and other fashion-industry related excursions. The trip includes transportation and accommodations at The Alex Hotel for $1,795.
As fashion camp continues to evolve, Bell wants to focus on window merchandising and set design for fashion shows and hold more intense camps for advanced students handy on a sewing machine and sketch book. She is also planning camps next year for students age 6 to 11 and she stresses, everybody is welcome, including boys.
She also stresses creativity and team work, since becoming a successful member of the fashion community doesn’t happen like in the movies. One of the camper’s first challenges was to divide into teams and reimagine the Chanel brand for 2012.
Another day, the girls got a lesson in millinery from Violet Peacock designer Lindsay Halpin, who brought in a rainbow of fabrics and feathers and instructed them on how to make a fascinator. The results were wearable and inventive and the reason why Bell started camp in the first place.
“I watch them make their inspiration boards and make things and they start learning things about themselves. This is just so exciting for me,” Bell says.
For information about Fashion Camp Houston, contact email@example.com or call 713-459-9210.