This year’s RicRACK summer camps at the Ogden Museum had young campers turning old jeans and denim into haute couture.
“Our goals for the camp are to educate youth on the importance of repurposing existing materials, and how, by doing so, we can reduce textile waste in our landfills,” said Alison L. Parker, director of the program. “We also want to get kids excited about sewing, altering, and creating clothing. We hope to develop interest in employable skills, especially in a town with such a rich costuming culture.”
The culmination of camp was a fashion show that featured jean vests with embellishments created by the campers. Accessories included necklaces they designed from scraps.
“The final couture piece was one that they started researching, sketching and developing since the first day of camp,” Parker said. Their collages and sketches were also on exhibit to show the process.
“They got to see the design process, starting with a blank piece of paper,” she said. “They made the connection between a dream and reality.”
Parker said it is always a surprise to see how eager the youngsters are to learn more about sewing. She said only four of the 20 campers had previous sewing experience.
“We went as far as a lesson on making buttonholes and installing zippers, a lesson we usually give to more experienced children.”
She said they also researched fun facts about jeans, including that the most expensive pair of jeans sold for $1.5 million, and that clothing, as well as jeans, add more than 24 million tons of waste to landfills every year. For information, visit www.ricracknola.com.