Concept to Catwalk

Learning and Interpretation
August 20, 2014


Fashion and technology have always had a mutually beneficial relationship, from the Spinning Jenny of the Georgian era and the textile mills of the Victorian era to the 3D printing and dye colouring techniques of today. Supported by the Mayor of London, Concept to Catwalk is a challenge open to London students at Key Stage 3 and 4. Students will explore that relationship and create new and exciting fashions fit for contemporary living while taking inspiration from London’s rich textile and fashion heritage.

The V&A is partnering with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Material Futures at Central Saint Martins and MyKindaCrowd to challenge London schools to create a collection of clothing that reflects twenty-first century lifestyles and technology led innovation in fashion. Schools can take advantage of specially produced resources, visits to our archives, an inspiration day featuring some of London’s most exciting designers and exclusive teachers’ evenings at the V&A to support them in creating their spectacular pieces. Entries from schools will be shortlisted by an expert panel and will then have the opportunity to work with MA students and mentors from Central Saint Martins to produce their collections and display them at a final fashion event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


“Plato’s Atlantis”, Alexander McQueen, 2010, Location: In storage, Ref: T.11-2010 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London/Alexander McQueen

Contemporary creative technologies continue to exert a huge influence on the changing face of fashion.  There is a real focus on technological innovation and the varied role that this often now plays in fashion designs and development. A rising awareness of the need for environmental sustainability is also encouraging the use of recycled and reused materials in increasingly creative ways and the embedding of circuits and electronics in clothing and accessories has led to a boom in wearable technologies, such as smartwatches and Google Glass. Materials have also undergone a huge evolution, with the textiles used in clothing being lighter, smarter and more advanced than ever before.


The Unseen, will be taking part at the Inspiration Day in October. “Air”, The Unseen, 2014 © The Unseen, London

London has established itself as one of the world’s most important fashion cities and for schools taking part, you will have the opportunity to meet and work with some of its most exciting designers. On October 9th, Concept to Catwalk will host an Inspiration Day at the Olympic Park where you will be able to speak to designers and studios to learn about how they approach their work and take part in hands on workshops where you can learn about applying new techniques and materials to your work. Place are limited so book early!

For more information about the challenge, go to MyKindaCrowd where you can find resources, details of booking events and the school registration page. The deadline for registering your school is the 14th November.

About the author

Learning and Interpretation
August 20, 2014

I'm Team Leader for Digital Programmes at the V&A and run events, workshops, talks and festivals with artists and designers who use and experiment with digital tools, processes and manufacturing.

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