I can’t help but salivate when I look over the courses offered at Salt Lake Community College’s Fashion Institute: advanced sewing, fit and alteration, pattern design and costuming. One of the few fashion programs in the Western United States, this program prepares you for a career in the fashion industry via either a one- year certificate or two-year degree. A long-time supporter of the SLC Fashion Stroll, the Fashion Institute is also the alma mater of SLC designers Keith Bryce and Jordan Halversen. I have to admit, I’m a fan. In fact graduating from this program ranks somewhere in the upper middle of my list of things to do before I die.
We interviewed a student at SLCC this year, my good friend Rachel Hayes. You may have seen Rachel out vending at events like the Broadway Stroll, with cute items like feathered owl pillows, embellished vintage jackets and sushi hair clips. She joined the Fashion Institute last fall when her youngest daughter went to kindergarten. She is stoked to be in school.
According to Rachel, “SLCC is the only fashion program currently being offered in Utah. Both the U of U and BYU have discontinued their fashion programs. There are lots of great classes, everything from History of Fashion to millinery and corset making. I totally want to take both the hat and corset-making classes!”
Rachel’s favorite class so far was “Visual Merchandising.” The students in the class helped make over Danny Nappi’s store, Façade on 6th South.
We thought it would be fun for Rachel to take on a new project and take us step by step through it as she learned. Rachel explains she learned about, “blackwork, a really old embroidery technique that dates back to the 15th century from a book at the library and had to try it.
She says, ”I love black and white photography, and movies so I knew I wanted to try this technique of using only black thread on a white ground. The technique is actually characterized by the type of stitch used, which is the two way running stitch and can be done in any color. Traditionally it was done in all black. My piece isn’t technically blackwork because I used other stitches like, stem stitch and satin stitch but it was inspired by the blackwork technique of using black and white. I couldn’t resist throwing a splash of color in with the bird. I love mixing old and new, the deco style image with the the trendy color scheme of black, grey and yellow. I really love how it turned out and I want to make more pieces in this blackwork style.”
Look for Rachel’s pieces all around the ArtDuh show that runs April 23 through May 31 at the Hive. Come out and party with us on April 23 and May 20.
Fashion Institute applications are due in August for next year. More info is available at http://www.slcc.edu/fashion/index.asp