Yesterday was long day of driving but in the end it was an enlightening day. I was a judge at the Skills Ontario provincial fashion competition and I learned there is a lot of raw talent in the high schools as far as fashion is concerned, the students did a great job in only 8 hours to create an unlined jacket with a notched collar, front snaps and a design feature of either pleats, yoke, style lines etc. The winners of each category, of which there are many, will go on to compete in the nationals in Moncton in about 2 weeks, and every couple of years there are the worlds students compete in. I had no idea these competitions even existed! What a great showcase for our talented young people to show their work!
I only wish the ministry of education would realize the fact that as artistic as fashion is it should be recognized as an academic course with full funding to hire qualified instructors to teach the curriculum. I know for a fact that at some high schools the fashion arts course is taught by teachers who barely know how to thread a machine let alone teach pattern drafting! This is not fair to anyone, not the teachers who are teaching something they are not entirely comfortable with (not the teacher's fault they only do as they are told), especially not the students who are learning this trade/art and deserve the best instruction possible. Many countries see the merits of fashion as a viable, highly productive, profitable business why not in Canada, more to the point Ontario? Why do we have to rely on off-shore, sub-par (for the most part) or exorbitantly expensive garments?
After all what are the necessities of life, are they not food, clothing, shelter?
If you ask me anyone teaching fashion arts to high school students should be an expert in the field in order to have the most confidence and inspire students not only to be creative but share with them the technical expertise they is acquired only after years of experience. This will benefit students the most which in turn will benefit all of our society as a whole providing us with a talented pool of designers/tailors to accommodate our needs
I think the school boards in Ontario should wake up and smell the coffee, make garment construction an integral part of the education system at the high school level which is where young minds are molded into the leaders of tomorrow.
Maria Calautti, "Jack of all trades"