What to wear

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 


Tutors: Andrew McKim, Olivia Fryszowski/ photographers, Cécile Baxas, Géraldine Goddat/ fashion designers

Project manager: Anna Mezey


Exploring the relationship between clothing, appearance and identity. When we get dressed in the morning we do not always think about the incredible partnership between human beings and their clothes. We entrust our beauty, our appearance, and our protection to fabrics, for which a whole range of trades, techniques and fashion have been invented.

The tutor started an open discussion on fashion, and then focused on the idea of appearance. The idea was to fire the pupils' imagination while showing how a fashion designer works.

The pupils hunted for ideas in art books and on Internet. They jotted their ideas down in a sketchbook. Fabrics were collected to make clothes and accessories.

Design and production, projecting ideas on dolls, or embroidery to be shown to others at the end of the project.

NB. Working with the Canadian photographer Andrew McKim, the class at Collège Pablo Neruda in Pierrefitte-sur-Seine used two languages (English and French) in their project.

The pupils met some of the researchers from the Institut Français de la Mode to try to understand the very special place of fashion in our society.

The pupils' work was collected in a bilingual 48-page magazine, printed in black and white (1000 copies) and circulated within the schools. A summary of the pupils' views of a world which they claim "belongs to everyone!" 


Outings (selection):
- Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Guided tour of the exhibition "Ideal History of Contemporary Fashion: 1990-2000."
- Musée du Quai Branly. Guided tour of the exhibition "The Orient and its Women seen by Christian Lacroix"
- Le Bal. Guided tour of portraits by Keizo Kitajima.
- Jeu de Paume. Guided tour of the André Kertész exhibition showing how photographs can be poetic.
- Victoria & Albert Museum, London. The class was immersed in the world of Yohji Yamamoto's designs.

Participating schools: 
- Collège Rosa-Luxemburg SEGPA, Aubervilliers
- Collège Jean-Pierre-Timbaud NSA, Bobigny
- Collège Jean-Zay SEGPA, Bondy
- Collège Robespierre SEGPA, Epinay-sur-Seine
- Collège Edouard-Herriot, Livry-Gargan
- Collège Henri-Barbusse SEGPA, Saint-Denis
- Collège Pablo-Neruda, Pierrefitte-sur-Seine


What to wear
What to wear
What to wear
What to wear
What to wear