BY TOBY PORTER
Pupils from a school learned how to have fun with fashion last week at a workshop set up by charity Styleability and fashion store Primark.
Twelve pupils from Highshore School in Camberwell and Michael Tippet School in Herne Hill – which support young people with learning disabilities and additional needs– visited the store in Tottenham Court Road.
The workshop focused on helping students identify their own style, how to adapt the latest fashions to suit specific needs, and helped to prepare them for the future by discussing what to wear in the world of work.
During the session, the young people worked with stylists from Styleability and Primark to create mood boards with looks that would work for them.
They then hit the shop floor to put their ideas to the test. In addition, students were able to share their ideas on how high street stores such as Primark could make their shops more accessible for those with additional needs.
Discussing the workshop, Katie Sparkes, chairwoman of trustees for Styleability, said: “Disabled young people are much more prone to experiencing low self-esteem and feelings of isolation due to the additional challenges they face, and helping them to feel like they’re looking great and boosting their confidence is one way of combatting this.
“This workshop not only helped these students get a feel for the sort of styles that may work for them – often things they haven’t tried before, but also taught them techniques to help them adapt the latest fashions to suit their specific needs, such as swapping Velcro for buttons in order to make getting dressed easier.
“The team at Primark Tottenham Court Road were a pleasure to work with, and so receptive to learning about how high street stores can make the lives of disabled people easier.
We felt that both they, and the students, got a great deal out of the day.”
Nick Clark, business and communications liaison officer at Highshore School, said: “This session was so beneficial for our students. “Looking the part – whether you’re out with friends or at work – is such a big part of feeling the part, and the tips and tricks they learned will help make high street fashion so much more accessible for them.
“We aim to support our students, not just in the here and now, but also ensure they’re well equipped for the future, so we’re pleased that what they’ve learned won’t just help them on a personal level, but will also help them present themselves in the best possible way as they embark on their future careers, too.”