They are working women and young mothers on a busy schedule, who have empowered themselves through a liberating fashion design course, learning how to make their own clothes, glam up their wardrobe, and even earn some extra money.
This was made possible to approximately dozen go-getting women who just completed fashion design courses offered through COSDEF Arts & Craft Centre in Swakopmund, where a group of women and even some kiddies, modelled their range of garments during a year-end fashion show held at the Centre’s amphitheater.
The inspiration for the short course fashion ‘fiesta’ was designer Mathilde Smit, who groomed the ladies through night classes on a comprehensive introduction to a freestyle fashion design and clothes making process, which includes basic pattern making, sewing machine experience, hand stitching, textile choice and making button holes to mention some. Students are inspired to make clothes to suit their own personal choice of daywear and cocktail outfits, using Shweshwe material, and patterns that can even turn out completed Herero dresses with headgear and matching ensembles for the children.
Japanese fashion designer and volunteer, Naoko Harada, was also front and centre last Saturday, with her students who had graduated in their advanced course, and modelled their striking collection of dresses, suits and casual wear that would make it into any boutique. Added to this, products from students who had completed various long courses this year through COSDEF, were on display in the hall, which included a wide range of hand-made jewellery, paintings, sketches, craft and a variety of useful leather goods which were all on sale to the public.
In fact, fashion design is just one of the many courses on offer at COSDEF, which is the community development Mecca in the Erongo Region, with its exciting new 2019 programme starting in February. Students can sign up for a long-term courses such as jewellery design, leather craft for sandal and bag making, graphic design, sound technician plus visual arts and craft.
These courses run daily from 8 to 4 o’clock and are NQA Level 2 accredited, with external moderators issuing qualified certificates.
The short courses offer beginners piano, basic leather craft, as well as introduction courses to fashion design and computer graphics. An introduction of a month course next year will also provide students with the option of taking up
beginners photography an introduction course to sound engineering, bead and weaving, plus leather patch work to name a few.