Teen Librarian Toolbox
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TPIB: Project Fashion, part 2 with Jeaneology, Junk Box Jewelry and more

Get Your Fashion On
(fashions drawn by my tween)

I am a Project Runway junkie and have posted some Project Runway inspired TPIBs before, but now I have some great ideas for yet another Project Fashion TPIB thanks to several great How To books by Zest Books:

Junk Box Jewelry, 25 DIY Lost Cost (or no cost) Jewelry Projects by Sarah Drew
Jeanealogy: Accessories, Clothing, Gifts by Nancy Flynn.

Also, I found some helpful resources that help explain the things people are saying that I have never really understood, like what an A-line dress or a Peter Pan collar is.

Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing by Erika Stalder is such a cool book; it is literally a reference guide for the fashion illiterate like me.  It explains things like what a bias cut is (fabric cut across the grain of the fabric) as well as being a reference guide to tons of types of dresses, shoes, belts and more.  Each entry has an illustrated pic as well as giving you basic info like what it is, who made it hot and how you can rock it.  Who made the vest hot? 80s teen queen Debbie Gibson brought the vest out of the menswear closet and style icon Kate Moss still loves to rock the vest (p. 44).  Sections covered include dresses and skirts, tops and coats, pants and shorts, shoes and underthings. There is an index included.  This is a great tool not only for your teens, but for you – you can put together your own Fashion Jeopardy game as part of your Project Fashion program.  Or toss a bunch of thrift store clothes and have a Fashion 101 challenge where teens have 60 seconds to find something with an A-line collar, a dropped waistline, etc.

The Book of Styling: An insider’s guide to creating your own look by Somer Flaherty helps teens find their fashion look with a handy quiz and then it helps you put together your “look”.  This is an everything and the kitchen sink book of awesome fashion info.  And throughout there are little program snippets right there for you to use including creating a mood board (p. 18), a GNI with a themed movie night (p. 54) and making your own styling kit – one of my faves (p. 66-67).  Here we also discuss body type (Cameron Diaz is a rectangle while Drew Barrymore is an apple), shopping tips (buy used!), and styling others (in case you want to be a stylist).  I can picture using a bunch of Barbies and Barbie clothes to do some fun styling practice.  This is a case where thrift stores are your friend.  You could even deconstruct Barbie clothes to make originals.  Zombie isn’t a style in the book of styling, but you can make awesome Zombie Barbies. Just saying. 

The Styling Relay
You can also use the thrift store clothes mentioned about to do a fashion relay race.  Divide your participants into teams and have one person be the “it” person, the person who will be styled.  Write the different styles (grunge, goth, punk, etc.) onto slips of paper and have the teams draw them out of a hat.  Put a large pile of clothes at one end of your program room and have the teams line up at the go, each team member runs down to the pile relay style to grab an item and dress their “it” person in the style that they choose.  The first team to put together a complete outfit: shirt, bottoms and say 2 accessories wins.

The Look Book: 50 Iconic Beauties and How to Achieve Their Signature Styles by Erika Stalder takes you through a timeline of beauty and gives you step by step instructions of how to achieve iconic elements of their looks.  Want kewpie doll lashes like Twiggy? The Look Book tells you the tools you need, the amount of times it takes and gives you step by step instructions.  Plus, it gives you a little info on Twiggy.  Other interesting sections include the No-Makeup Makeup look inspired by Kate Winslet and face tattoos inspired by Kat Von D.  Don’t worry, it’s makeup, not real.  They also talk hair from the bed head to the pinup girl look, we’ve got ringlet curls, the sleek bob and Diva hair.  The five sections covered include lips, eyes, brows, skin & face and hair.

I was super excited to find this 5 book collection of all things fashion and style and am going to be getting a set for the Tween for Christmas, because she wants to learn how to sew and is in that I want to be a fashion designer stage of life.  I’m not particularly fashion oriented, but I found the information so useful and presented in ways that made sense for those of us who are fashion challenged.  And in all honesty, these particular titles are not really limited to teen appeal and would be great additions to all library collections.

Programming Ideas

Blue Jean Crafts
Jeaneology has a great variety of craft ideas you can do using old jeans.  Note: Also great for our TPIB Environmental Crafts.  They very in difficulty and some require actual sewing, which I keep meaning to learn how to do with the tween – these would definitely be some good learning projects and I probably won’t care if I mess up a pair of old jeans that don’t fit any more or .99 cent jeans I bought at the thrift store.  In addition, there are also some idea that discuss embellishing your jeans and tell you how to get that distressed jeans look.  Also, bleach pens and permanent markers can be your friend for some great graffiti jeans.

Some of the crafts you can do in a program include:
Jean hair band, page 44
Jean MP3 player or cell phone pocket, page 46
You can create a pencil pouch out of jeans for a back to school craft program, page 64
Make glittery ear rings or bracelets using jeans and wire (or use safety pins for a larger bangle bracelet), p. 78
Make cuff bracelets, p. 82

Make Your Own Accessories
Junk Box Jewelry would be a good inclusion to an Earth Day program or an accessories program.  It can also be a good way to use up all those left over craft supplies that you end up with.  I have done beading programs time and time again with my tweens and teens and can’t recommend them highly enough.  They are great hands on activities that allow teens to be creative and express their personal style while sitting around and being social.

My favorites from this collection:

  • Newstand Necklace, p. 66 – use old magazines to create paper beads.  Great for Earth Day again and using all those discarded magazines.
  • Toolbox Bracelet, p. 68 – make a bracelet out of hardware bits and pieces.  Again, great for Earth Day and don’t forget Steampunk Crafts.

Beach Party
Also included in Junk Box Jewelry are a variety of beach themed accessories including a Fishing-Net Cuff (p. 46) and a Sea Jewel Pendant (p. 38).  Add some make your own flip-flops (which you can purchase from Oriental Trading or buy them on sale at the end of the summer season and have a beach themed party in the middle of winter to lift every one’s spirits.  Just Google make your own flip-flops for a wide variety of ways to make them.

Project Accessory
For one season, there was an accessory version of Project Runway, which I always thought would be a fun teen program.  Just get together a bunch of miscellaneous items and have challenges including bracelets, chokers, headbands (or hair accessories).

Project Runway
See the original Project Fashion post here with great ideas for various challenges, including duct tape and garbage bag fashion.

Also check out Steve Moser’s Prom Spectacular for some great Prom programming ideas.

Don’t forget you can use the books to put together trivia contests, displays and use them with your social media.  Pick a week and have fashion week where you share style icons, play guess the decade fashion and more.

P.S., please tell me you know about the Fug Girls.  Go Fuy Yourself is my favorite style blog where they break down all the celebrity fashions with glorious snark.  Definitely check out what they had to say about the Breaking Dawn, Part 2 premiere.  This is a great resource to share with teens. Also, they write ya lit, including the title Spoiled.

What fashion related programming have you done?  What are some of your favorite teen titles that deal with fashion?  Tell all in the comments.

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