The theme of the 2020/21 Wool4School competition was ‘Wool on the Go’, in which we asked students to design an outfit which is versatile, protective, dynamic and functional for commuting and traveling.
Jan Reanne Quines from Tendring Technology College in Essex was the winner of the senior category for her wonderful ‘Astro Women’s Travel Wear Collection’ that comprised a pair of jogging pants, a jacket, shoes and a backpack for students walking to and from college. See her winning entry here.
The winning design has been recreated into a digital avatar.
As part of her prize, she chose to join the Fashion Drawing Short Course at the prestigious London College of Fashion at the University of the Arts London (UAL), to build her skills before starting her fashion design BA. Read a feature story on the UAL website about what she got up to during the one-week summer course.
We caught up with Jan Reanne and asked her about her experience of the Wool4School competition.
What made you enter the Wool4School competition?
As an aspiring fashion designer, I’d been looking forward to joining the design competition as it would help me to achieve new experiences that I can put on my CV. Winning the competition and being able to undertake the week’s summer course at the London College of Fashion at UAL was a bonus.
When I read the design brief of the competition I was intrigued, and I thought this could be an opportunity to present my ideas for an outfit for travellers to feel safe during the current coronavirus situation, by using smart technology features such as Bluetooth with sensors and wireless charging, along with the wool fibres.
Can you please explain your design?
I decided that the mode of travel for my design was to be walking, because most university students walk in and out of university and they can be exposed to coronavirus or other harm around their environment. The Astro Women’s Travel Wear Collection consists of four products: Astro jacket, Astro cargo pants, shoes with sensors and GPS, and backpack with wireless GPS.
My design is quite feminine in terms of colours as I decided to go with pastel colours. I used stars as part of the design because it symbolises something beautiful, good and positive which I want to make the wearer feel when they wear the outfit.
I was inspired using wool materials including Neulana Protect which is a wonderful material to use for traveling products as there are many benefits such as being breathable and odour resistant.
What was your favourite part about the competition?
My favourite part was that I was able to share my ideas and also that I was able to get to know that wool is a great material, not only because it’s natural but because it has performance properties that other materials don’t have.
I truly enjoyed the design process because I had the freedom to design what colours, details and how functional the four products would be. I was challenged doing the technical sketches, but I am absolutely pleased with the outcome.
What are your thoughts on your win?
I was so thrilled by the fact I won first place. I am glad that I joined the competition because it shows that your ideas can be bigger than you think, and that that they can create a positive impact not just on the environment but also for the people and the situation that we’re in.
Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of entering in 2021/22?
My advice would be to definitely enter, because your ideas can be bigger than you think. Sharing ideas can be frightening at first but once you overcome that, it will be just like Nebula in the galaxy which is significant and beautiful even if it is just dust. And if your dreams don’t scare you, they are too small.
In addition, joining the Wool4school design competition can increase your knowledge and experience not just about wool and fashion, but also about caring for our environment.