Our new competition Face It launched this week and we have already seen some wonderful entries flood in from young people across Southend and beyond.
The competition, which is being delivered through our FYV initiative, hopes to start a conversation with young people about how they feel about face coverings, and the reality of having to wear one now they are mandatory on public transport (from 15th June). We are asking young people to design their own face covering which expresses their personalities.
"We want young people to feel comfortable wearing a face covering and to understand the reasons why it's important to protect not only themselves but others too", says Sacha Edwards, project lead for FYV.
It's very exciting times for Southend YMCA and is bringing us together with local professionals and organisations and widening our diverse local and national network.
Lydia Kovacs, the brainchild of the competition, is a Leigh-On-Sea based Stylist & Costume Designer and has worked on music videos with artists such as Katy Perry and Little Mix!
Lydia said: “During the pandemic, I saw my industry come to a standstill overnight. I wanted to put my time and skills to good use by volunteering for a local organisation. The YMCA, in particular, appealed to me as I am passionate about helping young people reach their full potential and being involved with an organisation that values creative projects as part of that journey. “ Entries will be judged by a panel including Lydia and led by her former colleague Fashion Historian Amber Butchart, presenter of the BBC series A Stitch in Time.
Lydia continued: “Amber was interested in this project as her specialism is in the intersections between dress, politics and culture. She believes clothing can be a great conduit to tell stories about the past. No doubt when we look back at this period of time, the symbol of the face-covering will become a topic for fashion research in the future. The importance of communication through clothing seemed very apt for this project and therefore a perfect collaboration.” The winner will have the chance to collaborate with Lydia and local Textile Designer, Patrick Moriarty of Paisley Power, to make their design a reality.
Patrick said: "I'm thrilled to be invited to contribute to the competition. It's great that the young people of Essex will be inspired to transform the essential face covering into an exciting artistic statement. My experience as a professional textile designer will enable the winning design to be manufactured as a stylish face covering, so everyone can look great and stay safe."
The Face It competition is open to young people aged between 8 and 24-years-old. Details on how to enter can be found at www.southendymca.org.uk/face-it
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