Move out of the way, Vera Wang. Step aside, Tommy Hilfiger.
Las Vegans with fashion ideas of their own are learning how to envision, test and execute their designs to see them come to fruition. It's called Fashion Camp LV, and it's one of the businesses in the Market LV inside Tivoli Village, 302 S. Rampart Blvd.
"What we call Fashion Camp, the original, is a weeklong camp," said Erin Bianchi, Fashion Camp president and founder. "It (takes people) through the design process, what a fashion designer would go through. ... An instructor is always there to help students get through their ideas, but they just facilitate. The work isn't done for the students because that wouldn't be learning anything."
Other camps are Fashion Camp II, where students are given design challenges and complete a project on a sewing machine.
Sewing Camp is for the beginner and teaches the basics - threading a machine and reading and cutting patterns. They get step-by-step instruction, taking them through a project.
This day, a handful of teens were taking the fourth option, the three-hour, five-day Style School.
Becca Herman taught the class. She covered topics such as terminology, discerning body types and how to visually work around their shortcomings.
Later in the week, the class would cover how to merchandise items in a store-like setting, using a computer program good for mixing separates and accessories, learning which color scheme worked for their skin tone and taking a field trip to study fashion displays and trends. Guest speakers were scheduled to give the inside look at merchandising.
The goal was how to pull together a hip, fashion-forward look.
"We get them to think outside the box," Herman said. "We take them out of their comfort zone, then we kick it up a little bit. We'll say, 'What if you tried this with it?,' and they go, "Oh, I never would have thought of that.' "
The class was made up of teenagers. She said students that age are very trend savvy, a plus for such a class. Once they learn to put outfits together for themselves, they can start to dress others, she said.
DeJeanne Garland, 19, was taking the five-day class. She had taken fashion classes at Legacy High School, which included sewing, but now she's interested in learning the ins and outs of outfit choices. In high school, she said she was told, "You should do something you love, so I love clothes ... I want to be a personal stylist for celebrities."
Fashion Camp began making fledging designers out of people in Southern California about two years ago. In mid-July, it came to Las Vegas.
Bianchi had 20 years of experience in the fashion business when she realized there was a "missing link."
"Not to (denigrate) fashion school or anything, but there's a part where you just don't get to play," she said. "You go to fashion school, and you learn things covered in the textbook and all that, but where's the part where you get to experience it?"
She took the concept and, using her marketing and public relations skills, pulled together a class on designing and making clothes. She taught it at a community college in Southern California. It was intended for adults, but high school students kept signing up. Bianchi welcomed them with a "more the merrier" outlook. Things snowballed from there to become a business.
Now Fashion Camp has evolved to address all ages, including those as young as 7. Each Fashion Camp can accommodate 15 to 16 students.
Classes that have one creating their own design use half-size dress forms, just like real-world designers use before they commit to a design.
"Patterns that we choose are fashionable, no aprons or pillows," said Bianchi. "It will come out like something you would see in a store. This is not craft camp. This is not home ec camp. This is fashion camp. So we want to make sure everything looks good."
All classes cost $295. For more information, call 475-5512 or visit fashioncamplv.com.
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-2949.