CARDBOARD, brown tape, paper and string... Could you make a new outfit out of those materials?

Well, that was the challenge for students in the art department at Strode College last week as they kicked off the new year with the annual Cardboard Catwalk event.

Seen as one of the highlights on the Strode College calendar, the event sees students given just two days to design and make their creations before presenting them to an audience of staff and students.

Students worked together in small groups to design and construct weird and wonderful cardboard costumes using only recycled cardboard, brown tape, paper and string.

The task was a challenge to see what they could achieve; Can it be worn? Can they walk in it? Can they make a costume out of it within 48 hours?

Duncan Cameron, Strode College’s Foundation Art and Design course manager, said: “We always like to hit the ground running with a fun and challenging project to wake up everyone’s creativity after the summer holidays.

"Many of the students don’t know each other when they start and it’s a really productive and exciting way to work together and to make new friends."

This year’s catwalk creations included ‘The BIG Bird’, ‘The Devil Wears Card’, ‘Lego Man’, ‘King Cobra’, ‘Morning Star’, ‘Team J-Park’, ‘Mythical with a Message’, ‘Dracarys’, ‘Space Bot’, ‘Dragonfly’, ‘Hatori’, ‘Myth Monster’, and ‘Hail Hydra’.

"There were some really inventive pieces this year and the students have shown great design and construction skills with some fantastic costumes created in only 48 hours," said Mr Cameron.

"There were some wonderful catwalk performances and it’s been a great start to the term.

"By being able to create such fantastic work within a strict and challenging time frame of only 48 hours, helps to set a milestone for what they know they can achieve over the course in the next year, and I am confident that we’re in for another outstanding year of Art and Design work at Strode."

Students who worked on the cardboard costumes are both students returning into the second year of the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art & Design and those starting on the post A Level Art and Design Foundation Pre-degree Diploma.

Gabby Distin, from Ditcheat, is currently studying Art and Design Foundation Pre-degree Diploma.

She helped create the complex and elaborately designed ‘Hail Hydra’ costume.

Somerset County Gazette:

COMPLEX: The Hail Hydra design, modelled by Oscar Harethwaites and co-created by Gabby Distin

“We came up with the idea when we were thinking of mythical creatures," she explained.

"The biggest challenge was the size of the costumes, and particularly the amount of heads; as there are six, which was a lot of work at the time, and working with the cardboard was quite difficult.”

Oscar Harethwaites, who modelled the costume down the catwalk, added: “Getting the costume on and off was quite challenging. The rest of the team had to hold it to keep it on, and it was quite heavy too.”

Lucy Webber, from Street and formerly of Crispin School, is currently studying a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design, and along with four others made up ‘Team J-Park’, who created a Jurassic Park inspired dinosaur creature with intricate detailed features.

Lucy said: “We all came up with similar ideas, and we all voted to do a dragon/dinosaur hybrid; mainly dinosaur.

"The biggest challenges were attaching the tail, and the head was quite big so was quite difficult to fit under the steps for the catwalk, but we managed, and the feet had to be readjusted to walk in.

"I think it turned out very well though and Holly added some lovely texture to the back and I’m really pleased with the final outcome.

"She also gave me her Jurassic Park t-shirt to wear on stage too, while we assisted her in the costume down the catwalk, which added extra effect.”

Strode College also teaches Art and Design Level 2 Diploma and a wide range of creative A Levels including Art & Design, Fine Art-Craft, Photography and Graphics.

For full details of courses available and for more photos of the cardboard creations visit the college website:

Meanwhile, here are more of the wonderful creations from the Cardboard Catwalk...

Somerset County Gazette:


Somerset County Gazette:

The final parade showcasing all of the pieces

Somerset County Gazette:


Somerset County Gazette:

Lego Man, modelled by Harvey Plummer

Somerset County Gazette:

Morning Star, modelled by Izzy de st Paer

Somerset County Gazette:

Myth Monster, modelled by Owen Frome

Somerset County Gazette:

The BIG Bird, modelled by Bonnie Spencer

Somerset County Gazette:

The Devil Wears Card, modelled by Lauren Meyer