Stop the printers! Thomas Stone High School Fashion Design students take recycling to new levels
There’s fast fashion and there’s yesterday’s news. Students in Thomas Stone High School’s fashion design class embraced both in their assignment to create clothing and accessories using newspaper, ribbon, teamwork and ingenuity.
Hollis High, which teaches fashion design, financial education and architecture and interior design at Thomas Stone, said the placement serves as an icebreaker and team builder at the start of the school year. “I start with newspaper articles because sometimes you have to think outside the box,” Haye says of getting students to collaborate creatively. “What a fun way to get to know the kids in your class and build relationships,” said Principal Shanif Pearl.
A fashion show was recently held in the locker-lined hallway outside the high school, with models walking the red carpet for the judges — judges for the morning show were Pearl, Assistant Principal Jasmine Bateman, Assistant Principal Curry Werkheiser and Resource Teacher Melissa Veneracion. The designs were scored on a scale of one to five focusing on originality of design, use of newspaper, craftsmanship, newspaper accessories and overall appearance. Each of the two fashion design departments participated on the runway. On Monday, the performances of each class made a difference between two teams.
Make it work
Before groups go to work, Hay talks about how newspaper can be folded, folded, folded, made into roses, fruits and other decorations. Students then worked in groups of four or five to create clothing and accessories emblazoned with bylines, sports scores and cartoons.
Fashion Design is a fine arts credit where students learn the principles and elements of fashion and the history of fashion. A family and consumer science major in college, Hay taught art and worked with students in home and hospital programs before coming to Charles County Public Schools.
She said she looks for assignments that challenge students to analyze and apply design principles, while gaining experience working with materials to create clothing. It is not the only material that many think of using. “That’s why skirts aren’t made out of newspaper,” said sophomore Cole Bergling.
“We found it very challenging,” said Bergling’s teammate Adali Hernandez, a freshman. But once we started putting things in place, we piled on layers until it came together.
Another thing he learned was that a dress cannot be assembled overnight. “Patience. I learned patience,” said sophomore Kennady Hawkins.
Hawkins said she signed up for fashion design to try something different. “I wanted to explore different options and it seemed interesting,” she said. Hawkins helped design a dress for teammate Caitlin Bromfield, a senior, to wear to the event.
Hay wants to start with a quarterly challenge to stimulate student creativity and get the wheels turning for future projects. The students are all for it, judging from the enthusiasm shown at the fashion shows. “To remember that it is the enthusiasm of the students that makes us all teachers,” Hay said.
Upcoming lessons include designing plastic bags, magazines and unusual materials – think dry pasta or fake flowers. Students will delve into line drawing, embroidery, silk screening, bead weaving and macrame.
After Monday’s fashion show, students are ready to dive in and challenge themselves. “I thought this wasn’t going to work,” Bromfield said, looking down at her dress and watching the other teams around the room make last-minute adjustments to their newspaper creations. “But it works.”
Charles County Public Schools provides an academically challenging education to 27,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Located in southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 schools that provide a technologically advanced, progressive and high-quality education that builds character, equips leadership and prepares students for life, work and higher education.
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