Students express themselves through fashion design

Karina Lorenzo, Staff Writer

Sophomore Emily Jack made her first piece of clothing when she was six years old through a program program called Sew Easy, where she learned how to sew, iron and make patterns.

Jack is not the only student at the high school who creates her own unique clothes. Students who do fashion design are motivated and inspired by different aspects of life and therefore each outcome is different.

Junior Rae Bell said she became interested in fashion when designing her own costumes for Halloween when she was younger. She continued the activity when she realized she could customize and design her own everyday clothes.

“I’d make my mom buy me a bunch of fabric, and I’d make my own stuff,” Bell said. “I enjoyed it, so I started making dresses and skirts or buying clothes that didn’t fit me, taking them apart and putting back together in ways that did fit me.”

This dress was created by junior Rae Bell. Bell said that she enjoys fashion design b

This dress was created by junior Rae Bell, who created a circle skirt and then attached it to a T-shirt. Bell said that she reconstructs clothing bought from thrift stores to create new outfits. Photo contributed by Bell.

Freshman Basya Klein said that she incorporates fashion designs that she sees and likes in stores when designing clothes.

“Usually I’ll see something that I like, and I’m like ‘Oh that’s cool, how could I adapt that?’” Klein said. “I’ll be fabric shopping and see a fabric that I love and it kind of clicks. I can see exactly what I want to make, and then I adapt to it based on difficulty,” Klein said.

Basya Klein photo
Freshman Basya Klein designed this dress at the Putney School Summer Program where she focused on fashion design. Photo contributed by Klein.

Klein attended fashion design classes focusing on textiles at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

“It was really interesting. I never thought about making my own textiles, so it was interesting to see that side of it,” Klein said.

Junior Emma Staff said she is motivated by fashion because she likes having clothing that is different and individual.

“The idea of just having something that I’ve done completely myself, and is completely my own idea is very cool,” Staff said.  

Staff said she became interested in making clothes when she was 10 years old. She said she thought stores lacked the clothing she liked, and so began drawing her own designs.

Junior Emma Staff wears a
Junior Emma Staff wears a yellow jacket. Staff said that her clothing is drawn from real-world patterns and shapes. Photo contributed by Staff.

“I’ve found ways to buy clothing that’s unique in thrift stores,” Staff said. “When I was 10, there was less stuff that I wanted to wear. So, I was like, okay, this would be cool if I can imagine what I want to wear in the perfect world, then I started making stuff.”

Jack said she was inspired to start making clothing through the television design challenge shows she watched when she was younger.

“Watching a lot of “Project Runway” when I was a little kid definitely inspired me to make my own clothing because I thought it was really cool,” Jack said. “Also, as a little kid who was super insecure about her body, it gave me a chance to wear my own things and also be proud of my little eight-year-old body.”  

Jack said she enjoys sewing because she can create clothing that is beautiful and showcases her personality.
“I sew because it’s a way that I feel that I can express myself,” Jack said, “by creating something beautiful, positive, something I can be proud of and something that’s super cool.”