Students use their clothing as a canvas for expression

Yiming Fu, Opinions Editor

Whatever you want, wherever you want. Go crazy, bold, simple, or subdued, send a message, display your talent. The best part is, you can change into something else at the end of the day.

Clothing customization allows high school students to express their creativity and individuality in a unique way.

In his sophomore year, junior Harry Gordon reached out to a few friends to decorate on a pair of white pants he bought. He gave his friend junior Eden Smith the pair of pants and a set of fabric markers to draw whatever she wanted. Gordon also embroiders and sews his own pieces of clothing.

Gordon thinks art is extremely subjective, and it does not matter whether you consider yourself to be good. He wanted to push boundaries with his pants project.

“I was interested in the idea what’s ‘cool’ doesn’t even matter,” Gordon said. “I was like I could wear anything and people would compliment me because I just have to be confident in it.”

When Smith received the pants and markers from Harry, she was initially unsure and confused about what to do. Gordon reassured her that that was entirely the point, and it was an opportunity for her to create what she wanted. Over the course of six hours, Smith embellished the white pants with a multi-colored dragon.

Smith is also expanding her own customized wardrobe. According to Smith, she struggled to find printed shirts that she liked, because she has very specific taste. However, customization gives her full control over the end result.

Smith takes inspiration from emblematic tattoo art and beautiful designs that occur in nature. She is  working on pants with a snake and flower design, and her latest creation features a bird painted on a white shirt.

“I follow a lot of nature photographers and there was a really beautiful picture of a red kite flying, and I really liked the way the wings were positioned and all the feathers kind of moved on the body so I took inspiration from that,” Smith said. “And then the red background was because I needed it to pop off of the shirt, it’s like a bullseye to the main subject.”

Gordon also continues to design and personalize clothing. He is taking a sewing class in the spring, and owns a white shirt that he routinely embroiders on a whim.  

Gordon has also sewed his own shirt and a skirt with dinosaurs for his friend junior Dee-nah Wattan. She also made him a white shirt with a colorful array of flowers painted onto the front as a gift.  She used fabric paint which she found in an arts store, which is wash resistant after ironing.

Wattan recommends the experience, and thinks a lot of people should try being creative with clothing.

“I would totally do it again, it was fun. But it takes a lot of time. It’s just like painting, but it’s on clothes,” Wattan said.

Gordon emphasized how wearing an artistic creation helps it come to life.

“Everybody gets to see it, that’s the best part. A painting on a wall, nobody’s going to see that,” Gordon said, “You want people to see your art. What’s the best way to see the art? If you’re the museum!”