Fashion Students Show Their Style

Wrenny Collamer, Entertainment Editor

The daze of the pandemic may have it seeming like sweatpants are the only relevant piece of clothing, but LASA has an active community of fashion enthusiasts who put craft, consideration and artistry into clothes. LASA is the only high school in the district with a Fashion Design elective, and the lure of individualism and expression of fashion has managed to captivate students. 

For sophomore Lola Galindo-DeLeon fashion design is something that has been a constant throughout her life but something that she said she only recently has started to devote more time towards.This year, she is in the Fashion Design course at LASA and is refamiliarizing herself with the must-know techniques.

“I’ve done a little bit of sewing for pretty much my entire life,” Galindo-DeLeon said. “I’ve never gone through a phase long enough to really get good at it, so I think that’s what this will do, and so far it’s mostly the basics.”

Galindo-DeLeon was creating a top with an off the shoulder neckline for the course. She was repurposing old materials to create the garment.

“These two skirts were what I had, and I was like, ‘How can I make them look cool,'” Galindo-DeLeon said. 

Fashion has long been a part of senior Beckett Schmeil’s life, too. He says clothes are something that he has always been thinking about, and that he uses them to represent different aspects of his character.

“I’ve always just liked to configure outfits that look good to me and that fit my own personal style,” Schmeil said. “When I make my own clothes, I definitely try to add my own touch and try and make it stand out as representative of who I am.”

Schmeil said his personal style is not confined to a particular genre of clothing. Rather, it is a culmination of various themes and moods.

“It’s kind of a combination of vintage and thrifted, combined with a little bit of skater stuff and a little bit of stuff I see certain artists wearing, like A$AP Rocky, Ian Connor or Tyler, The Creator,” Schmeil said.

Schmeil said he is excited for colder weather because it allows him to diversify what he wears. He is looking forward to fall and winter trends but also admits that he likes dressing down in a classic hoodie.

“I’m looking forward to hoodie season for sure, you gotta love hoodie season,” Schmeil said. “Fall and winter are the ideal seasons for clean fits. I think you can do more when you can wear more clothes, and during the summer, I am usually wearing shorts and a T-shirt and my everyday shoes.”

Sophomore Jette Morris’s favorite styles are Bohemian clothing and casual athletic clothing. For Morris, making clothes is a creative escape that is unique from other hobbies.

“What I mostly do is modify clothing that I get from secondhand stores as well as creating stuff for Fashion Design,” Morris said. “What I really like about it is you get to use a different part of your brain from what a lot of LASA does. You can use your hands. You still have to use your brain quite a bit, but you are using more of your hands and doing stuff that is tactile. It is relaxing and creative.”

Visual Arts and Fashion Design teacher Jessica Fisher said she constructs her class around the interests of the students, prioritizing making garments from day one. Watching students learn the basics and experiment with a new creative outlet is one of her favorite parts of teaching Fashion Design.

“I would say in each class that I have taught over the past four years, there are maybe two or three students that are very well versed in the sewing machines, techniques and flat patterning, and then everyone else is brand new,” Fisher said. “They are learning how to thread a needle or use fabric scissors. That’s my favorite part, just watching everybody’s face light up when they flip the zipper bag inside out or make a stitch that is actually holding.”

Morris initially became interested in fashion in her ninth grade year when she took Fisher’s class. She said she didn’t expect to become as interested as she is, but the class helped jump-start her hobby.

“I absolutely loved the class,” Morris said. “I didn’t think I’d like it that much. I was only doing it for a tech credit, and I thought it was going to be something that was really boring, but I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. The class was really well structured. Anyone could adjust their complexity based on what your level was. That was really helpful for me.”

This is Fashion Design’s fourth year at LASA and the class now has a second level that gives experienced students more room for creative freedom. According to Fisher, persistent student interest pushed her to start the class four years ago as a new CTE offering. 

“I was talking to Ms. Mokry three or four years ago and we were just chatting about classes that would be fun to add to CTE…I really love fashion design,” Fisher said. “I took it as an elective class a couple times in high school, and I was in charge of the fashion club. I was like, ‘This has gotta happen.’ I felt like student interest was huge in making that decision to pick fashion design, just because so many people had asked about it previously.”

Through the time that Fisher has taught Fashion Design, she has had the opportunity to witness which trends students gravitated towards on any given year. She said it was interesting to see how the popularity of different styles changed and flowed.

“The past two years have had a very, very strong ‘90s vibe,” Fisher said. “People are very into making hats, like visors and bucket hats. There’s a lot of denim. That’s very different from the year that we started. The first year that I taught fashion design, everybody was interested in little embellishments, like creating little embroidery details, adding buttons and pleats, and more formal elements. Now, it’s more the very loose-fitting kind of ‘90s funky style. I liked seeing where people were leaning towards because people want to create things that they want to wear.”