Students debut original clothing designs on campus

Cutting fabric and creating magic. Sketching designs and sewing hemlines. Marketing clothes and monitoring shows. From the first inspiration to the final product, some students have dedicated themselves to the oftentimes tedious process of making clothing.

Designers discover their interest in fashion in many different forms.

When he returned to his childhood home in Fairfax, CA, Stephen Barkus, senior, noticed that “there were a bunch of new clothing stores and they just caught my attention for some reason…I thought I could contribute something to the world of fashion.”

Meanwhile, Melody Hellard, junior, was practically raised as a designer.

“I started taking lessons with my grandma when I was eight years old, and my mom sews too, so it kind of took off from there,” said Hellard.

Similarly, Cali Greenidge, junior, has “always liked putting outfits together,” and started sewing when she was eight years old, so she capitalized on an opportunity to design for a school fashion show.

The process of producing clothes includes two phases: designing and constructing.

Barkus prefers the designing aspect because “it can reflect my mood or issues I’ve had…it’s almost therapeutic.”

Greenidge has a similar philosophy.“I feel like it’s just a cool way of self expression because you can do whatever you want and express yourself in any way,” Greenidge said.

Experiencing the same process differently, Hellard favors the constructing aspect, saying, “I like physically making things and feeling the fabrics…I’m better at 3D than 2D.”

All wear their own designs and plan to pursue a career in fashion, although they each have different approaches to showcasing their talent.

Barkus has created his own brand called Secladoria and has spent the span of his high school career developing a company.

“My clothing is a mix between fashion and skateboarding because back a few years ago people were starting to combine skateboarding fashion and regular high-end fashion,” Barkus said.

Hellard creates the costumes for the school theater productions and has done some custom designs.

“The 60s is definitely an inspiration. I just love the colors, the silhouettes and the prints,” Hellard said. “I go to Comic Con every year, so I’m inspired by pop culture, movies and old fashion icons.”

Greenidge has also made custom designs and sold headbands with all proceeds going to aid the recovery effort in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010.

“I feel like my style is a day-to-night look, so things you can wear during the day or something you can wear at night. Something comfortable and casual,” Greenidge said.

While it may seem too late to begin making clothes, age is not a factor in fashion and Greenidge encourages anyone with inspiration to pursue it as a hobby or career.

“It doesn’t matter when you start (designing), but if you’re really passionate about it, keep going. It doesn’t just mean that you know how to sew or you can just design, there’s so many different things you can do,” Greenidge said.