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  • Avital Abramov

Fashion Class at NSHAHS

As the time for students to make their schedules for next year approaches, everybody is beginning to think about potential electives they would like to enroll in. Of the many classes and electives North Shore offers, my favorite is undoubtedly Fashion Class. North Shore’s Fashion Class is a two-year program, in which students are introduced to the fashion industry. We start each project by choosing a corqui, which is the figure used to mount our designs. The next step is to find inspiration, which is a critical component of our projects because the reference photos that we use are what we eventually base our final projects on. We then personalize the outfit in some way to make it unique to ourselves and to our specific project’s theme. Another extremely critical step to all of our projects is the rendering phase, in which our ideas are brought to life and put onto paper. Something we have learned is that our designs are not meant to simply be "colored in" like a drawing in a coloring book; they are supposed to portray movement and detail and depict realism, just as clothing in real life would. We use shadowing and draw details in a relatively darker shade than the rest of the garment in order to bring out the folds in our fabric. After each garment is completed, they are put onto our presentation boards, which should usually incorporate some graphic design elements coinciding with the overall project theme. These projects are then presented to the class, and each student has the chance to provide constructive criticism on the presentation. Finally, these projects are put into our portfolios, which eventually go to colleges along with our applications.

There are many reasons why you should take this class. First, the Fashion Class is a very personal experience where each student can express themselves through their creativity in each of the outfits they create. This also means that each project can be adapted based on the student’s desires. There are all sorts of croqui figures that can be used, such as male croqui figures, female croqui figures or even child croqui figures. Another way that one can adapt their projects to their personal style is by their choice of color. The options are endless, ranging from high-end acrylic paints to watercolor, colored pencils, markers, charcoal pencils and so many more. Each of these gives your final garment a different effect based on the look you want to achieve. Each project also has a corresponding mood board, in which students are encouraged to add all of their reference photos used and create a photo collage in order to portray their project’s overall “mood." This is all very personal to the student and requires their use of creativity.

Another reason why Fashion Class is appealing is that it provides students with a learning experience outside of the standard classroom setting. Fashion Class assesses your knowledge in a rather unique way. Although there are still projects and assignments with deadlines, just like any other class would have, these projects have a lot of flexibility in allowing you to express yourself, whereas projects and assignments in other classes are based on the “facts,” and are less about what you think. Fashion is advantageous to all students in that its skills provide you with a solid life foundation regardless of the career path you choose. It makes you well-rounded in the sense that the skills in fashion design allow you to see things from different perspectives. Many of the students who currently take the class have to agree with many of the points above. Mrs. Dammacco, who teaches Fashion, says, “The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the world of fashion design. It is here that they acquire knowledge and skills related to the principles of fashion illustration and design by utilizing a range of media and a variety of techniques to create versatility in their work. We create a wide range of projects throughout the course that are compiled in a professional design portfolio and displayed at the annual art show during the night of excellence at the conclusion of each year. Overall, the class is a lot of fun and enjoyed by everyone that takes it. I encourage everyone to explore not only the fashion class but all the art electives offered here at NSHAHS and discover your inner creativity!" Ariella Geller, a sophomore taking Fashion 1 says, “It is nice to take a break from the regular work we have in the classroom and use this time to be creative.” Another sophomore taking Fashion 1 says, “Fashion is such a fun class. I get to express my creativity, collaborate ideas with friends, and have all of the materials I need here at North Shore.”

Some of the projects we have completed so far in the first semester include our croquis project, in which we were introduced to croquis and the format and style of presentation boards, an avant-garde collection, in which we had to choose a descriptive word and create an avant-garde collection based on it, an avant-garde portrait, in which we created jewelry, makeup, hair, and more to match our avant-garde looks, and our mid-year project, in which we had to pick a designer and create a fashion line in their style. I really do look forward to the projects semester two has to offer and can not wait to take another art class at our school in my junior year of high school!

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