Fashion show highlights designs by high school students

Haute high school couture was on display at a fashion show held at Canyon Crest Academy last week. Fashion design students from Torrey Pines High School and Canyon Crest Academy flaunted their innovative creations as a cap to a semester immersed in the world of style.

"It was so much fun," said Torrey Pines freshman Anika Sharma, who showed off a ruffled black dress made from the materials of two dresses. "I think everybody did a really good job."

In addition to putting on their very own runway show, students learned about the history of fashion, how to accessorize and dress for your body type, and built a portfolio of looks.

The fashion show attended by family and friends was also a fundraiser, raising money for the fashion class moving forward.

The fashion and cooking class share home economics funding and cooking chews up most of the budget with its disposable class ingredients.

"(The fashion show) is a great source [of funding] to buy fabrics for next year," Cusey said.

Cusey started the fashion design class three years ago and teaches the course at both Torrey Pines and Canyon Crest Academy.

"I just felt there was a need for it here...and an elective a lot of students have an interest in," Cusey said. "Fashion looks glamorous and fun, but it's a little bit harder than that. Students see that it's not all just fun, it's actually hard work."

This year she had 35 students in the class at CCA and 60 in two classes at Torrey Pines.

In the Torrey Pines' home economics classroom, the walls are decorated with color wheels and paper dolls dressed in student creations.

Most of the students in class had an interest in fashion or drawing and had some experience sewing. Freshman Merle Jeromin said she had even sewn clothes for her Barbie dolls.

Others, such as Urvashi Bishnoi, had the fashion bug but weren't confident in their drawing skills.

"I really surprised myself with how my portfolio turned out," said Urvashi, a freshman, of projects that required the students to create fashions from specific time periods, using certain colors and different inspirations.

Cusey's methods are very hands on — students in her fashion merchandising section also don't just learn about retail, they hold down internships for class at local boutiques Pretty Please, Pink Lagoon, Head Over Heels and Ryan's.

And it doesn't get more hands-on then producing their own fashion show, showing off their designs made in their final garment project.

For the show, the students had to take a piece or pieces of clothing that they already had and deconstruct and redesign them. It was required that they make four decorative changes to the garment — they couldn't just cut the sleeves off a T-shirt and call it a day.

Torrey Pines freshman Kacey Mikuteit started out with an oversize strapless dress and a flowing, lacy, long-sleeved T-shirt. She made the dress more form-fitting with laced details and accessorized with gold earrings.

Rachel Li incorporated her drawing skills into her design — making a T-shirt into a tank top with a flower design painted onto it.

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