Patching Up the Perfect Class


Savanna McDow

Painted mural in the fashion classroom.

Savanna McDow, Journalist

  Creativity has taken on a new meaning at the Ridge with an all-new class specifically for fashion. The course is brand new, starting this year in room 401, and is already teaching its participants so much about the construction process. 

The class is instructed by theater director Katina Hartley who sees the class not only as an opportunity to teach students how to create clothing and other valuable items but also to take the chance to build up creativity and productivity. 

“They’ve done some costume design, and now their current project, which we will be working on after the break, is making pajamas which they have designed on their own already. They’re going  to do a fashion show in class once they’re done.” Hartley explains, “So we’ve done teddy bears, doll clothes, tote bags, and now pajamas, giving us a wide variety of everything.”

As the category changes weekly, slimming down the choices for which unique fabrics and colors should be used can sometimes take time and effort. Finding something for everyone to enjoy, the fashion class helps bring out the best of its students’ artistic talents while targeting popular trends. 

“The creating takes longer when compared to one another. The design part is usually all paperwork, and in the class, we talk about how to do research for each project. Especially because there’s a difference in costume design where you’re looking at a character description and a piece of work that will be brought to life on stage. In fashion design, asking questions like what has been worn in the past five years and what we think the hottest style will be in the future sets up the entire task. It ends up being a different sort of mindset to look at depending on which choice is picked as we’ve learned how to do both,” Hartley states. 

I think fashion shows people your personality and a way to express yourself in what you wear. I think it gets you to think outside of the box and truly wear what you want. ”

— Grace Marino

Inside and outside the classroom, fashion pushes its limits to establish the best trends and expressive points to become the next big thing. As an industry, fashion is a form of art that allows its participants to express themselves fully through their work, one way or another. For the students in this class, it falls into the same criteria as they pick and decide the little details.

Teddy bears created by students in the current 2022-23 fashion class. (Savanna McDow)

Sophomore designer Shaia Snyder says, “I think it gives people an opportunity to express themselves, whether it be through clothes or making other people’s items. I think it’s freedom of expression in the class and fashion in general that gives people the freedom to express through sight and experience with their creations.”

Not only does the construction process work to keep a class going, but it also serves as a chance to help out the theater community with their costume designs. Most of the time, the costumes were handmade, but with the new addition, some weight has been lifted off Hartleys’ shoulders to create bigger, better things. 

The new addition to the Ridge is already starting to serve its purpose as a learning opportunity for others and as a way to boost the other extracurricular activities going on around the school.