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The Carroll County Career and Technology Center’s 2020 fashion show started with a spin of the globe, as students stepped on the catwalk before a packed audience.

The show opened with fashions inspired by global cultures including South Africa, Korea, Spain, Russia and a historical era of their choice. Some designers modeled for themselves, and some enlisted friends and family.

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The 16 student designers, all seniors, were part of the fashion and textiles program. They started their two-year program with the basics like research and stitching and worked their way up to creating the polished looks that graced the runway Friday Jan. 10.

This year’s theme was “On Display,” which the designers collaborated to choose. It was a movement away from some of the more specific themes of past years, designers said, and meant to allow them focus on the art of fashion design.

“It may seem simple, but there’s a lot that goes into it,” said Kaylin Miller, of Manchester Valley High School.

Fellow designer Kendall Miller, also of Manchester Valley, said audience members could look at the presentation almost like an art gallery, not solely a fashion show.

Different designers find their wheelhouse in different areas of the industry as they move through the program, Julia Mager, of South Carroll High School said. Through her two years at the Career and Tech center she explored her interest in wedding gown design, but found the most passion in styling the looks for the show.

“I love piecing together accessories. That might be earrings, necklaces, handbags, shoes,” she said. Others in the program are drawn to areas from outerwear to graphic design. "So it’s very diverse.”

As she grew in the program, Mager found herself “with more confidence and a lot of skill that you probably wouldn’t think, like public speaking.”

Kaylin Miller found her passion in the entrepreneurial side of the fashion industry, and she hopes to own her own business in the future.

“Mentally, I’ve grown a lot, because it’s taught me how to organize the things that matter. And to manage my time,” she said.

“It’s hard to do, but it’s so worth it in the end,” she said of the program. “If you have an interest in fashion, I definitely recommend the program because it really shows you your depth.”

Kendall Miller said her favorite challenge of the show was a category called “Where would you wear that?” Designers crafted a garment from geometric shapes.

“That one allowed me to be the most creative,” she said.

Her sewing skills are not the only thing that has improved in her time at Career and Tech, she said. Communication and community were also part of the program.

“[We] decided that other than just a friendship, we’re also co-workers," she said. ”I think I’ve definitely learned from every aspect of team building and, [also] working with myself. I’ve grown so much."

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