Velvet, lace, satin and sequins. Block colors, gingham, tweed and stripes.
A variety of colors and textures were highlighted before a graffitied brick facade as 14 Carroll County teens showed off their handmade clothing Friday night for “Fashion Avenue,” the Carroll County Career and Technology Center’s 2019 fashion show.
The show is a culmination of a year’s worth of work, during which students in the fashion and textiles program were tasked with designing 18 ensembles, the central theme of them all being New York City fashion.
“It is based kind of around New York — studio apartment, street style,” said 18-year-old Emma Farley, a senior in the program. “New York is the closest fashion metropolis to us, and a lot of kids around here take inspiration from New York.”
Of the 18 outfits each student was tasked with designing this year, 14 were designed for the students themselves and the other four were designed for: the opposite gender, another person in their class and two children.
Farley said her ensembles took inspiration from the fashion of the past.
For the “festival wear” category, she chose to use Woodstock fashion; for “historical fashion,” Rosie the Riveter was her muse and she designed overalls.
“I take a lot of inspiration from historical types of things. My business wear is super ’90s — with the scoop hem and everything,” Farley said. “The greatest part of going to the tech center and being in this program is the creativity.”
Teddy Aguirre, 17, goes to CCCTC part-time and also takes classes at South Carroll High School. He said his favorite ensemble — out of categories including Japan, Greece, athletic wear, outerwear, evening wear and others — was a suit he designed for the business wear category.
“It was from the first time I started sewing after the [summer break],” he said. “I put a lot of time and effort into it.”
He said the best part of the program is the skills he is developing, and the fact that his coursework can go toward three credits at Stevenson University.
“Knowing that we are the only county in Maryland that has this program puts us a step above the others,” he said. “Other students are doing this for their first classes in college.”
The students wore their own outfits for most of the categories at the show on Friday night, with music like Madonna’s “Vogue,” Toploader’s “Dancing in the Moonlight” and Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” playing in the background.
Their teacher, Cathy Harris, has been teaching at the school for 24 years and was a student in the fashion and textiles program herself. She said the kids had fun and have been working very hard this year.
“They should be proud of what they’ve done,” she said. “Not everyone can do that.”
And of this class in particular, Harris said it comprises students who are very calm and think things through before they make decisions.
“They’ve managed to hold it together as a team,” she said. “And they’ve been awesome at working with other departments here at the Career and Tech Center.”
Other programs that helped make “Fashion Avenue” possible include carpentry, cosmetology, culinary, maintenance, masonry, print production, custodians and video production.
“That’s real life, that’s what you have to do in the real world,” she said.
She said a big part of the fashion program also is that it helps students who have always felt like they were different find a sense of belonging, and realize that: “Yes, they are different, and that’s OK.”
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“I just think being able to show off through our stress and tears and hard work,” Aguirre said, “it’s nice to be able to walk down the runway knowing, ‘Hey, I made this,’ and being able to show that confidence.”