Advanced Fashion Design students prepare for “season finale”



Senior Juan Mendoza’s sketch for his line

   Catching an idea before it slips away, sketching until the most satisfying image comes up, choosing fabrics and patterns; cutting, tailoring, re-tailoring. Advanced Fashion Design students commit time to their high school “season finale” – the Spring Fashion Show.

     The show, which is on April 16th at 7:30 p.m., takes students the entire semester to prepare. Although it is mainly student-run, according to senior designer Juan Mendoza, without Advanced Fashion Design teacher Bonnie Turnbo’s guidance, the show would not run as smoothly.

“Mrs. Turnbo likes to say it’s our fashion show and we get to do what we want,” Mendoza said. “But  she does have a lot of say in it. Obviously, without her sense of direction, it’ll be hard.”

The class prepared their fall show in November with a much smaller scale in mind – three garments per designer. However, in the spring show, designers are encouraged to do a minimum of six pieces. Mendoza chose to do 15.

“I like to bite off more than I can chew,” Mendoza said. “I don’t know how I’m going to do it. I’m probably not going to sleep at all.”

Senior Jamellah Siika has been taking fashion design since junior year and is making bridal dresses for the finale fashion show. Her line consists of five bridesmaids dresses and one bridal gown.

“My idea was ‘Wedding in the Garden,’”Siika said. “I pictured a garden wedding, pastel colors, lots of lace and that’s what I’m going for. That idea just kind of came to me. I’ve attended lots of weddings and I love them so much, so when Ms. Turnbo told us to make our own line, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

The junior fashion design class – Fashion Design I – focuses on bookwork and basics of sewing, while the senior year class features more hands-on experience.

“It’s a blocked class and we get a lot of time to do things we learned from last year,” Siika said. “But this semester, we mainly focus on getting the fashion show done.”

Mendoza’s collection for his line consists of a lot of layered clothing, meaning that on top of the outfits, he has to make separate pieces like shirts and shorts to go along with them as well. He said that pressure tends to push him to work better than he normally can.

“I feel like when I’m stressed out, my stress is my best work,” Mendoza said.“Because that’s when my good ideas are the best and I won’t stop working when it all hits me. I just got a lot of ideas for the pants last period.”

Mendoza has been interested in fashion design since 6th grade and started sketching in 8th grade.

“I’m always sketching,” Mendoza said. “I would say that I’m pretty good at it, but I sketch on about anything, anywhere. You can go and look at my worksheets. There’s more sketching there than there is actual work. Now I just can’t stop.”

Both of the designers agreed that fitting a garment on the model is their least favorite part in fashion design.

“It’s the most difficult part,” Siika said. “But it has to fit right because if it doesn’t look good now, it won’t look good on stage.”

Siika’s favorite part of fashion design consists of drawing ideas on paper and choosing fabric for the design, while Mendoza’s is when the pieces are finished.

“I’m like, oh my gosh, it’s actually done since it came from a drawing and now I’m seeing it as a real thing,” Mendoza said. “Every time I see it, I’m happy.”

Siika decided to major in Pre-Med and keep fashion design as a lifetime hobby, since she wants to have a stable future and make a good income.

“I wanted to be a designer when I was little, but then I guess I matured and realized it’s not going to be my job,” Siika said. “It’s like, say you want to be an artist. What kind of life are you going to have if you’re an artist? You got to do something stable. Doing your hobby and also having a job is a win-win.”

Unlike Siika, Mendoza plans on majoring in fashion design in college. According to him, though his parents are supportive of this decision now, they weren’t always.

“My parents were on the fence about ‘it’s not going to give you money,’” Mendoza said. “I’ve always wanted to do it, and I’m not going into this for money. I know designers don’t make money off of this. It’s a one in a million chance. But now that they see that I care about this and see my passion and how I  thrive for it, they’re more supportive about it and they want me to do well.”