Hands-on instruction

Students in Donna Huber’s fashion and textiles technology program at Fairfield Ludlowe High School say they felt well prepared for the state assessment given last spring. The school received a number one ranking based on the students’ performance on the test.

Ludlowe senior Flossie Dewar medels the coat she made in Donna Huber's fashion class. Huber and fellow-student Megan o'Hare examine the garment's lining. (Photo - Miriam Kelliher)

Ludlowe senior Flossie Dewar medels the coat she made in Donna Huber’s fashion class. Huber and fellow-student Megan o’Hare examine the garment’s lining. (Photo – Miriam Kelliher)

Fairfield Ludlowe High School senior Flossie Dewar points out a skirt among the garments sported by mannequins in Donna Huber’s fashion design classroom.

Dewar designed and made the eye-catching number, a short style with horizontal rows of bright-pink scalloped material and black leather trim, as part of her leather collection last year.

“My inspiration was the leather, and scallops were trendy last season,” she said of the design.

Dewar said her collection also included a baby doll dress with a gold leather bodice and a striped linen shirt with black leather short sleeves.

Dewar’s classmate Megan O’Hare, also a senior, said the skill foundation the students received in their fashion classes allowed them to do well on the annual state assessment, which resulted in a number one ranking for the Ludlowe fashion and textile design program this year.

The 100-plus question exam, O’Hare said, “tests a lot of the basics. As a class I felt we were really well prepared,” especially in the areas of seam allowances and construction.

“So much of this class is hands-on,” said O’Hare, “I feel that’s where we have the most knowledge.” O’Hare added that even if she doesn’t continue to pursue fashion in her future education or career, “it’s a good extra passion to have.”

The students explained the major skills imparted in the design program. “Freshman year, you start out with commercial patterns,” said Dewar, and during sophomore year, she said, students make jeans, changing the commercial pattern to fit their bodies. In their junior year, the students said, they learned to drape fabric on the mannequin “so it fits your body and you have design control over it,” and finally in their senior year, they take their own measurements and make patterns for their own designs.

Student Victoria Menard plans to apply to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

Student Victoria Menard plans to apply to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design.

Senior Victoria Menard, working near O’Hare at a sewing machine on a project for the Fashion and Textiles Technology class, said she planned to apply to the Rhode Island School of Design, and might try to become a stylist or fashion designer.

If Menard decides to pursue that goal, she will be following in the footsteps of some of Huber’s previous students, who have gone on to study fashion at schools like the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, the Fashion Institute of Technology, Johnson and Wales, and the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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