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Fashion and Costume Design class explores visual storytelling by designing costumes


Fashion and Costume Design allows students to uniquely express and explore their artistic talents through costume design, sewing and insightful discussions connecting fashion to social studies. This class satisfies a full year of Visual Arts credit. 
Some activities in this class include helping with the costumes of the dance production and even helping make some costumes for the drama production. They learn to hand sew at the beginning of the year and later advance into using the sewing machines. 
When the students work designs for the drama production, they study the characters before making the costumes because essentially, they want to be telling a story through the display of the costumes. Students strive to portray personality traits, backgrounds and emotions of characters through the costumes. “Costume designing was a way for me to storytell visually,” Assistant Theater Manager and Fashion and Costume Design teacher Ms. Jess Huang said. 
The endless process of designing, creating and refining costumes may seem tedious to some, but students in this class find the process rather soothing. “[Students] value the process as much as [they] value the end product,” Sidney D. (‘22) said. 
Students from this class describe the atmosphere as very laid back and sociable. “Everyone is friends with each other, [the class environment] is very relaxed,” Jasi Z. (‘23) said. 
The openness and welcoming atmosphere allows for students to freely discuss the social studies prevalent in costume design. Ms. Huang teaches students about the history of specific types of costume designs, along with instigating open discussions about current events. “Sometimes the class turns into a social studies course, which is [actually] one of my favorite parts,” Ms. Huang said. 
The class also allows students to express not only their artistic sides, but they are also able to unleash their personalities through costume design. “This class is very open ended and there are no wrong answers. Students can express [whatever] they want,” Sidney said. 
Ms. Huang recommends students to take this course because of its multifaceted nature, along with allowing students to develop newfound appreciation for clothing and fashion. “I think having a deeper appreciation for what you wear [translates to] having better appreciation for people and material around you,” Ms. Huang said.

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