Student Highlight: Inspiring change, making a difference through clothing

Student: Sisi Proctor ’25
Class: Costume and Fashion Design Studio
Grade: 9th
Teacher: Bethany Eddy

In the Costume & Fashion Design Studio class, students explore the visual communication, history, and impact of clothing both on the stage and in everyday life—in addition to learning fundamentals skills like sketching, draping and sewing. Students develop as fashion curators, create their own designs, and learn how to make pieces of clothing.

At the beginning of the term, Bethany Eddy—the class teacher—asked students to think about the impact and message they wanted in their designs. Eddy challenged students to create a piece that represented a topic they were passionate about.

For freshman Sisi Proctor ’25, the project started in her sketchbook. She likes newspaper patterns, and since it’s a pattern she doesn’t see a lot, she decided to sketch a design that incorporated that material; the newspaper was her muse.

As someone who is new to fashion design, she started on a small scale. She worked on a miniature mannequin named Cinderella, and collected newspapers from around the school—sorting articles that stood out to her. She noticed a trend in what she was saving— they were articles about civil advocacy and civil rights. Proctor is strongly passionate about these topics and attends women’s marches and other social events. She saw this as an opportunity to make her piece have an impact, and she decided to tie her clothing in with the topic of social justice.

“[Before this class] I never thought about how impactful a costume or a piece of clothing could be,” Proctor said. “Walking around with the clothing [I created] could potentially spread a message.”

She made her own newspaper design by looking at online newspapers and selecting pieces that showcase current day issues. Using the graphic design tool, Canva, she created a pattern and uploaded it into a website called Spoonflower, which is a digital printing company that prints custom fabric.

Student Highlight Fabric

“I want to make a piece that whenever you see it, you start to think about all these problems currently happening today and how prominent they are. These are very important problems that are still here.”

Proctor’s end goal is to go beyond just the fabric and create a complete wearable outfit—making an impact on a larger scale. She wants to continue with the newspaper material and make different clothing that can be shared and worn by people with an array of topics, so the discussion expands.

Even bigger picture, she envisions this potentially turning into a brand that can create a lasting impact in her community, where revenues from sales would go to civil rights groups. She said there are a lot of problems in the fashion world, and she wants to establish herself as someone that’s trying to create change.

“I want to create a company that people would feel good buying from,” Proctor said.

Click here to see Proctor’s portfolio.

About this class: Drawing from many disciplines and utilizing a variety of skills and technology, students will learn to research and communicate their ideas through a series of student-driven individual projects and mainstage shows. Students will explore the visual communication, history, and impact of clothing both on the stage and in everyday life, and they will develop an understanding of the principles of costume and fashion design. Students will also gain the skills and techniques needed to then create their own designs. These techniques may include research, collage, sketching, digital sketching, figure drawing, sewing, draping, pattern making, tailoring, dyeing, distressing, painting, and craft. This course can be taken more than once.

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