NA Students Win Best Student Design Award at Salvation Army Fashion Show

Wearing a mask took on a whole new meaning at Runway RePurposed, a fashion show by the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Salvation Army.

The designers were challenged to take everyday items and turn them into wearable clothing. North Allegheny seniors Abby Rapp and Madison Krause won the trophy for best student design for their chic outfit made entirely of black masks.

Rapp and Krause are in the Family Consumer Sciences class in high school taught by Elizabeth Gallagher, teacher and head of the FCS department. All the students had to think about which everyday disposable item would work. Rapp and Krause came up with an idea that reflected a highly disposable and timely item.

“Masks are so relevant in today’s culture. I thought it would be a good idea, ”said Rapp, 18.

And if made into a dress, black masks can “look really classy,” said Krause, 17.

The students first sketched out design ideas, and once they got their look, they tried to sew the masks together, which was difficult. The two said they weren’t super skilled sewers at first, but learned as they went.

“Honestly, we were hoping for the best as we go,” Krause said.

Their end product was a pencil skirt paired with a peplum-inspired top, modeled by junior NASH Julia Berger.

All students in the Family Consumer Sciences class were required to submit designs, which would be voted on by high school staff, Gallagher said. Rapp and Krause got the most votes, followed by juniors Trinity Fitzgerald and Julia Berger and senior Jamey Simon for their birthday party-inspired dress design made from a disposable tablecloth and related items .

And seniors Jaida Copeland and Brooke Demers-Pollard also won NASH finalists for their design of a dress made from Target bags. Since Rapp and Krause received the most votes, their outfit went to the Runway RePurposed show held at Sheraton Station Square.

The fundraiser awarded the award for best student design, and local boutiques and designers could compete for the best design.

The outfits were judged at the gala parade based on their use of recycled materials, creativity and overall appeal, according to the Salvation Army.

Rapp and Krause, who attended the event in October, were delighted to win the top prize. Rapp said the project has helped her see things in a more sustainable way, where the clothes come from and how to reuse them.

And that taught Krause that they can “take something that we normally throw away and turn it into something really beautiful.”

Formerly known as the Garbage Bag Gala, Runway RePurposed has raised funds and publicized the Salvation Army Family Care Center in East Liberty, which helps families in need. The theme of the event was “everyone deserves a second chance”.

The center provides shelter and meals for homeless families and is one of the few shelters that allow entire families to stay, according to the Salvation Army website. Each year, more than 150 families use the shelter, which not only provides basic necessities, but also the means to help them succeed outside the center.

The event grossed over $ 86,000 and over $ 73,844, according to Stephanie Rex, director of marketing and public relations for the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Salvation Army.

“Our Salvation Army family stores have a long tradition of reusing unwanted items to fund residential rehabilitation services for those seeking to break the cycle of addiction. Now, our Runway RePurposed event shines the spotlight on fashion with creations reinvented from recycled and reused materials; while raising awareness and fundraising to support local families who find new purpose in their lives at the Family Caring Center, ”said Maj.Gregory Hartshorn, division commander of the Western Pennsylvania Division of the Salvation Army.

North Allegheny offers Family and Consumer Science for Grades 6-12, including courses in Diet and Nutrition, Personal Finance, Child Development, Career Preparation Skills , interior design, fashion design and merchandising, according to Gallagher.

The courses equip students with skills for the workplace, community and home, according to Gallagher, who recently received the Emerging Professional Award from the 2021 Norton School Alumni and Friends awards program.

“The FCS department is also committed to sustainability and community service. We prepare students for an ever-changing world by teaching them modern tools to manage the one that will always stay – home, ”said Gallagher.

Natalie Beneviat is an associate of Trib Total Media.

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