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The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

The Student News Site of McCallum High School

The Shield Online

New faces for Dreamland

Directors, interns, designers prepare for annual benefit fashion show with new adviser, concept and team
Josie Mullan
Freshman model and designer Mickey Hello, junior designer Kaitlyn Gerrie and and senior designer Darin Fowler show their design rough drafts for the upcoming fashion show.

Students at McCallum have held an annual fashion show for several decades, where student designers and student models can perform and show their work to the school community. However, for the first time since 2019, the club and student directors running the fashion show will not be supported by adviser Ken Rogers, who retired at the end of last school year.

The McCallum fashion show student directors picked the new sophomore interns who will eventually become the school’s senior directors and are preparing for the 2024 show in February with the new Dreamland theme.

“Everyone can express themselves and it’s easy for anyone to do it.”

— Natacha Perez

Junior director Natacha Perez expressed excitement about the upcoming theme. 

“I feel like it’s a good theme so that everyone can express themselves and it’s easy for anyone to do it,” Perez said. 

The interns are selected through an interview process and are responsible for advertising the fashion show and helping with organization of designers and models. They’ll eventually graduate to be a junior director and then an executive senior director as a part of the three year commitment.

Sophomore Thea Clare Brosnan was selected as one of the sophomore interns and became interested thanks to last year’s “Shadows and Reflections” show.  

“I watched the fashion show last year, and it was pretty cool,” Brosnan said. 

For sophomore Lily Walewski, the fashion show is not a new club. Her sister, Malia Walewski, who graduated last year and was a senior director, inspired Walewski to join. 

“My sister did it, and she said it was a lot of fun,” Walewski said. 

Senior Edie Birkholz explained the director’s process for choosing interns. 

“We like to get a mix of people with very loud personalities, and then we also like to have an organized person…who’s the person doing the spreadsheets,” Birkholz said.

The club also met and are working with designers, creating the pieces for the show. 

Junior Kaitlyn Gerrie shared a sneak peek of her rough drafts for perfectly matching the Dreamland theme.

“One of them is about things I always wished I could do, like things that are impossible,” Gerrie said, “and then another one is more like about other people’s dreams and how a dreamland is what other people’s dreams make it.”

Gerrie explained how she was going to bring her ideas to life.

“So for the other people’s dreams [design], that was gonna be centered around like people’s uniforms and their work clothes that are like altered interests. And the other [design], it’s based on ideas like walking on a cloud,” Gerrie said. 

Senior Darin Fowler, a winner from last year’s show, is also returning to design for this upcoming show. 

“I’m actually more excited for this one because I really like the theme,” Fowler  said. “I feel like it makes it to where you can be as weird as possible. Like dreams are weird.”

One of Fowler’s signature mediums is crocheting and knitting, which he also used last year to achieve his win. 

“I’ve crocheted since January 2021. I learned during the big freeze and then ever since then, I’ve just always been crocheting,” Fowler said.

He gave a sneak peek on what he’s planning to make for this year’s Dreamland theme. 

“I want to make little whimsical creatures,” Fowler said. 

Birkholz explained the importance of the fashion show as a learning opportunity. 

“I like this space for students to learn how to do something they’re not already comfortable with,” Birkholz said. “I also think that it’s cool to show your hard work to a big audience. A lot of people come to the fashion show, it’s a very important annual event.”

“I like this space for students to learn how to do something they’re not already comfortable with.”

— Edie Birkholz

The fashion show gives student designers the ability to win money and scholarships to further their education in fashion. 

“[The prize money] can help you with college,” Birklholz said. “It can help you use your art to actually get money to start working.”

Fowler feels that the tradition of the fashion show is important here at McCallum, a fine arts academy school. 

“I feel like McCallum is an art school, and artsy people have a more flamboyant style,” Fowler said, “so it kind of gives you that chance to express yourself.” 

With the resignation of Rogers, however, directors are having to be much more independent and resourceful and take even more of a leadership role in order to keep the long-held event running. 

Perez advocated further for the creative tradition. 

“I think it’s really important. Mr. Rogers left,” Perez said. “But I think we should still keep putting on the show. It’s just amazing.”


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