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WHS stagecraft assembles newspaper dresses

Emily Overton
Samantha Syverson strutting down the runway.

The stagecraft class, led by Mr. Clemons, held their 8th annual Newspaper Runway competition in the WHS auditorium, allowing students to express their creative fashion expertise. 

Every year, the students in stagecraft design a dress strictly made out of newspaper to show off to their peers. They were given a prompt: find a style of dress from a specific time period, like Elizabethan or Victorian, to base your dress on. The teams worked in groups of 4 to complete this assignment and were given 2 days to design and plan their dress, 5 days to construct their dress, and 1 day to rehearse their runway show. 

Their runway walk and dresses were judged by an unbiased group of faculty, including Mr. Mackely, Mrs. Smith, and Ms. Fondaw. The judges voted on the winner and agreed that the group with the best dress was Samantha Syverson, Rachelynn Mullins, Idyll Villarin, and Sidney Robinson. Their dress was based on the Victorian era because of their love for puffy sleeves, bustles, and parasols. Syverson was the one to walk the runway, and she was cheered on by her team and classmates. 

“I think we won because of our attention to detail. In addition to all the roses, there were tons of details all over the dress, and it included a hat and a parasol. I think that all worked to our advantage,” Syverson said after the competition. 

This competition allowed students to think outside the box and get out of their comfort zone; the only material used was newspaper, making it challenging to construct portions of the dress. They were under a strict timeline and had to work efficiently to complete their garments before showtime.  

Syverson talked about the struggles she and her team overcame: “Several of them included making the cage underneath sturdy, making tons of paper roses for hours on end, and using the proper amount of tape.”

Over the 2 days given to design and plan their dress, inspiration was mainly pulled from the internet. They gathered as much inspiration as possible to base their dress on, using their time wisely to set up an objective for their dress thoroughly.

Syverson said, “Majority of the inspiration was taken from several drawings of the fashion from the time period. We made a sketch that pieced several designs together.”

This competition allowed students to learn about the fashion in different eras, and focus on the details of different dresses. Bringing hundreds of years of fashion to life through newspaper dresses.

Emily Overton
Sophia Valchine, Aidan Ruehle, Matthew Saeidi, and Tate Lertkasem pose for the camera. (Emily Overton)



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