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Wilcox Fashion Design and Production Students Star on Stage

Wilcox Fashion Design and Production Students Star on Stage

Everyone was a star in “Passion for Fashion,” Wilcox High School’s sixth annual fashion show May 17 at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts.

Emcees Kim Nguyen and Teresa Sanchez described the forty-five minute show produced by the Introduction to Fashion Design and Production class as, “the collective bloom of these students’ passion for fashion.”

Colorful, handmade tissue paper flowers bloomed on the stage floor. As music played, the fashion designers—or their chosen models—strode briskly onto the stage wearing their hot, hip, original fashions and smiles. With about 65 designs to model, they had to hustle on and off the stage in about thirty seconds. The audience dared not glance away lest they miss their favorite designer’s moments of stardom.


The students (and a few scene-stealing youngsters) modeled cotton shorts, PJ bottoms, and pants; a sailor top, zebra-print blouse, and multicolor tunic; thigh-high to floor-length skirts; cotton print sundresses and formal satin dresses; and accessories—scarves, tote bags, backpacks, and a ruffled apron. They wore fashion jewelry provided by Stella & Dot (

Models carried whimsical home decor pillows shaped as frogs, a ladybug, and a heart. For the grand finale, all the designers and models paraded around the auditorium together.

“I’m happy the students have a chance to be stars for the evening and show their creations,” says Cathy Rubin, fashion program coordinator and teacher. “This is their special chance to star. I hope they feel proud. They started out not knowing how to sew before.”

About 25 students are in the introductory fashion design and production program, which is part of Santa Clara Unified School District’s Career Technical Education Program. Rubin developed and introduced the three-year fashion program eight years ago, and it follows state standards, including developing viable business models.

Students design and sew their creations in the classroom, working independently. Those who complete two or more years of the program with a grade of B or better, earn credit at West Valley College.

“The class is a change of pace. It’s very satisfying to make something with your hands,” says Rubin.

Senior Kaylyn Phu is interested in costume design. Senior Kim Nguyen plans to enroll at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s San Francisco campus to study visual communication, qualifying her to set up fashion shows and coordinate displays.

“I’ve learned that this takes patience and a lot of creativity and thinking outside the box,” says senior Cashae Williams, who plans to become a stylist, dressing models and celebrities. Her sister, Tiara Williams, recorded the entire fashion show on her cell phone.

While the fashion design and production program is a career pathway for just a few students, it teaches life skills and creative relaxation for all. And every student with a passion for fashion is a star.



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