by Sofia Colignon | staff writer
The 2018 FashionABLE fashion show, held last Sunday, held by Spina Bifida of Texas, consisted of four designers, from different high schools, that designed garments for models that have some kind of disability.
“[These] models have a disability of some type, [they] can be handicaps, maybe they can’t feed themselves, or they have tubes or something that they need a garment they can’t just go to the store and buy them,” Fashion Design teacher Mandy Mendietta said.
The event was held on Sunday, April 15 at O’Connor High School.
“I had a lady contact me from Spina Bifida of Texas and ask if I had students that might want to volunteer to make an outfit for a student with a disability,” Mendietta said.
The four designers created suitable garments designed specifically for these models and adjusted to their needs.
“Maybe it’s got velcro instead of buttons, maybe it’s shorter because they have really short legs, or something like that. They are paired with a designer, a student from other high schools around the city that creates outfits specially for them,” Mendietta said.
The designers and models had been preparing for this event since January.
“[The designers] had to make a sketch and they had to call and talk to the parents, we had to meet with the models and interview them. I paired then with a model that I think would be fit them and their abilities, and then they sketched a design, and then the model and the parents got to pick which one they wanted,” Mendietta said.
The models walked the runway, just like they would on a fashion show, displaying the clothes designed by the students.
“There [were] about ninety kids, or ninety pieces that were put in the event, and there were kids with physical disabilities, and each of them got an outfit designed for them, and some of them had multiple outfits, and all of the pieces were to, in some way, help them with their disability. So we did like a fashion show,” Junior Anna Grace Diharce said.
Diharce was also chosen to be on SA Living with her model on April 12.
“There [were] four people, we were all from different schools, and they showed our models, and they talked about our clothes,” Diharce said.
For both the teachers and students participating, this was a fun and unique experience.
“It was just really fun: making clothes for someone who doesn’t have a standard body shape, like usually, when you’re making clothes, you make them for someone, like I make clothes for me, but then I was making [them] for a girl who was very small, and didn’t have the same body type as me,” Diharce said.
This event was hosted by Spina Bifida of Texas, who also paid for the supplies needed in order to design the outfits.
“They went to Joanne’s together, as a group. Spina paid for it so that [the parents didn’t] have to pay it out of their pocket,” Mendietta said.
Spina Bifida commits to serving kids affected with by Spina Bifida. For more information on this organization, click here.
“There’s no other group in the city that I’m aware of that tailors to helping students with disabilities and finding a garment that fits,” Mendietta said.