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The British Invade Somers High

It happened Monday night and it drew great rounds of applause.

Under the guidance of Somers Art Teacher, Christine Brooks, a dozen and a half fashion students presented their final project -- the annual fashion show.

Each year the fashion show has a different theme. This year it was The British Invasion.

“We want to teach the students how designers ‘trend’ their work every year,” Brooks explained. “With trends, decades repeat. The 70s and 80s are happening again. In 2012 the Olympics will be in London. This already tells you that the trend is going to be British.”

The class was already deep into its British theme when the Royal Wedding occurred. “That was just a bonus,” Brooks added.

Each student in the class of 18 -- all girls -- does individual research, then designs and assembles her garments. Within the British Invasion theme, the categories were Floral Tea party dress, Resort Wear, the Military Look, the Punk Look, and the Little Black Dress.

Once the year’s work was completed, the students called on friends to model their designs, though each designer wore her personal Little Black Dress.

The fashion class at Somers High used to be a part of the elective Home Economics program. When the home economics teacher retired roughly five years ago, Christine Brooks took over. “If you’re interested in studying fashion, it’s likely that you’ll need an art portfolio. Our students do all the sketching, research and construction.”

About half the students who elect to take the course major in Fashion in college. This year, five graduating seniors will be going on to study fashion merchandising and design.

Having the opportunity to study fashion in high school gives students a chance to realize what they might like to do, said Brooks. “It’s a little less of ‘I shoulda’ and a little more of ‘I’m gonna.’”

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