Eco Fashion Show at Connecticut’s First College-Prep School for Girls, Lauralton Hall

--by Megan Fickes

The Environmental Club at Lauralton Hall is very unique in that we remain active and enthusiastic throughout the year. There is never a time when the club isn’t busy, whether it’s planning our next Trash Free Lunch, coordinating anti-idling week, emptying paper bins, or planning for the Fashion Show, which was featured in the New Haven Register and the Connecticut Post.

We’re also special in that club members, and officers specifically, have a genuine passion for the environment and are tireless in pursuit of a new and more efficient means of making our school “greener.”

The show is a student run event, and the culmination of months of effort, so we really try to work hard to ensure that Trash the Runway is great. Students sign up months in advance and begin to plan their dresses—find materials, pick a design, etc. While members are busy making their recycled fashions, the officers and I did the work of asking teachers to judge the show, buying prizes for the winning models, creating certificates for winners, assembling a line up of models for the show, compiling bios of the models for the show, and decorating the auditorium. It’s a lot of work, but most definitely worth it!

Mrs. DiMassa, one of our moderators, came up with the idea of eco-statistics. She wanted to convey the importance of the fact that the fashion show isn’t just a fun event; it’s an opportunity to raise environmental awareness. Some of the most important facts are the ones that are relatable to the students and Lauralton community. They’re not just arbitrary numbers—like the fact that the United States represents only 5% of the world’s population yet uses 25% of its resources, or that half of the world’s rainforests have been—and will continue to be—destroyed.

I think all of the outfits were great this year, the models and designers definitely stepped up their game from last year! The outfits I thought best represented the show were ones that used seemingly worthless materials—plastic bags, cardboard, wrappers—and turned them into fabulous fashion.

I was particularly impressed by Emma McCarthy’s (Most Avant Garde) dress made out of her designer Ana Mastrianni’s childhood paintings. I also thought Bella Giannini and Kenzie Tavella’s dresses, made out of pizza boxes, and Meghan Warren’s dress made of juice boxes were really creative uses of recycled materials.

We based the criteria for judging on what we valued most in the outfits—components such as creativity, use of recycled materials, and personality were included in the judge’s scoring. Each judge gave a score for each category from 1-4, which was totaled and then added up by the AP Calculus students who so generously volunteered to help out with the show.

I think the show requires a lot of effort on both the part of the officers and the members, and the skills I see most clearly are thoughtfulness and creativity, as well as definite collaboration between models and designers and between the officers. The show is also an opportunity for those interested in the arts to have an outlet for expression, to create something unique and representative of their individuality.

This year’s show, in my opinion, is the best we’ve had, but I would have said that last year and the year before! Every year we try to raise the bar, keep up the hard work, and make the show the best it’s ever been, and I think we did just that. I would like to improve the amount of community involvement and parental involvement we have next year, as well as ensure that the sound quality is clearer. 


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