By Matt Rinaldi
As many teenage girls flocked to boutiques and tailors to buy their dresses for prom, Senior Newon Dennis designed her own dress for the special event.
So what inspired her to design this dress?
“Just the mere fact that I loved designing and I couldn’t create my designs really irked me. And I knew I would need to practice more before I could create my own so it was just the pain of not being able to create it that inspired me to create it,” she said.
The dress had a mermaid-style trim, with a tight-fitting, black top and an emerald green skirt that flowed down to the ground. With the help of a seamstress, Newon wore it for her Senior Prom on May 18.
“I create purely on emotions and inspiration,” Newon said about her process. “If I see something that I think should be like this instead of that I automatically sketch it out to see how it would look if it had this taste of Newon on it. I want my designs to be something you’ve never seen. And you can never really see emotions very clearly so it’s makes since that I get inspired by something you can’t see.”
But behind her wonderful smile and bubbly personality, was a whole other person. Newon used to struggle with depression. But instead of letting it take over her life, she channeled it into her passion.
“Fashion designing was one of the safest ways I could release my hurt and stress from the world,” she said.
Newon confessed that SLA has had a large impact in helping her open up to her parents about her passion.
“Thanks to SLA I was able to really open up to them about my wanting to become a designer and I even got the confidence to show them my designs” to her family, she said. “When they saw them they were so proud, saying how I could make so much money from my designs because they thought I was really good.”
It seems that this aspiring fashion designer is taking the right steps in order to achieve her dream.
“I’ve recently met the Head designer of the House of Dereon fashion house. His name is Scott Nylund and he heard about me when my Capstone mentor Fifi Bell a well-known fashion stylist that I met through Don Marcos, talked about me and my project and how we were trying to raise money for fabric and seamstress.”
All this was a part of her Senior Capstone project, where she made a small collection of dresses and had her friends model them for a fashion photo shoot, as well as at her packed Capstone Presentation on Wednesday, June 6th.
She also was recently accepted to Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, and hopes to attend this fall. As for life after school, she has big plans.
“My dream career is to become a fashion designer for Jeremy Scott’s fashion house and then break off to create my own fashion house.”