Story by: Cassie Ferrick
Look down at your jeans, your sweater, t-shirt, or sweatpants and find the seams with miniscule stitching inside and imagine the machinery that embroidered it carefully, hundreds of the same item being made each day, then imagine all of that work being done by one single person. It may seem like a hassle, or even rocket science to some, but for senior Hanna Fikki, the process of sewing together fabrics and creating unique items of clothing is the norm.
Fikki stated that she has always been interested in fashion and designing her own clothes, but when she realized that her personal style is something not sold in most stores, she took it upon herself to make her fashion desires come true.
“I can pretty much use any of my ideas, I mean anything I can think of I can take it and put it into a piece of art.” said Fikki.
All items of clothing Fikki makes are from scratch, excluding her shorts. The process of building a piece starts with the pattern template, and aspects such as fabric, texture and design come after.
“I’ve made probably three really big things, a dress, pants and a costume which all took quite a bit of time, but I’ll make little things like gloves and baby dresses and I’ll send stuff over to a program that we do through the school where you can make dresses for kids in foreign countries.” said Fikki regarding the nature of her work.
Fikki recently spent over a month designing an original dress, partially made with money. The dress, cut at the waist, and displaying real dollar bills on the chest, is Fikki’s most prized item she has constructed.
“I don’t know why but I knew I always wanted to do something with money,” said Fikki, whose most recent favorite style is urban grunge, “I think money represents very high fashion and there’s a lot of things you can do with it so I just picked out a dress template and took a spin off it.”
Using her own creative interpretation of clothing design is one of Fikki’s best qualities according to her past clothing construction teacher, Mrs. Amanda Jeffries.
“She’d always come with a pattern that she had purchased from the store, and she always wanted to change it somehow. There was always something she wanted to do very different, whether it be a jumpsuit, but she just wasn’t going to make a jumpsuit, she was going to make a jumpsuit with a unicorn on it. She’s very creative and I love that she took the basics and made them her own.” said Jeffries.
Within the past year, West has made the decision to cut the clothing construction class from the FACS curriculum. By cutting the class, this has rendered Fikki to let her creative juices flow outside of a school setting, possibly opening up more doorways to different styles of clothing not practiced in class.
“I like that she’s taking it upon herself to make clothing outside of the school and that’s really where you’re going to hone in on a lot of your skills and just create pieces of your own, and it’s wonderful.” said Jeffries on Fikki’s work outside of school.
Fikki’s work range from pieces such as her most popular item, her high waisted shorts, to individual fringed shirts, gloves, jewelry and more.
“I really like her high waisted shorts because she‘s really good at distressing them and making them really cute. She works really hard to make sure they fit your body really well and look nice on you.” said Junior Sydney Halas, a good friend and happy customer of Fikki.
Halas is usually attuned to athletic wear, but finds the quality and quirky style of Fikki’s clothes to be some of her favorite dress up items.
Pairs of Fikki’s shorts can range from prices of five dollars to forty-five dollars depending on one’s preferences for what is designed on the shorts. Fikki sells her jewelry for a price ranging anywhere between five dollars and twenty dollars, once again depending on the customer’s own style preference.
“Whenever I want to dress a certain way, I like to wear her clothes. She always tries to make me wear grunge stuff, so I have these black high waisted shorts that are studded and distressed and she dresses me a certain way, and I definitely like it.” said Halas in reference to the style Fikki models a majority of her clothes after.
“I pretty much let people pick things out however they want and I always make sure I can suit their needs.” said Fikki.
Despite fitting her customers needs, Fikki has found that designing her own brand of clothing has helped how she views herself, especially when people compliment her work when she wears it.
“I’d say it’s helped my self image a lot, it makes me feel really good when people ask where I got my pants and I can say that I actually made them and everyone is really surprised by that.” stated Fikki.
With regards to Fikki’s confidence in her clothing, Jeffries has noticed her upbeat attitude, and raved about the smile Fikki always has on her face in class, all while choosing to pave her own creative road, no matter the opinions of others.
“I like the way that she walks down her own path and she doesn’t really conform to what’s going on around her, she definitely walks to her own tune, and that’s cool, I like that.” said Jeffries.
Fikki’s current project is designing a prom dress modeled after Disney princess Belle’s trademark yellow dress in a modern way for a friend. In the future, Fikki has hopes to create a clear raincoat made with money, relating to her prized money dress.
Staying loyal to her original seams and stitches, Fikki dreams of opening her own store one day, complete with designs that showcase her own unique texture, imaginative mind and passion for creating art through fashion.