They’re some of the hardest working and ingenious young people on Long Island. Huntington High School fashion design and illustration program students just ooze creativity. The teenagers are always searching for new inspiration as they strive to develop appealing designs.
Huntington teacher Kim Valerio recently led a group of 14 fashion program students into Manhattan to give them a new educational experience and keep them motivated. Fashion Design and Illustration II and III and Fashion Portfolio students traveled to the Big Apple for a tour of three separate exhibitions at the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology.
The Huntington teenagers first viewed The Body: Fashion & Physique exhibit, which explores the 250-year relationship between clothing and the human form. “The garments on view, along with photos, videos and clippings highlight the way outfits have emphasized hips, waists and other parts of the body throughout history,” Ms. Valerio said.
Huntington High School art teacher Kim Valerio.
Next up was the Norell: Dean of American Fashion exhibit. “Fashion designer Norman Norell is best remembered for redefining sleek, sophisticated, American glamour,” Ms. Valerio said. “This retrospective exhibition presents approximately 100 garments, accessories and related material, including an array of suits, jersey separates, menswear-inspired outerwear, and Norell’s hallmark sequined ‘mermaid’ dresses.”
The third exhibit perused by the Huntington fashion students was titled Pockets to Purses: Fashion + Function. It explores the history of pockets and purses as fashionable and functional objects in both men’s and women’s wardrobes from the 18th century to the present.
“With some time to spare, our group stopped into The Style Shop, FIT’s student-run retail boutique,” Ms. Valerio said. “The shop is run by the Merchandising Society, a student club with about 180 active members, mostly in the fashion business management program. There we unexpectedly ran into former Huntington High School student Theresa Moreno, who is currently attending FIT and was working in the boutique.”
The Huntington teenagers found plenty to capture their imagination during the visit. Countless ideas sprang to life as the students made their way around each of the three exhibits.
“Despite the unusually chilly weather for the first day of spring, we explored the area surrounding the FIT campus before making our way back to Penn Station to take a train back to Huntington,” Ms. Valerio said. “We had a very busy, productive and fun day in New York City.”
Kim Valerio Profile
A graduate of Harborfields High School, Ms. Valerio obtained an undergraduate degree at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan. After working for many years in graphic arts, mostly in New York City, she returned to college and obtained a master’s degree at Long Island University/ CW Post.
Ms. Valerio completed her student teaching requirements in Huntington. She then worked as a substitute teacher in the district and in several surrounding districts. She was hired as a part-time art teacher in Huntington UFSD in 2010 and became full-time in 2015. Through the years she has worked in all eight buildings in the district.
Ms. Valerio teaches courses in creative crafts and fashion at Huntington High School and directs the student fashion shows at the annual district art show.
Huntington Fashion Design Program
The Huntington fashion program has attracted a fervent following over the years. Fashion Design and Illustration I students learn to illustrate the fashion figure and construct a garment from a pattern. Second year students explore draping on a fashion form and advanced illustration, creating a garment from their own design.
The third level “tilts” toward the business of fashion and producing a portfolio of illustrations and designs that expresses a personal style and high level of competence. Students create a fashion magazine, understand the workings of the merchandising and management side of the fashion and have hands-on experience producing the annual fashion show.
Portfolio Development is designed for students interested in studying art in college. “This is an exciting course that allows all art majors to develop a professional portfolio of their art work,” according to the Huntington High School course guide. “Quality rather than quantity is stressed, for this course can assist you in gaining acceptance into an art college. Visits from various colleges as well as professionals in diverse art careers will be arranged.”
For more information about the fashion program contact Ms. Valerio at [email protected].