Fashion Club Makes Its Debut at Mililani High


Jenna Kim

The Mililani High School Fashion Club was conceived over the summer and emerged during this year’s club rush, welcoming all students with any interest in the art form. The club also serves as a way to recruit students for the Career and Technical Education Program’s new fashion pathway. As CTE expands its horizons with the implementation of many new courses in the upcoming school year, this growth is shown through this new club.
“I feel like fashion plays a really big role in society, because it communicates who you are as a person to everyone around you without even saying a word, which is really powerful,” said vice president senior Anthony Tom. He, like his fellow officers, shares a large passion for the art and believes the club is a great place for anyone who can say the same.
Beyond basic sewing, which is what most Family and Consumer Science courses teach, Tom and the other officers hope to delve more into the creation and design of clothing itself, as well as educating students about how clothing has connotations and how it is used as a form of expression.
“I thought it’d be kind of cool to do an interest club where the main goal is to give people a chance to hang out, express their ideas, and be around people that hopefully have similar interests. Just a place for people who are into the same things and be able to gather,” said advisor and Public and Human Services teacher Karla Deguchi.
Deguchi, along with president senior Rain Hashimoto, had the same idea to
form a fashion-related club over the summer and both separately approached Student Activities Coordinator Janet Ward-Riehle with this premise. Deguchi planned to create this club to help recruit students for the upcoming CTE fashion and design courses, falling under the “Cultural Arts, Media, and Entertainment” Pathway, and she also would like to be able to teach these classes herself. Meanwhile, Hashimoto came up with the idea out of interest and her personal passion in the art. Last year, she was accepted into the Fashion Institute of Design and merchandising in Los Angeles, California and will be studying fashion merchandising and design.
“After getting accepted into FIDM and talking to my admissions advisor, I realized that I wanted to leave my mark on something I was passionate about at the school,” said Hashimoto. “Starting the club gives me an opportunity to learn and grow, teach others the thing that I love, and help prepare myself for my future. To have something at the school that I started, that hopefully will continue on, gives me a lot of pride and a sense of accomplishment.” Hashimoto’s spirit for fashion has been prominent throughout her high school career, and one of her goals is to help other students feel more comfortable dressing the way they would like to.
Deguchi and Hashimoto shortly began to work together to create the club, plan activities, and seek out officers, those students being vice president senior Anthony Tom, treasurer senior Paige Villaruez, and secretary junior Mahina Onekea. Through the club, their main goal is to create a safe community based on interest and creativity.
The club had its first official meeting on Monday, October 25. There, they met in
Deguchi’s classroom to participate in a bleaching project, using paint brushes to create images on old clothes the members brought from home. This project was an example of upcycling, which is a creative reuse of unwanted materials. The club aims to complete service projects like donating to organizations such as Goodwill, as well as teaching the members to utilize processes like
upcycling, to create less waste and promote healthier forms of fashion. During 2020’s worldwide pandemic and quarantine, the controversy over fast and slow fashion began to rise. Similar to fast food, fast fashion is the rapid response by companies to create cheap clothing based on the most popular trends, usually those that came to be on the internet. This quick selling of items often took unsustainable means of production, which caused backlash from the media onto those individuals who bought from fast fashion companies anyway. Fast and slow fashion are just a couple topics that Hashimoto would like to cover in this club.
She also pointed out that the fashion industry, especially online, tends to choose who could wear specific styles based on how they looked.
“You mainly had to be skinny and of caucasian descent to popularize the trend,” Hashimoto said. “Take the strawberry dress that blew up online, that was previously rocked by a plus size celebrity. Everyone thought the dress was horrendous until a more conventionally attractive
person wore it.”
Hashimoto, in addition to service projects, hopes to use the club to educate students on subjects like these and help to demonstrate fashion’s role in society and communication.
“Being fashion aware does not mean you need to necessarily dress with the latest trends or looks, but rather understand what trends and looks are going on and how that influences us in the modern world,” she said. “Students in fashion club will be able to better understand the fashion world and how it shapes today’s society.”
The club can be found on Instagram at @mililanihsfashionclub.