Melody Hellard brings the Fashion Club at Newbury Park High School back to life, in a big way.
Tell us a little about yourself: I love to sew!! I have been sewing since I was 8 years old when I started lessons with my grandma. My mom sews as well, and we have always enjoyed sewing together. I am a big fan of the vintage style and my favorite fashion decade is the ’50s. I am also a comic fan and a musical theater fan. I love creating dresses more than anything else, and I am rarely found wearing anything other than a dress or skirt.
How did you get involved in Fashion Club? I first found the Newbury Park High School FIDM Fashion Club at Future Freshmen Night. I was so excited to join because I had no idea that there was a club like that on campus. I attended every meeting but after the first few, less and less people were showing up. Finally, one day I walked in and no one was there at all. I approached the president of the club. She said she had too much to do with her school work and was just going to shut the club down, unless I wanted to take over. I saw so much potential that I knew I had to take over.
Everyone who was originally on the board of Fashion Club resigned, and it left me with nothing and no one to work with. I asked everyone whom I thought might be interested in the club if they wanted to help me get it back on its feet.
Most of my friends were willing to support me, but none of them really wanted to be an officer. I kept asking around until I got a yes! I was in a show at my high school and I was talking to one of the girls who was in it about the club and how I was trying to start it back up again, and she got so excited! She gave me tons of new ideas for meetings and fundraisers we could do and immediately agreed to be my VP. We then recruited a secretary and treasurer!
We went to the teacher who was the original FC advisor and she was super excited that we were taking over; she told us we had $400 in our account! This allowed us to start off with super fun projects! We also got hot pink FIDM t-shirts to wear so that people would ask us what it stood for and we could give them a flyer for our club.
At our first meeting, we had nine people total, and by the end of the year, we had 27 official FIDM Fashion Club members! We got our own table at Future Freshmen Night and got 40 new members!
I can’t believe how far we have come in one year as a club. I have met so many new friends through the club and it is definitely the highlight of my week. All of the club members have missed it so much over the summer that I get texts about summer meetings we should have and fun things to do as a club! At the beginning I felt like I was the only one who really cared about the club, but now I know that every person who comes cares about it just as much as I do.
What activities do you have planned for your club? We are trying to plan a fashion show. We plan to ask stores for donations and also make our own clothes. We are also going to make dresses and Hawaiian shirts at the beginning of the year so everyone will learn how to sew.
What’s your favorite item in your summer wardrobe? My white sunglasses and strapless Hawaiian dress that I made out of original vintage fabric at the beginning of the summer—it is the first dress I made that is fully boned.
Do you have plans to attend FIDM? FIDM is my dream college. I have already decided that I am going to apply as a junior! I went to Fashion Club Day at FIDM and just looking around, I fell in love.
What are your career goals? My career goal is to be a theater costume designer. However, I love doing fashion as well. One thing I love about FIDM is that you start out in Fashion Design for the first two years and then go on to the Theatre Costume Design program or Advanced Fashion Design. This is ideal for me because if I fall in love with the fashion program and decide I want to continue, I can. But, if I still want to go into theater costume design, I can do that as well—and still have the fashion background!
Follow Newbury Park High School FIDM Fashion Club on Instagram @fashionclubnphs.