Fashion focused: Oliva Anderson designs clothing for her fashion show

September 2013 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, People
Olivia Anderson puts a last-minute touch of a dress modeled by Meghan Stadeli.

Olivia Anderson puts a last-minute touch of a dress modeled by Meghan Stadeli.

By Brenna Wiegand

Silverton High School senior Olivia Anderson wishes she was born in the era when girls wore oxfords and dresses to school. “Jeans and sweatshirts just aren’t enough for me,” Olivia said. “I definitely prefer dressy clothes.”

Take one look at the clothes she has designed for her upcoming fashion show and her penchant for classic is evident. As is her compassion for working to contribute to her community.

Her grandmother Laura Anderson shared how her granddaughter Olivia is orchestrating a fashion show for her senior project. “She’s already gone out and raised the funds; the Elks and American Legion gave her money for materials,” Laura said. “She has designed 15 outfits to be auctioned off that night with all of the proceeds going to the Tree of Giving.”

Always Our Children
“It’s really important to find the balance
between what you feel comfortable in and
what you feel like you can get away with
when you push the boundaries just a little bit.”

“I’m a sucker for cowboy boots with a dress.”

“Clothes are an outward expression of who you
think you are and that changes depending on how
you feel that day. If I feel like a hipster I’ll
put on my laceless tennis shoes; other days you
feel like ‘That’s enough – I’m wearing high heels
and a cute little dress.”

“Just let loose; let that little voice inside of
your head go about your insecurities because it
really should just be a fun process.
It’s like saying how you feel.”

Olivia invites community members to attend her “Fall into Fashion” show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22 at Silverton High School. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Laura Anderson is a member of Silverton Zenith Women’s Club sponsoring the yearly drive to provide Christmas gifts for kids whose families are financially strapped. When Olivia got to high school her ASB club held a yearly coin drive toward the effort and she wrapped presents alongside fellow Honor Society members.

“That is such an awesome thing to have in our community,” Olivia said. “I love how the Zenith women work with Silverton Together and raises money for scholarships.”

Olivia didn’t get serious about sewing or design until high school when friends discovered she could alter garments.

“I love to do that for people,” she said. “I really started doing that before I started sewing my own clothes.”

Olivia may borrow a ruffle from this pattern or a bodice from that but her usual modus operandi is taking a design from directly from her head to the fabric. With the project, though, she needed something to show potential sponsors.

“I’m actually a terrible artist,” she said. “I spent hours on those drawings because I wanted them to look like how it looked in my head. For me it’s more of a laborious process because it’s something I don’t need to make what I want.”

Each senior must complete a senior project to graduate from high school.

“Olivia was one of the frontrunners in that, before school started, she’d already gone out into the community and raised a ton of support,” said Barnabas Wong, Olivia’s SHS project advisor. “At first I thought it was pretty ambitious; having to line up models, find fabric, create the designs… but she was on the ball from the beginning.”

Meghan Stadeli, left, Miranda Frey, Audrey Anderson, Olivia Anderson, Lindsey Roth, and Destinee Sandlin model fashion designs created by Olivia.

“Olivia’s an incredibly talented young woman. My role was just being there, looking forward if she’s being challenged by anything and sharing marketing experience such as how to present herself and her clothes,”  said Barb Rivoli, Olivia’s chosen community mentor.

“I’m not very into trends,” Olivia said. “I just make what I like from the decades I like and I really enjoy the 50s and 60s.”

She’s a fan of princess sleeves and enjoys adding unique touches to her clothes, such as a lime green zipper on a  brown dress.

“Honestly you don’t see a lot of the styles I’ve been doing anymore; more form-fitting bodices with darts and empire skirts is kind of my standard dress form,” she said.

“Jennifer (Olivia’s mother) is also a businesswoman and an entrepreneur and she knows how to take her energy and put it into one thing at a time; Olivia has that same quality,” Rivoli said.

“My mom has had a big influence on me,” Olivia said. “She has always encouraged me to ‘Be who you are.’ It’s not about what everyone else is living; it’s about how you want to live.

Olivia has options for her future. “Designing costumes for movies would be kind of cool or just doing couture. I want to be up there with Vera Wang, you know? Honestly, that’s the real goal; having a label.”

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