Maria Lemmons '23: AP Art & A Major Design Challenge

Maria Lemmons '23: AP Art & A Major Design Challenge
Amy Barnard

Senior Maria Lemmons recently set up a stunning display of dresses made from unexpected materials at the Upper School. We asked her to share a bit about her project, as well as to share a few photos of her work. A special thanks to Natalie Seng for helping to model these dresses. 

I'm interested in going into industrial or product design eventually. My dream job would be to have my own fashion line, but I'd be happy doing any sort of design or entrepreneurship. So for AP Art Mr. Stromberg and I spent some time brainstorming and developed the idea of sewing dresses with non-fabric materials.

This really helped push my thinking process, especially by limiting myself to specific materials and asking: Okay, what can I make with this?

For my first dress, I didn't know what to do; I thought: this is going to be a little rough! But throughout the year I progressed and explored increasingly difficult materials, even to the point of working with flimsy material like tinfoil.

It was so cool to see the different outfits develop. It's inspired me to explore a wider range of materials this year, and to keep pushing myself to try new things and new processes. 

Scroll on, to see Maria's dresses!

A girl wearing sun glasses sits on a set of steps. She wears a formal gown made of trash bags.

Formal gown made of sewn trash bags

A girl standing on steps wears a dress made of paper

Gown made from white paper and teachers' late slips

A girl wears a short, tiered dress made of tissue paper.

Dress made from painter's tape

A girls wears a multi-layered, wide-skirted dress made of tissue paper.

Tissue paper gown.

A girl models a top made of paper taken from magazines, foil, and ribbon.

Top made from magazine pages, spray paint, ribbons, and paper

A girl models a tiered gown made of black paper and metallic spray paint.

Gown made from post it notes and spray paint








  • Upper School
  • fine arts
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