Charter senior hosts school’s first fashion show, with eco-friendly spin

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  • Courtesy photo Charter Academy students are rocking recycled rags during the Trashion Show on Feb. 22. Back row, from left: Summer Branting, Sophia Shaw, Maggie Hurst, show organizer Sequoia Wheelan, Andrea Busto, Valerie Streeter and Lauren Holecek. Middle row, from left: Rylan Dixon and Madison Burke. Front row, from left: Abigail Johnson, Sarah Spencer, Onessa Warren, Charlotte Werner, Katie Marian and Shae Wheeler.

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    Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy senior Sequoia Wheelan is in full manager mode Feb. 22 during the school’s first fashion show, the Trashion Show, which featured outfits made of recycled materials like trash bags and Pringles cans. Sequoia organized the show as part of her senior research project. Courtesy photo

  • Courtesy photo Charter Academy students are rocking recycled rags during the Trashion Show on Feb. 22. Back row, from left: Summer Branting, Sophia Shaw, Maggie Hurst, show organizer Sequoia Wheelan, Andrea Busto, Valerie Streeter and Lauren Holecek. Middle row, from left: Rylan Dixon and Madison Burke. Front row, from left: Abigail Johnson, Sarah Spencer, Onessa Warren, Charlotte Werner, Katie Marian and Shae Wheeler.

  • 1

    Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy senior Sequoia Wheelan is in full manager mode Feb. 22 during the school’s first fashion show, the Trashion Show, which featured outfits made of recycled materials like trash bags and Pringles cans. Sequoia organized the show as part of her senior research project. Courtesy photo

By DEVIN WEEKS

Staff Writer

COEUR d’ALENE — Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy senior Sequoia Wheelan doesn't take sass from anyone, but she will gladly take your trash and turn it into something fancy.

"I made Charter's very first runway!" the teen joyfully said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Wheelan organized Charter's first fashion show, which was also the first presentation of the school's fine arts department. For her senior research project, she was expected to write a lengthy research paper on her chosen subject — fashion — but realized she could do so much more by holding a fashion show that incorporated three of her passions: fashion, recycling, and supporting her school.

Thus, the Charter junk-to-funk Trashion Show was born.

"It was quite unlike anything that Charter had ever seen before," the young fashionista said. 

Wheelan brought together about 20 of her peers and mentors to help design and model 14 sustainable fashion outfits made from items such as plastic newspaper bags, Pringles cans, car visors, paper towels and recycled silk flowers. Names of the upcycled ensembles included "Trash Bag Elegance," "Steampunk," "Yarning for Velvet" and "Peacock World."

"I didn't have a favorite outfit as I loved them all too much to ever choose," she said. "Each of the designers put in so much hard work and creativity and I am very grateful for them helping this dream of mine become a reality."

The show, held Feb. 22, featured fluorescent lit pillars and dancing models. It brought in more than $600, all of which Wheelan donated to support the fine arts at her school.

She said that very often, schools focus on math and science rather than marketing, business and event planning. The Trashion Show gave her the opportunity "to bring these elements into the academic sphere and give kids the opportunity to delve into their artistic sides."

"It really was a trashin’ good time!"

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