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Upscale Fashion Debuts at Kendall College of Art and Design

Posted July 20, 2011 in Youth and Adults



Judy Huyck bounded into the Upstyled Fashion class last week at Kendall College of Art and Design, full of enthusiasm for taking old, unworn or slightly used clothing, beads and bangles and turning them into fabulous new garments. Her long dangling earrings and flamboyant dress screamed “fashionista and proud of it.” 

She may be about fashion but she’s not about spending big bucks or filling landfills with cast off garments. 

“This class is all about reusing and recycling what we have and turning it into something upscale and fashionable,” the veteran instructor explained. “You need to ask yourself what is in your wardrobe that you aren’t wearing and what can you do to it to make it wearable and fabulous?”

Before long, the six students who signed up for the six-week class were beaming and sharing ideas about what they might do with the stuff hanging in the closets that never gets worn.  They will cut, tear, apply, sew, paint, embellish, quilt, stitch and add all kinds of interesting elements.  Judy also suggests taking a garment that has perfectly good fabric and turning it into a handbag or using parts and pieces to embellish something else.

“I can show you how to take that dull denim skirt you’ve had for years and turn it into something that looks like it came right from Chico’s,” she says.

Upstyled Fashion, offered for the first time in the Continuing Studies program,  is designed for sewers and non-sewers, young and old.  Judy, with many years of wide ranging experiences in the fashion world, is geared up to guide, inspire and help students at whatever level and interest. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an old blazer jacket with shoulder pads or jeans that are now too tight. 

The ideas keep pouring out.  Take old shawls and turn them into a skirt.  Borrow (well, steal) your Dad’s old vests and decorate to throw over t-shirt. Don’t forget table linens, she said.  They make great garments.  Sounded to me like they’d need more than six classes to execute the outpouring of inspiration. 

Some of the students come to class with a highly defined fashion sense.  Clearly this young woman who works in the marketing department at Amway during the day knows her style. Charming.

Others were inspired with Judy’s sample of a skirt that started out as a maternity dress with sleeves then became a spaghetti strap dress and now is a skirt with a beaded yoke.  The 1950s coat elicits ohs and ahs.  Judy added collar and cuffs to replace worn ones, making it even better than the original in most of the eyes of the students.


The first class was devoted to inspiration and ideas. The group looked through magazines and chatted with Judy about the clothes in their closets they might like to alter and places in town to buy vintage or gently used garments, baubles and beads.

Future classes will cover working with t-shirts, denim, a project of the student’s choosing and shoes.  I’m hoping they’ll do a fashion show so we can all see their creations. 


~ Susan J. Smith 


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