Reminder Assistant Editor
SOUTHWICK By the time his daughter was seven years old, Greg Deily knew Alicia had a passion for fashion.
He said she would recreate entire JC Penny catalogs with her own drawings of unique fashion trends.
Alicia's commitment to her craft and academic excellence (3.8 GPA) granted her enrollment into the Lower Pioneer Valley Career and Technical Education Center's (Career TEC) Fashion Technology program three years ago. Alicia attends the Career TEC in West Springfield every school day until 11 a.m. and then attends the remainder of her classes at Southwick-Tolland Regional High School.
Linda Marr, Fashion Technology instructor at Career TEC, said since entering her classroom three years ago, Alicia has excelled far beyond her expectations. Marr nominated Alicia as this year's Outstanding Vocational Student and school officials agreed. Alicia will be honored at the 22nd Annual Outstanding Vocational Technical Student Awards Banquet in Worcester on April 10.
"She has an enormous commitment to everything that she does," Marr said. "I'm positive she's going to succeed in life and in the world of fashion."
In an interview with Reminder Publications, Alicia said ever since she can remember she has always loved the world of international fashion. She added, however, that upon entering Career TEC she was unable to sew and had difficulties with figure drawing.
Alicia said her creativity comes as "second nature" but her sewing and drawing skills took training and dedication. She explained that throughout her three years at Career TEC she has learned how to manifest the visions in her mind's eye into a tangible garments for local fashion shows and school assignments.
Marr said the building blocks of each student's fashion education begin during their first year at Career TEC. During year one they learn basic fashion illustration; during year two they learn to design entire collections and patterns from their own ideas; during their final year students have more freedom to choose which area of fashion they'd like to perfect. Marr explained that Alicia has been dedicated to perfecting her portfolio for college applications.
Alicia explained that in addition to learning sewing, pattern drafting and draping techniques at Career TEC, she is also taking Drawing I -- a night class at Westfield State College for dual enrollment credit -- to increase her level of figure drawing.
Alicia said her inspiration, as is evident in her portfolio, stems from cultural fashion trends such as those in South America and Asia.
She said eventually she wants to create her own line of clothing that is eco- and animal-friendly, adding that she is strongly against any of her clothing being manufactured in sweatshops.
Alicia explained that she is very interested in creating "sustainable clothing that is also stylish."
Marr said, "The idea of recycled fashion is a huge idea in the industry right now."
Alicia said this week she will be mailing out her final college application to the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She added that she has already been accepted into Framingham State College, La Salle and the Art Institute of Philadelphia. Alicia said she has also sent an application to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
Alicia said her first choice is the Massachusetts College of Art and Design because of its location and excellent fashion program.
Marr and Greg agreed that they believe Alicia will succeed in the fashion industry. As a proud father, Greg said he only wants what every parent wants for their child in their career -- "to make money while doing something she enjoys and feels is worthwhile."