Carson junior to display fashions

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
CHINA GROVE — Kiera Brawley, 16, sewed her first project at the age of eight — a simple square pillow.
Fast-forward eight years and you’ll find her making a lot more than pillows.
Not only does she sew dresses, shorts, skirts and accessories, she also sketches her own designs.
Brawley, a junior at Carson High School, said her passion for sewing was instilled in her at an early age when her grandmother taught her and twin sister Kyrae the basics.
“Every single time we went over to her house we were, ‘like Grandma, teach us how to do something else,’ ” Kiera said. “I always looked up to her.”
Kiera’s grandmother, Virginia Miller, said she’s happy to see her granddaughter follow in her footsteps.
“I just taught her a little bit and she learned the rest herself,” she said. “Kiera is designing her own clothes and everything, I wasn’t doing that … I was just following patterns.”
Although Kiera has taught herself many of the techniques she uses now, she still relies on her grandmother for advice.
“She always gives me pointers,” Kiera said. “And every single time I make something new it always puts a smile on her face because she knows that she gave me this talent that I’m going to keep for the rest of my life.”
Miller will likely be beaming Saturday when Kiera hosts her first fashion show inside the atrium at Carson High. The show, part of Kiera’s graduation project, will feature eight original designs.
“I just wanted to do something to show the talent and the skill that I have that she passed on to me,” she said.
The “day and nite” themed fashion show will begin with models coming down the stairs in the atrium and strutting down a runway.
“I decided on that theme because I had so many random ideas,” Kiera said. “This was a way for me to tie them together.”
As the show progresses from day to night, the music will shift from what Kiera dubs “modern jazz swing music” to “songs of the hour.”
“All the music is very pumped up,” she said.
Kiera said the day fashions are “very sophisticated” with a Renaissance victorian flair and night fashions are more edgy with shorts and skirts more appropriate for hitting the town.
When designing clothes for the show, Kiera decided to stick with her favorite style, “lolita.”
“It’s very versatile,” she said. “It’s kind of like baby doll clothes, very ruffly and playful.”
Kiera said she keeps up with the latest fashion trends online.
“If I look at a pattern or a piece of clothing I can usually figure out how to make it,” she said. “I like a challenge.”
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Kiera’s fashion show is just the first step toward what she hopes will be a successful career in fashion design and marketing.
“After I get out of college I want to open up my own business,” she said. “I’m very passionate about fashion.”
Carson High dance teacher Denise Paugh, who helps create costumes for school productions, said she’s been impressed by the diligence Kiera has shown while preparing for the fashion show.
“She’s really thrown herself into the fashion aspect of everything and I’m quite proud of her because she went out and found a mentor and got to work,” she said. “She’s really been very ambitious about it.”
Kiera hasn’t decided where she wants to attend college, but her sister said she’s on the right track.
“She is doing something different. I think a lot of people who are our age really aren’t thinking about their future or doing something to prepare, they are just doing enough to get by,” Kyrae said. “I think it’s really good she has something she’s so passionate about.”
Paugh said after seeing Kiera “take the bull by the horns” by tackling a fashion show, she’s sure she’s got a bright future.
“She’s very creative. I think she could definitely have a career in this,” she said.
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Kiera’s fashion show will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday and is expected to last less than an hour.
Admission is $2 or two canned goods at the door. All proceeds will go to benefit a local food pantry.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.