SAN ANTONIO – We solemnly swear this haute couture dress is just too good.
Leia, an eighth-grade student at Jackson Middle School in NEISD, spent weeks creating a gold, sleeveless dress out of 200 pages of a “Harry Potter” book.
She used wire and hot glue to tie it all together, and she accentuated the flow with golden butterflies on rods.
Leia’s dress received praise when NEISD posted images of the creation on Facebook over the weekend — praise that a veteran artist or designer would normally see.
But Leia’s Advanced Art 1 teacher, Ymelda Salas, told KSAT that the “Harry Potter” dress was actually her first-ever design.
Salas explained that Leia wanted to expand her portfolio for her application to NEISD’s North East School of the Arts, and her goal was to experiment with a variety of media.
With two life-sized mannequins sitting in the corner of her classroom, Salas knew the answer.
“I suggested she design and create something out of recycled materials,” Salas said. “Now, because she loves to attempt to create at any opportunity, she was all for it.”
In the Facebook post, Leia stated she created the dress because she enjoys books and wanted to make something unique.
“I love reading, and I use it as a way to escape reality and live in my own magical world,” Leia said. “So, I think that by creating a project in real life, something that can be seen and touched, I think that, in a way, it was like I was bringing the book to life. It was also like nothing I’d ever done before, so I think that I really didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to create something like this.”
Since the “Harry Potter” dress, Leia has created two other pieces and is currently working on a disco ball painting, Salas said. A portion of her portfolio includes a self-portrait, a drawing of a horse and a 3D piece called “Not so Happy Meal.”
Salas said Leia wants to pursue a career in art “to continue working on her passion.” Whatever her path, Salas said Leia is “phenomenal,” humble and set up for success.
Leia said thanks to Salas, she has been able to flex her creativity.
“Being in this class has allowed me to grow and challenge myself, and I will be forever grateful that I had the chance to take it.”