The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Elsie Cohen Sewing Up Her Senior Year

Front view of Elsie Cohen’s Senior project

Senior projects are underway, and Elsie Cohen is excited to bring her passion to life. Elsie has always had a strong love for fashion, and at Latin, she has been able to pursue that passion while helping others through the Latin4Lurie club.

Since the beginning of this year, Elsie knew she wanted to make her own Prom dress. “I didn’t know that it could be a senior project, but then I found out that I could get help from teachers,” Elsie said.

Because she was working with new materials, some aspects of the dress were hard to work through. “Ms. [Shannon] Kerrigan, my advisor for the project, has helped me a lot when I needed it,” she said. Having extra help made a huge difference for Elsie, especially since most of this process involves new techniques.

Learning to work with new material was a challenge, but completely worthwhile. “The hardest and the best part are the same: I’m learning so many new skills,” Elsie said. The silk material of the dress posed a challenge for her when trying to sew pieces together, but with Ms. Kerrigan’s assistance, it was a lot easier. “She talks me through techniques I already know when I am stuck and points me in the right direction.”

Ms. Kerrigan, an Upper School art teacher, said, “It has been incredibly rewarding for me as a teacher to see Elsie go through this process. I have worked with Elsie in Latin4Lurie for the past two years.” Over these two years, the two have gotten to know each other better, making this project that much more special. “This project is one of those moments that makes me realize how lucky I am to be a teacher and see Elsie do great things with her amazing talents.”

Because of their close relationship, Ms. Kerrigan has been able to give Elsie more direct feedback by knowing her strengths and weaknesses. “I learned that Elsie is a very driven worker. I now trust her to try new things without my step-by-step guidance,” Ms. Kerrigan said. By learning new concepts on her own, Elsie has struggled occasionally, but she has always persevered. Ms. Kerrigan said that “problem-solving is really important, and it is how you can best learn a technique.”

Another obstacle that came from making the dress is the time constraint. “I have worked about 30 hours so far on the dress, and I often stay late after school, too,” Elsie said. “It is motivating to see the dress come together.” Part of the reason why the dress takes so long to complete is because precision is important, and, as Ms. Kerrigan said, “It is [more] important to take things slow and do a good job than to rush it.”

To showcase her hard work and amazing talents, Elsie is having a showcase in US Gallery 2. There, you can see the evolution of her work and skills, so make sure to stop by before April 19 to admire her accomplishments.

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About the Contributor
Fabi Vallenilla
Fabi Vallenilla, Staff Writer
Fabiana Vallenilla (’27) is a freshman who is excited to be in The Forum. She hopes to grow as a writer and gain knowledge of journalism over the course of the next four years. Apart from writing, she enjoys playing field hockey, watching movies, playing guitar, and hanging out with her friends

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