• HVA Student's Fashion Sense
    Shapes "Musical", Prom Dress

    Posted by Josh Flory on 4/5/2019
    Madison Ramsey coordinated the costumes for Hardin Valley Academy’s upcoming production of “High School Musical.” Her most ambitious project -- a prom dress she designed and crafted herself -- will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6, when she attends the HVA prom.
    Madison Ramsey coordinated the costumes for Hardin Valley Academy’s upcoming production of “High School Musical.” Her most ambitious project -- a prom dress she designed and crafted herself -- will be unveiled on Saturday, April 6, when she attends the HVA prom.

    Madison Ramsey’s love for fashion started early.

    The senior at Hardin Valley Academy got her first sewing machine before she turned 10, and took lessons from a sewing teacher while also designing clothes for her dolls and even for herself.

    “I looked at magazines and I would cut out my favorite dresses,” she recalled. “And I would keep my favorite Barbie dresses in a pile so that one day I could hopefully make a dress like the Barbie dress.”

    These days, Ramsey helps coordinate costumes for HVA’s theater productions, and at the school’s prom on Saturday she’ll unveil her most ambitious project so far -- a gown that she designed and sewed herself.

    Made of crepe fabric with tulle and lace, the lilac dress has been in the works since December, and Ramsey said she’s spent hundreds of hours working on it. While the stitchwork was tedious, she’s excited to show it off for her friends on Saturday evening.

    “This was my dream growing up, so it’s like a dream come true that I actually made it,” she said.

    (Editor’s note: A picture of the dress will be available next week on KCS social media channels.)

    Fashion isn’t just a hobby, though. In the fall, Ramsey will attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, in San Francisco, and she hopes to eventually start a fashion line with a philanthropic twist.

    Ramsey’s youngest sister, Favour, was adopted from Uganda, and the senior’s goal is to create a company that donates a portion of its profits to support fashion entrepreneurs in that country.

    “I’ve been there three times,” she said. “When you’re far off in a remote village, you just don’t have the opportunities to be able to start your own business or do what you love. And I want to go in and help the women and empower them so they can make their own money for their family and start their own business.”

    The prom dress is largely a side project, but fashion has also been part of Ramsey’s career at HVA, where she has coordinated costumes for the theater department. She is currently organizing costumes for the school’s production of “High School Musical,” which will run from April 26-28.

    Teresa Scoggins, the school’s musical theater co-director, said Ramsey is dependable and has a knack for pulling together costumes from thrift stores or the prop room.

    “She’s super-responsible and has an excellent eye for just getting fashion done,” Scoggins said.

    For her personal style, Ramsey favors a classic look. She always tries to incorporate pearls into her outfits, and two of her biggest influences are designer Kate Spade and actress Audrey Hepburn: “my fashion icon.”

    And while her fashion sense is long-standing, it doesn’t necessarily run in the family. Her mother, Diane, joked that “I can’t even sew a button on,” and said the rest of the family is “very, very casual.”

    “It’s just the way the Lord made her,” Diane Ramsey said.