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MHS student thrilled by costume designing 
MONROE — Morgan Skoog, 16, has always loved costumes.
She’s into ballroom gowns, dance recital wear, yards of beautiful fabric and pattern-filled garments. The kind that makes a girl twirl in elation around the room for wearing something pretty.
Skoog channeled that love into a talent, and soon she’ll be making her mark at the national competition of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) in July.
 The costume she made is steampunk, which is a fashion genre that takes its cues from the Industrial Revolution’s big brass and steel era. Steampunk takes elements of science fiction and crosses it with the couture Victorian era; men wear vests and pocketwatches.
Skoog’s dress design and construction dives into these far-gone eras, such as a buffled skirt and jacket, an underbust corset with leather lining, clocks, skeleton keys and chains. The dress has a large brooch and ornate trimming such as peacock feathers and gems. 
The costume’s colors are rich chocolate, black and orange.
“I like clocks and gears and Industrial Revolution kind of stuff, and so I thought this was a representation of what I like,” Skoog said. “I kind of want to go into theatre costuming, so I figured I’d try my hand at it with this.”
It took her 127 hours to make it, she said. She used three different patterns, and had a lot of help from her “partner in crime,” mother Anne Skoog.
At the FCCLA competitions, students will be graded on not only their sewing and design skills, but also for their skills in presentation. There are eight categories that will be demonstrated through design and presentation from which their score will be based.
Skoog’s competed at a state FCCLA competition last year. She brought a 1956-style ballgown to last year’s event and took silver. This year she made it to nationals.
“It’s a professional setting, but you have to seem like you are really confident. I think that being confident and my piece really made a difference (last year).”
A lot of Skoog’s confidence could also stem from her first-hand experience in using her skills when in need.
When her dance squad costume top wasn’t going to arrive in time, she whipped one up from scratch.
With her passion for costuming, Skoog hopes to make it into a career.
“I figure that I’d better go into something where I can have more creativity and free range, than going into the fashion industry that’s got strict rules to follow and strict guidelines,” Skoog said. “With costuming and theatre, I could get the music that I love, the diversity that I like, and still have free range of making characters, which is what I want.”
Skoog was accepted early into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing in Los Angeles. Skoog said the first few years at FIDM will be spent studying fashion design, but after that she will concentrate on theatre costuming.
Come July, Skoog will travel to Texas with her steampunk costume to see if she can win big.
“I’ve never been to Texas, so I’m excited,” she said.

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