Perpich News

Two Perpich Students Receive Honors in St. Catherine University’s 2022 Fashion Competition

December 16, 2022

Perpich Arts High School is home to two students who received honors in St. Catherine University’s 2022 Fashion Competition. Both Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts 2023) and Maeken Ploof (Music 2023) were named award winners! Catrielle received the best overall design recognition and Maeken received honors in the social justice category.

The annual virtual fashion competition, a design challenge open to all high school students, provides an opportunity to submit designs within the two categories of Sustainability and Social Justice. “The result was a stunning display of artistry, a thrilling look at innovation, and a deep dive into the important role fashion plays in our world,” said The Wheel, St. Catherine University’s official student news.

The winner for best overall design in the fall 2022 Virtual Fashion Competition was Catrielle Barnett (Visual Arts 2023). Catrielle’s entry was called Fire Starter. “The Fire Starter (match dress) was inspired by people who blazed trails in history, resulting in change. Matches gathered on the dress bodice were used to symbolize that collective action brings change,” said Catrielle. One of the competition judges said, “This design is just a stunner – it comes together in many different ways – physically, thematically, aesthetically, etc. Great work!” Congratulations, Catrielle!

According to The Wheel, “Catrielle Wynn Barnett, the overall first place winner, took the competition by storm with a hand-made dress that the designer burnt lace patterns into with matches and lighters, then hand-stitched over 600 burnt matches to.”

Catrielle is from Plymouth, MN and is the child of Catrina & Ray Barnett. She previously attended Minnesota Connections Academy in St. Paul, MN. In addition to attending Perpich, Catrielle is also a PSEO student at North Hennepin Community college.

The winner in the social justice category in the fall 2022 Virtual Fashion Competition was Maeken Ploof (Music 2023). According to The Wheel, “another stand-out is the winner of the Social Justice category. The designer upcycled an old wedding dress to bring a visual representation to the trans experience.”

“I used an upcycled wedding dress, tools, and random scraps to create this piece about being transgender,” said Maeken. “Who you are lies in the heart but not everyone agrees with who that is when it comes to being trans. The heart with incision scars represents the core of who you are. Yet if you [were] to pull one string it comes off. Under that heart is the restrictions (the corset) of the social standards or beliefs whether in fear to be themselves or so they do not get killed.” One of the competition judges said, “This is an important concept that needs to be shared with the world. It is always so inspiring to see fashion come from real-life experiences. I also like how you explained what each part of the garment is meant to represent. This truly brings us on the journey along with you.” Congratulations, Maeken!

Maeken is from St. Cloud, MN and is the child of Naomi Steffl. He previously attended Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.

The competition began three years ago during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to reach out to young artists. The competition yielded five winners: an overall first, second, and third place, and then a winner for each category of Sustainability and Social Justice.