The Evanston Dress, created by Colette Green. Photo by Rachel Loyd

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Evanston Township High School junior Colette Green decided to do something that she hoped would make Evanston proud, especially amidst all the violence among Evanston youth. Combining both her skills in dress construction and her love for the City, Ms. Green created an Evanston dress.

The construction of the dress took about two to three weeks, Ms. Green said, taking up the entirety of her spring break. The dress is made of muslin,
a plain cotton. Under the base of the dress, she put purple tulle, which, she explained, was inspired by Northwestern.

She sewed onto the dress items that represent things that are uniquely Evanston. Some organizations highlighted on her dress are ETHS, the McGaw YMCA, the Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, Evanston 150 and the local newspapers. This dress tells “what Evanston is about,” said Ms. Green.

Also on the dress are buttons of all different sizes and colors. “The buttons represent different age groups and communities in Evanston,” she said. One button, for example, represents the gay community, while another represents the African American community. This way, Ms. Green said, she made everyone a part of her Evanston dress.

On the tag of the dress, Ms. Green stiched the word Najah (pronounced Nah-jee), her middle name, which means success. “I think I would like to start my own business [when I grow up],” she said. “I want my label to be Najah.”

Ms. Green said she is actually working on getting the right tools to start her own fashion business when she gets out of high school. She is currently doing an internship with Banana Republic. She says she would like to become a fashion designer and a philanthropist some day. “I want to empower young women,” she said.

Her Evanston Dress now hangs in the office of Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, and Ms. Green said this dress could not have been made without a love for everything Evanston. “It represents everybody in Evanston,” she said. “It’s a piece of
work we can all remember.”