Dianah Stewart has an eye for fashion and skills that quickly wowed the judges in this year’s youth clothing competition. Stewart entered her prom dress – which she designed and sewed for her Senior Prom at South Johnston High School earlier this year.
Stewart’s fancy dress won first place, Best in Show and walked away with the Charlotte Wyatt Award for youth garments. The Wyatt Award is named after long-time supervisor of the clothing and quilts division, Charlotte Wyatt. After her death in 2008 the fair implemented the award to honor her memory.
The judges commented that Stewart’s dress was exquisite. She earned a perfect score in general appearance, design in relationship to fabric selection and workmanship for a total points score of 100.
“She is obviously a phenomenal talent,” said Carol Lynn, hostess in the Education Building at the N.C. State Fair. “The passion and skill level is incredible and I am in awe that she can do this.”
Stewart’s skill level is pretty remarkable, considering she has been sewing for only two years. Last year, she placed second in the youth sewing competition with another dress.
She does have a passion for what she does and currently attends Johnston Community College and is working towards an associate’s of art degree. Stewart recently staged her first fashion show with more than 50 pieces of clothing.
“I start with a vision and sketch it, design my own pattern, pick the fabric, sew the fine stitching and lay crystals on the trim,” said Stewart. “There are about 1,440 crystals on the trim of the dress. My confirmation that my design was well-liked was in the eyes of the public, my family and my teacher when they saw it on me.”
Stewart is originally from Uganda, Africa. She has been living in Four Oaks since 2014. She plans to continue to design and work on her fashion design.
This year fairgoers can admire Stewart’s dress on display in the Education Building, not too far away from the decorated cakes. “Dianah Stewart is a name we need to remember,” Lynn said. “It’s a name we will continue to hear in the fashion world.”