Junior tries hand at designing uniform for Phillies Ballgirls
Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 00:04
PHILADELPHIA — An unlikely union of couture and clubhouse inspired a university student to enter a contest to design an official outfit for the Philadelphia Phillies Ballgirls.
Junior Kelsey Pushkarewicz was one of 14 local designers who participated in the contest, which culminated in a runway fashion show at Macy's in Center City Thursday. Though Pushkarewicz did not win, she said she enjoyed the opportunity to design clothing different from her usual work.
Pushkarewicz, an apparel design major, said creating the outfit was a valuable experience.
"It's something that you don't do in class," Pushkarewicz said. "You don't do athletic wear."
Officials within the Phillies franchise selected Pushkarewicz to compete in the contest based on her portfolio, which she submitted after her aunt told her about the contest. During home games at Citizens Bank Park, the Ballgirls help field foul balls and wear jerseys similar to the ones worn by the players.
Michele DeVicaris, the manager of Phillies community and charity events, said the outfits were designed to be worn at charity events, which Ballgirls regularly attend outside of the ballpark.
"Since they do so much off the field, we wanted to give them something different," DeVicaris said.
She said the idea of the fashion show was to create a fun, interactive way to help determine the outfit's design.
Participants were judged on three categories: representation of the Phillies brand, practicality and creativity.
"We were looking [for something] that would incorporate some theme elements, so it gives them their own identity off the field," DeVicaris said.
Pushkarewicz's design included a polyester blend shirt and jacket, adorned with the Ballgirls and Phillies logos, and a nylon red skirt.
Pushkarewicz said before the contest, she was not familiar with designing athletic wear, and working with the new fabrics presented some difficulty.
She said she wanted the design to be something that was both practical and athletic. She felt that by using stretchy fabrics, she would be able to create a comfortable costume that would fit any of the Ballgirls.
Freshman Moira DiSandro, a new addition to the Ballgirls team, partnered with Pushkarewicz as the designer's model for the fashion show. She said the girls' proximity to one another at the university made the partnership easy.
DiSandro modeled Pushkarewicz's design in front of a large crowd of attendees, including several media personnel from local television channels.
She said she felt more stressed walking the catwalk than she does fielding grounders in front of the tens of thousands of Phillies fans who attend games.
"That was nerve-wracking, because I had to ham it up a little," DiSandro said.
Pushkarewicz also presented herself to the audience, and said she enjoyed getting the opportunity to be in front of the crowd. As a designer, she does not usually make it onto the runway.
"It was kinda cool," Pushkarewicz said. "I'm usually in the back behind the curtain."