February 17, 2013 • 10:17:48 p.m.

D-C grad debuts fashion show before leaving for Marines

By JAMI KUNZER jkunzer@shawmedia.com

Jade Judd notices a rip in a skirt as she ties it onto a mannequin. With her first fashion show the next day, Judd still had a lot of finishing touches to make. The fashion show will take place at Metro during Nocturna, a monthly alternative dance night, where she will present her "Wyzzards Kiss: a Showcase of Heaven-to-Toe Fantasy Costumes." (Monica Maschak - mmaschak@shawmedia.com)

A recent fashion show in Chicago allowed 19-year-old Jade Judd to express the artist inside of her.

Now it’s time for her to focus on a new chapter – becoming a U.S. Marine.

“I can protect the world and make it prettier,” she said.

A 2011 graduate of Dundee-Crown High School, Judd designed and created her own fashion line. Her “Heaven-To-Toe Fantasy Costumes” were part of a show Friday at Metro in Chicago.

The show, “Nocturna,” is an alternative dance night held once a month in Chicago, which also occasionally features a fashion show.

Under the stage name Jade Wyzzard, she displayed 10 different outfits, including her own – all featuring unique, elaborate styles only she can really describe.

“And they’re everywhere,” she said as she pointed out her creations in her Sleepy Hollow home days before the show.

They’ve taken over the upstairs, her “office” filled with a sewing machine, Serger, glue gun, jewelry, fabric, all sorts of materials and her pet Blue-tongued Skink lizard Gene Wilder.

“I have a mermaid, a fairy, an evil witch,” she said. “It’s very imaginative, beautiful, goddess-like, glamorous and feminine.”

She held up a flowing dress with pink and white ruffles, her Rococo Cake dress, inspired by the 18th century Rococo artistic movement and style of lavishness and elaborate ornamentation. And named “Cake,” because, “It kind of reminds me of a cake,” she said pointing to the dress’s fluffy bottom layers.

She makes outfits simply by designing what she likes, inspired by historic artists and works, such as “Medee,” an 1898 painting by Czech artist Alphonse Mucha.

“I’m not sure what kind of person would want to war that out, but I probably would,” she said of her creations.

Artistic from a young age, Judd learned to sew as a child. She draws, paints, sculpts, does pretty much anything and everything creative, including building and painting a doll.

After high school, she pursued an interest in fashion design at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, but the college didn’t really work out for Judd both for personal and financial reasons.

So she found herself walking into a Marine Corp recruiting office.

“It just kind of clicked,” she said.

“Being an artist, I have an adventurous spirit, which has lead me to this milestone,” she said. “I know a lot of people wouldn’t have thought that the Marines is something I’d do. ... I really want to work for my school. I want to do something honorable. If I’m going to be an artist, I can serve my country.”

She heads March 18 to Paris Island, N.C., for boot camp and basic training, with plans to eventually become a cook for the U.S. Marine Corp.

It’s a decision that both surprised and pleased her father, Jeff Judd of Algonquin. He knows she could be put in harm’s way, but as a Christian, he said he also knows God is taking care of her.

“It’s probably one of the proudest things a person could do,” he said. “It’s interesting because she has these amazing artistic abilities and she wants to be independent. ... God bless her. Instead of just wasting a ton of dough trying to figure it out, she chose a path to give her a sense of independence.

“What a beautiful sentiment.”

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