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Letters From Liz

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Dear Marist College Fashion Students,

Last Friday, May 2, I attended the 2008 Silver Needle Fashion Show at Poughkeepsie’s Mid-Hudson Civic Center. I would like to thank you for showing my colleague and I such a great time. We were both amazed by the originality and creativity of your designs, as well as the high standard of professionalism you displayed throughout the entire event. I truly enjoyed your show and admire the hard work you all put into this successful event — my colleague and I eagerly anticipate next year’s production. You are all well on your way to exciting careers in one of the most fascinating industries in the world. Cheers!

Sincerely Yours,

Valley Vogue

Dear Valley Vogue Readers,

In case you weren’t in attendance at either of the two Marist College Fashion Shows last week, and have no idea what I’m talking about, allow me to explain. The Fashion Department at Marist College puts together a fashion show every spring, displaying the original collections of design majors, which are judged by industry professionals from New York City (this year included Kenneth Nolan, a designer at Calvin Klein, and Andrea Praet, a trend consultant at Promostyl). Winners in categories such as “Outstanding Portfolio” and “Outstanding Business Plan” (for merchandising majors) receive scholarships provided by renowned U.S. fashion companies like Liz Claiborne. The show, with help from the department’s faculty, is produced entirely by students enrolled in the Fashion Show Production class, which is broken down into sections that correspond to different sectors of the industry, dealing with every facet of runway show production, from invitations to marketing to choreography.

As far as the designing goes, the students make their sketches at the beginning of the semester and present their portfolio to the faculty. Pieces are then chosen and created for the show, which seniors then use as their portfolio on job interviews. For seniors, the show is a culmination of four years’ experience and hard work.

I’ve never been to a student fashion show and was honestly surprised by the fact that college students were able to put together such high quality, original collections. The show began with the first-year collections, with the theme of “New Frontier.” Each freshman designed a Western/Cowboy–inspired outfit. Next up was “Art as Inspiration,” by the sophomores, which was very Medieval-esque, with a lot of very large collars, capes, and dark color combinations. I thought the following collections, the Tailored Sportswear by the second-year students and the Knitwear Collections were especially well designed. I liked the way they manipulated current trends but maintained a clear representation of their own styles. I also enjoyed the “Project Green” collection, designed by the juniors, which included only sustainable materials, like bamboo fabric. My favorites were the third-year students’ Sportswear Knits and the Senior Collections. For me, these had the most RTW appeal, were tailored nicely, and had a lot of creativity and imagination. And, of course, the most entertaining was the last collection, the Comedy/Tragedy by the seniors. These designs, whose inspirations came from the likes of “I Love Lucy” and “Janis Joplin’s Death,” were really over-the-top and very fun to watch.

It was a very seamless presentation, parallel to that of a professional runway show, complete with loud music, lights display, and large projection screens. And in case you’re wondering, no, none of the models fell. This is an excellent, fun, local event that I highly recommend. If you didn’t make it this year, definitely plan on getting tickets for next year’s show, which is bound to be even bigger and better. Make sure you take a look at some of my favorite looks from the show below.

Sincerely Yours,

Valley Vogue

 By Kristina Seeger, sophomore                       By Ashley Waudby, junior                              By Ellen Urbanowic, junior
                                                                                       Sportswear Knits                                              Sportswear Knits

                                    By Elizabeth Paesano, senior                                                         By Rachel Miller, senior
                                                                     Senior Collection                                                                         Senior Collection

                                                              By Meghan Donnelly, senior
                                                                                                                Senior Collection



                          Comedy/Tragedy Finale, senior designers                                                 By Rachel Schorno, senior
                                                                                                                                                    Special Garment, “Schizophrenia”

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