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On the runway, innovation inspires fashion

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A highlight reel of Marist College’s 31st Annual Silver Needle Runway and Awards, held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Alex H. Wagner/Poughkeepsie Journal

From Saturn to Poughkeepsie, imagination and inspiration are driving the bold, daring, and innovative designs around which the Marist College Fashion Program revolves.

Something as simple as a button, a sleeve or a hood ascends far beyond any utilitarian function to become a focus, a sweeping statement. These are not simply clothes. This is fashion.

That was the message Friday at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, where the Marist College Fashion Program staged its 31st Silver Needle Runway & Awards.

MARIST COLLEGE: Striving for the Silver Needle, fashioning a career from fabric

SILVER NEEDLE: Fashion demands precision, affords creativity

With expressionless male and female models wearing their designs, senior Design majors on Friday marked the culmination of four years of study and geared up for careers in a highly-competitive industry.

“It sort of doesn’t feel real, because we’ve been working for four years to get to this place,” said senior Design major Aubrey Nardone of New Jersey.

Asked how it felt to see her collection showcased in public, she said, “It was surreal.”

Of the entire Silver Needle experience, she said, “It feels great. This is something we’ve looked forward to since we were underclassmen. I feel like it’s our big day.”

Between shows at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., more than 2,000 people were expected to attend the Silver Needle on Friday. Among those in the audience were representatives of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Macy’s.

“I was nervous at first,” Nardone said. But once the models appeared, she continued, “I felt excited.”

A ground-level runway looped through the audience. Large video screens displayed colors, patterns and images, all of which complemented the clothing. Music generated atmosphere.

All senior Design majors, following a juried process, showed their works on the runway and competed in the categories of Outstanding Senior Design Portfolio, Best Garment, Best Concept and Outstanding Senior Design Collection.

Select junior and sophomore Design majors also underwent a juried process to reach the runway. Everyone receives a grade.

“I thought it was fantastic,” said said Andrew Trotter of Washington D.C. “It was so professional.”

Trotter was at the Silver Needle to see a design crafted by his son, sophomore Design major Leander Trotter. That design was inspired by the stripes found on the planet Saturn and in its rings.

“When I was younger, I was lost in the stars,” Leander Trotter said. “During this semester, I tied that back in.”

Leander Trotter worked backstage during the Silver Needle, so he did not see his design hit the runway. He was excited nonetheless.

“I was backstage, in the trenches,” he said. “But I got plenty of news from up top and it was amazing. It was the first time having a piece in the show. It’s unreal, honestly.”

John W. Barry: jobarry@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4822, Twitter: @JohnBarryPoJo

By the Numbers

Marist College Fashion Program

443: Fashion majors

76: Design majors

16: seniors 

11: juniors 

20: sophomores 

29: freshmen 

367: Merchandising majors

84: seniors 

96: juniors 

97: sophomores 

90: freshmen 

155: Fashion Merchandising and/or Product Development minors

Did you Know:

Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior and Giorgio Armani are among the companies that have welcomed Marist College students as interns and hired them as employees.

In past years, everyone presenting their works at the Silver Needle got roughly 50 seconds to show off each garment.

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