Poughkeepsie Fashion: Marist College’s Silver Needle Fashion Show and Awards Brings Style to Dutchess County

HV goes behind the scenes on the making of Poughkeepsie’s hottest fashion pageant



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In most competitions, participants typically “go for the gold.” But for Marist College’s fashion department, it’s all about silver. The annual Silver Needle Fashion Show and Awards — produced entirely by Marist students and faculty — showcases bold collections from senior designers, highlights merchandising capstone projects, and provides a sneak-peek into the portfolios of budding costumiers. And this time around, the argent hue is more meaningful than ever: This year marks the production’s 25th anniversary.

“We’re really celebrating the growth and innovation of the department, and the talent of our students,” says show co-director Chris Traina, a senior fashion merchandising student. “Our senior designers are really impeccable; they show great promise with their collections.”

Though each student in the fashion department — 423, to be exact — has an opportunity to present his or her work, only a handful are deemed “runway ready.” “It’s a very selective process,” Traina admits. “Everyone wants to be a part of it. But we have to pick the best for each show.” (Traina and his co-director, Kim Warren, themselves were hand-selected.)

As if producing the school’s double-pageant — in which designers compete for scholarships and are judged by industry professionals — wasn’t daunting enough, the students are responsible for coordinating all aspects of sponsorship and marketing. “It’s very pricey to put up an event like this,” he says, “so we’re thinking of every possible way to get our show out there.”

» Silver Needle Fashion Show 2011 review
» Silver Needle Fashion Show 2010 review
» Silver Needle Fashion Show 2009 review
» Silver Needle Fashion Show 2008 review
» Red Dress Project 2009 review
» Visit Marist College
» Visit the Mid-Hudson Civic Center

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