Behind the Scenes Preparing for Silver Needle Runway

By Zoe Fernandes ‘24, Fashion Merchandising Senior & Former SNR Student
SNR38 Senior Directors Maddie Barone ’24, Aidan Donnelly ’24, Deniz Coskun ’24, Sarah Jacobs ’24, Ellie Thomas ’24, Rebecca DeFrancesco ’24, Archie Coueslant’ 24, Lily Malpass ’24, and Laura Kelton ’24 (left to right). Photo courtesy of Deniz Coskun ’24.

April 30, 2024 — The Silver Needle Runway show, one of the largest event productions presented each year on the Marist campus, transforms the McCann Arena into a fashion runway and closes out the academic year with a community-wide celebration.

As many wait in anticipation to see the phenomenal fashion garments designed by the senior fashion design students on Friday, it’s sometimes easy to overlook all that goes into the production. Behind it is a dedicated group of students who make it happen year after year.

A Big Team Effort

Produced entirely by students since 1984, the show has continued to heighten levels of expertise, professionalism, and creativity. All students work on SNR through the Fashion Show Production experiential course. This interdisciplinary course requires students to put in time outside the classroom in order for them to plan, promote, and create the fashion show while interacting with industry professionals and press.

The class is broken up into several teams. Each team is led by the senior directors, who produce the fashion show as their capstone project.

The Creative Team

The Creative team is tasked with creating the theme for the show and bringing it to life through various visual elements, including promotional videos, virtual fashion shows, and runway layouts. This year’s theme is titled, “INTERLINKED”, which is meant to challenge people to relinquish meticulous control over their lives and realize how similar all of us truly are.

Rebecca DeFrancesco '24 and Archie Coueslant '24 are the directors of this year’s creative team. They spearheaded the virtual fashion shoot and runway design.

“We worked with a local studio to film the virtual shoot. This was very exciting because it allowed me to experience what it would be like if I was working in the real world,” said Archie.

Image of creative team students planning the layout for SNR38.

Creative team students planning the layout for SNR38. Photo courtesy of Rebecca DeFrancesco '24.

“This year we are going for a technological experience for the runway, and it is different than anything we have done or seen before, so we really had to go out of the box with our research,” added Rebecca.

The Communications Team

The Communications team serves as the link between SNR and the outside world, tasked with extending SNR’s reach from the Marist community to industry professionals and beyond. Through blogs, podcasts, and social media posts, they utilize a multi-media approach to expand their audience.

Juggling these various projects are directors Deniz Coskun '24 and Sarah Jacobs '24, who ensure that their message is clear, concise, and enticing to all eyes and ears. Their main projects include interviewing the designers and ticketing all 2,000 guests on the day of show.

“Ticketing is a key component that takes a lot of planning for day of show to be a success,” said Sarah.

Image of communication team students filming the designer interviews

Communication team students filming the designer interviews. Photo courtesy of Deniz Coskun '24.

“With our theme being centered around connecting with people, I wanted to make sure that my team and I work with the designers as much as possible to ensure that their collections are accurately represented to our community,” said Deniz.

The Production and Logistics Teams

From creating schedules for the photoshoots to designing makeup looks and working with outside production companies, the Production and Logistics teams are busy with crucial tasks both before and during the show.

The directors Lily Malpass '24, Laura Kelton '24, and Ellie Thomas '24 are responsible for ensuring a smooth production process from start to finish for every big project in the class.

One of their biggest projects is model casting, as this year they had 240 models try out.

“I get to watch the models walk and it is always a pleasure to see how amazingly talented they are!” said Ellie.

“I really enjoyed model casting. It was my first casting so I was nervous, but the team worked well together and we had a great turnout,” said Laura.

Image of production and logistics team students hosting the student model casting.

Production and logistics team students hosting the student model casting. Photos courtesy of Gavin Gilooly '27.

On the day of the show, they lead the charge backstage, ensuring models arrive on time and handling hair, makeup, and dressing. The team is responsible for all designer garments, ensuring each model goes out in the right order at the right time.

“In production, there are often bumps in the road and we must remain calm and problem-solve,” added Lily. “It is imperative in this role to have professionalism, clear communication, and organizational skills.”

The Branding Team

The Branding team must maintain the overall SNR image and make sure there is a level of brand cohesion throughout all mediums in the class. They produce merchandise, events, community outreach, and digital media that all promote the SNR brand.

Maddie Barone '24 and Aidan Donnelly '24 are the directors of branding and responsible for maintaining brand consistency through all the teams projects.

The branding team has the responsibility of creating the SNR38 Lookbook with all the senior collections.

“It is a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience as this project is one that at its completion, is shared and enjoyed widely across the entire fashion program,” said Aidan.

Image of students and teachers at the SNR38 launch party.

Students and teachers at the SNR38 launch party. Photo courtesy of Maddie Barone '24.

The branding team produces multiple events throughout the semester to promote the SNR brand such as their launch party, networking event, and Fashion Fest. This was their first time hosting a launch party to unveil their annual theme at a local venue.

“Working with an external event space outside of the Marist community was something that I never had the opportunity to work on previously,” said Maddie. “So it presented a learning curve for the whole team and required meticulous planning and coordination.”

See all these students’ efforts come together at SNR38 on Friday. Purchase your tickets here.

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