Silver Needle Runway 33 “Reflects” Future Potential
Leander Trotter entered the Marist Fashion Design program in 2015 without knowing how to sew.
“It was terribly hard freshman year. I was struggling the whole time,” Trotter said. Three years later, Trotter stunned Marist Fashion’s 33rd annual Silver Needle Runway Fashion Show, with his senior collection inspired by early 20th century Bengali and British campaign infantry wear in Southeast Asia, according to the SNR 33 program.
“I am completely shook,” Trotter said, who was awarded for both Outstanding Senior Design Collection and Outstanding Senior Design Portfolio. “I kept faith with the curriculum and my professors — and now I am here. I have survived and hopefully thrived.”
Trotter was one of 13 senior designers to debut their collections in Silver Needle Runway 33. The show took place at the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center in Poughkeepsie, formerly the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, on Fri. May 10 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
According to Juan-Manuel Olivera-Silvera, Silver Needle Runway director and member of the Fashion Program faculty, the “Reflection,” theme naturally aligned with the addition of the new Steel Plant building.
“I think 33 was different because it was associated with our move to the new building,” said Juan-Manuel, known as “JM” by students and faculty. “In terms of creativity, everybody was just buzzing.”
Joanna Mussachia was awarded Outstanding Concept, attributed to her inspiration of Japanese Construction Uniforms and other integrations of globalism into her senior collection, according to the program. Outstanding Garment was awarded to Alexa Wisnieski, for an intricately knitted, red top — one of the 5 knitwear garments in her collection.
SNR 33 also marked the release of Marist Fashion Magazine, FM/AM Volume Six, available on newsstands worldwide. The magazine has earned recognition globally, including the Gold Crown from the Columbia Student Press Association for the second year in a row.
The fashion show also recognized the 2019-2020 Fashion Scholars, including but not limited to the YMA, NRF and Fulbright Scholarships. Find the full list of awards below.
Dr. Lyn Lepre, Dean of the School of Communication and the Arts, made the introductory remarks — recognizing the recent passing of Senior Professional Lecturer and former Silver Needle Runway Director, Richard Kramer.
Dr. Lepre welcomed sponsors and special guests, including Italian fashion designer, Francesca Liberatore. She also thanked Director of the Marist College Fashion Program, Radley Cramer, who recently retired to pursue other opportunities abroad — thanking him for “his many years of service and tremendous impact on the Marist Fashion program.”
Senior Fashion Show Production Director Mackensi Considine then took the podium to pay tribute to Kramer — delivering a heartfelt anecdote of her time working with him in the Fashion Show Production class in 2015.
The lights went down to reveal a projection of Kramer — playing a black and white interview of him talking about his whirlwind of a career that preceded his time at Marist. He was pictured looking into the camera with a smile, reflecting on his experience with building up the Marist Fashion program. He said, “And they said, ‘Do you think you can direct a fashion show?’ I said, well I’ve been directing all my life.”
The video cut to black over audio of students’ voices uttering what fashion means to them. “Fashion should be completely universal, no labels and no gender.” Another voice said, “Fashion is an art that transcends social and economic status.”
The final student voice over said, “Fashion is a reflection of who we are and what we believe.”
“We wanted the students to have a voice, the voice of their generation,” Juan-Manuel said. “It was all about this reflection, external and internal, about where you want to go in the future and how you guys are going to be the leaders of the future. All of that for me was very exciting.”
Scholarships and Awards: Outstanding Senior Design Portfolio, Leander Trotter; Outstanding Concept, Joanna Mussachia; Outstanding Garment, Alexa Wisnieski; Outstanding Senior Design Collection, Leander Trotter; Cutty Sark Scholarship, Alexa Gillert; Kate Spade & Company Foundation, Kristina Ultimo; Mary Abdoo Scholarship, Dylan Broder; Fashion Faculty Award, Marla Dipoto; Junior Design Scholarship, Isabel Holden; Junior Merchandising Scholarship, Carolina Manco; Sophomore Design Scholarship, Veronica Klenk; Sophomore Merchandising Scholarship, Lea Sciancalepore; Mporium Scholarship, Rachel Steinberg and Julia Mazzella; YMA Scholarship, Madeline Dintino; Eva Block Memorial Scholarship, Madeline Dintino; 2019 Liz Claiborne Design Scholarship Award Finalist, Isabel Holden; NRF Next Generation Scholarship, Marissa Keegan; GAGE Foundation Scholarship, Peggy Chiang, Madysen Gabel, Raina Rosario and Kayla Torter; Threads Magazine Sewing Award, Sarah Rexford; NRF Rising Star Scholarship, Catherine Gambeski; Fulbright Scholarship, Teresa Cimino; Baccalaureate for Fashion Merchandising, Maria Stephens; Baccalaureate for Fashion Design, Peggy Chiang.