By Nicole Cortese
A runway, fashion and desserts will be in the spotlight on March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Cavalla Room when the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) will present its first fashion show, hosted by Kathy Wakile from The Real Housewives of New Jersey (RHONJ).
According to Nick Barbati, assistant director of Campus Life, this is a ticketed event that will be uplifting for mainly female students. During the student-based production, the models will show off a variety of looks that are fashionable for college students, including everyday wear, evening wear, casual and business attire.
“The SEC is constantly looking at new ways that we can appeal to the campus by creating fun and exciting events,” said Evan Gurman, junior accounting major and SEC president. “It is a new and exciting event for the campus to see, a different way to connect to the students and bring the community together as a whole.”
Naquasia Ramsey-Sheppard, junior psychology major and multicultural chair for SEC, thought that bringing a fashion show to campus was a unique event that students would enjoy.
“When I applied for the Student Entertainment Council I was asked what could I bring to SEC, and the first thing that came to my mind was to bring a fashion show to campus,” Ramsey-Sheppard said. “Before being appointed as multicultural chair I was thinking of a way to bring another form of entertainment to unite the Rider community.”
The decision to invite Wakile to host as a celebrity guest was a no-brainer, according to Barbati.
“The reason we ended up going with Kathy is she’s such a pleasure to work with,” Barbati said. “The students loved Kathy when she was here last year, and they really had a strong connection with her.”
Wakile has also had experience hosting other fashion shows with fellow RHONJ castmates.
“We knew we could trust her with the students and we knew she’d be a fantastic host,” Barbati said. “She’s hosted other fashion shows before, including the Posh fashion show.”
The Posh fashion show, not to be confused with the Posche fashion show seen on RHONJ, was held to raise funds for the National Brain Tumor Society in Garfield, N.J. in 2013. Wakile has previously supported this cause since it has personally affected her family.
“When she was at Rider, she found out we were having Relay for Life and wanted to be a part of it,” Barbati said. “Brain cancer is very dear to her because her daughter had a non-cancerous brain tumor years ago.”
The models auditioned for a spot to showcase what is in and what is out this season.
“There is a mixture of local designers, and the models will also be contributing to the different scenes,” Ramsey-Sheppard said. “There will be eight scenes — two of them are local designers and the rest are scenes the models are putting together themselves.”
Dominique Henderson, freshman dance major and model, is excited to participate in this event.
“Out of the eight scenes in the show, my favorite would have to be the opening scene,” Henderson said. “The choreography is something I’ve never done before. It’s fun, fierce and energetic. I love it.”
Gurman hopes the students will be impressed by the show.
“It is the first time the SEC has ever done a fashion show, and the first time Rider will see it at this scale of size because we will have professional lighting, a stage setup and DJ,” Gurman said. “Students are going to be interested in experiencing something new, different and fun. Any of the models that will be performing in the show will have support from their friends. Some of those models are in Greek Life so we will see a strong group from there.”
Following the production, there will be an after party at 9 p.m. at which students will have the opportunity to dance and be served some of Wakile’s delicious desserts. She has her own specialty dessert company, Dolci Della Dea, that produces an assortment of cheesecakes, cannolis and gluten-free items.
“We’re going to have Kathy’s cannolis and cheesecakes and really celebrate her because her new book is coming out in September and we want to gear up some excitement for that as well,” Barbati said.
SEC hopes that more people will be able to attend, since the event is happening on a weekend.
“I just hope, overall, students come out and have fun and enjoy themselves,” Ramsey-Sheppard said. “I chose a Saturday night hoping to give the student body a fun and exciting event to attend on a Saturday.”
Printed in the 2/26/14 edition