By Nicole Cortese
Lights — camera — fashion. On March 1, the Cavalla Room was transformed into a runway worthy of New York Fashion Week, fully equipped with colorful lights on long white curtains and a DJ, where models brought a fierce attitude while sporting the latest trends for the season.
The fashion show, sponsored by the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) and co-hosted by Kathy Wakile from The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Nick Barbati, assistant director of Campus Life,, brought a variety of scenes and dance routines to the catwalk. Naquasia Ramsey-Sheppard, junior psychology major and multicultural chair for SEC, organized the majority of the event and received a lot of positive feedback.
“I think the show went great,” Ramsey-Sheppard said. “I’ve heard so many great things about it. I wish I was able to see more of it, but I was backstage a lot. I am so proud of everything coming together after the many challenges we faced. Overall, it was so much fun and I could not have done it without SEC, the models, the choreographers and my right hand, Jakeera Minus-McKendrick.”
Throughout the evening, the models wore looks from eight scenes including: “Rider Inspired,” “Thrift Shop,” “Leather Trend,” “School Spirit,” “Spring,” “Print Perfections,” “Denim Delights,” “Creative Designers” and “Blackout.” In addition to these looks, there were three different dance numbers.
Minus-McKendrick, junior criminal justice major, played a double role in the production of the fashion show as a co-producer and a co-founder of the Creative Designers line worn by the models.
“We were being creative with painting and decided to try it on clothing; it came out really well so we stuck with it,” Minus-McKendrick said. “We are just trying to create items that others wouldn’t normally create, just having fun with our creativity.”
Ramsey-Sheppard and Minus-McKendrick worked together to pull off the looks and organize the dance routines.
“Overall, we meshed together our ideas, but she worked more with the models and thought it would be a great idea to add the routines,” Ramsey-Sheppard said.
With some training, all of the models were flawless on the runway and able to perfect their walks and poses. The fast-paced music engulfed the room with high energy for each walk and kept the crowd going.
“Jakeera’s friends, Chase and Louie, have had experience with modeling and would come in every week and work with the models teaching them poses, perfecting their walk and teaching them the routines,” Ramsey-Sheppard said.
According to Ramsey-Sheppard, everyone had to prepare in a short time frame.
“Looking back on the amount of time we had for practice, there wasn’t much,” Ramsey-Sheppard said. “We had a casting call last semester, right before winter break in December. We kept in touch with the models over the break, and when we came back, we only had four nights of practice.”
Wakile and Barbati co-hosted the show, introducing each scene before the models came out. Similar to previous Rider events, Wakile connected with the students that she interacted with during and after the show.
“The best part about having her there was the stuff you didn’t see on stage,” Barbati said. “Her interaction with the students was so warm and supportive. She was hugging the models as they came off the runway. She was a force of encouragement, which is something we really support at Rider.”
Wakile’s desserts were also the talk of the night, along with the fashion.
“I know my way around a cannoli, and Kathy knows how to make a great cannoli,” Barbati said. “I also got a chance to try the salted caramel pecan cheesecake, which was amazing.”
Since students are now aware of the fashion show, Barbati thinks this event has the potential to turn into a campus tradition.
“The best thing about SEC is that it’s from the students and for the students,” Barbati said. “If students want to bring this event back next year, it’s up to them. They can apply for SEC and decide whether they want to do it again.”
With more than 200 attendees, Ramsey-Sheppard hopes she can organize this event next year.
“I would love to do this event again,” she said. “I love when people have a great time, and I am so happy that I was able to produce a weekend event with such a great turnout. If I were to do it again, I would maybe add some performers in between the different scenes and hopefully have more people who would love to participate.”
Printed in the 3/5/14 edition