The Lab Lights That Don’t Turn Off.

Poughkeepsie NY– If you are on the Marist Campus anytime during the day or night you can see people diligently working in the Donnelly Labs. This is true, whether it is  3:00 am or 3:00 pm,  any day of the week or weekend. Who are they and what could they  be doing that late at night into the early morning? These Marist students are fashion design majors, working on projects designing their own clothes. Marist College has a very elite fashion department that is very difficult to get accepted into. There are two sides of fashion: Merchandising and Design. Merchandising is more of the communication and business side of fashion, while design is the sketching and creation  and making the clothes come to life.

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Donnelly Fashion Lab at 1 am

While most students are enjoying themselves on weeknights, when they have finished their work at a reasonable time, these design majors find that their work is never done and are working hard in the lab to get everything complete on time. Gabrielle Amaturo, a Marist College Senior,  knows all about the long days and nights in the lab being a design major herself. She knew she always wanted to study fashion design since she was five years old and that is why she chose to attend Marist.

Amaturo described the fashion design process as “Dramatic, draining, time consuming, yet exhilarating at the same time.” These Design majors are working throughout the year on a projects to be used in the annual Silver Needle Runway show each spring. “Each year you spend a different amount of time on the runway garments depending on the project.

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A Look in the lab (Amaturo on left)

This major is extremely difficult, working around the clock- literally 24/7. My motivation is being proud of my final product. I guess as a senior now, I’ve been honored to experience 2 years prior to this where I worked my butt off and saw it pay off at the runway show, so that feeling is like a natural high.” Sam Cavallo a close friend of Amaturo said, “I give a lot of credit to Gab and the girls in the lab.

They literally spend their entire days and nights in there working very hard. All our friends always go to the runway show to support the girls and all the hardwork they put in throughout the semester and not to mention to see the amazing outfits they create.”

There are many different task and assignments that the designer needs to complete before the runway show.

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Amaturo Sketches

They first need to pick an inspiration for their line, creating sketches before making their designs come to life. They sew all their clothing together to perfectly fit their model for the show. Amaturo spoke about her inspirations from her junior year, “last year my junior collection was inspired by eastern european travellers, specifically looking at their culture, style of dance and expression within their concealed communities.”  Lauren Kurre a fashion merchandising major who is a director for the fashion show said, “I have a lot of friends who are design majors; i’ve helped with cutting material, sewing, basically anything I could do to give my assistance. These girls and guys, are very motivated and talented at what they do.” Amaturo also described the feeling at the fashion show, after the work is completed, “its unreal to see your creation come to life on a model in critiques or the runway. To see something that at first was a vision in your mind become tangible, move in real life and get a reaction from others – turn heads. The way a musician would feel when on stage seeing their fans sing along or dance to their music, it’s that personal connection that is created. I have a video that my friend took from the show last year of one of my looks coming out, all of the people turned their heads to follow her walking down the runway and their looks of excitement, interest, curiosity on their faces.

These fashion design majors have a lot of work to do and put in the long nights to achieve their goal of making an idea come to life. Take a look next time you walk by Donnelly, you will most definitely see some of these hardworking students in action creating what could potentially be the next big clothing line. Their clothes will be on display in the spring during this year Silver needle runway show at the Mid Hudson Civic Center.

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