BY NUHA ISLAM
On February 23rd, Cooper City High School’s Level Two Fashion Marketing class was finally able to unveil months of hard work in the form of the annual fashion show. Culminating in a stunning display, along with a festive pre-party, the hard work CCHS Fashion Academy Students put into the event was clear.
“Fashion Two’s biggest task is always the show, it’s a big reason why people join our class in the first place,” advisor Linda Snyder said. “Everyone loves to play a part in the creative process.”
This year’s theme was Fashion Has a Voice. The team wanted to represent each clothing category through the different genres of music.
“We ended up combining multiple ideas so the audience felt as if they were a part of it,” Fashion Academy student Diana Benmira said. “We really wanted the experience to be immersive.”
Each of the categories of clothes corresponded with a different genre of music; pop was preppy, rock represented grunge/streetwear, indie/boho was swimwear, and disco was prom wear.
The coordinator of this massive project was CCHS Sophomore Gabriella Horenstein. She oversaw all the practices, fittings, and financial negotiations, often staying at the school until 6 pm.
“I know I speak on behalf of everyone on the team when I say it was a challenge learning how to balance the fashion show and the rest of my life,” Horenstein said. “We had to learn to balance out our priorities.”
Preparations go way back to the start of the school year, with modeling tryouts on November 9th and 10th.
“I was in charge of getting clothes from vendors who are going to lend us clothes for the show,” merchandising committee chairperson Talia Slann said. “In return we advertise their company during the show. This years show has a lot more clothing from Cooper City students; F.D.T. [Fashion Design Team] is bigger and Lior White and Maurín de Santos are showing off their own lines.”
Fashion is a branch of CCHS D.E.C.A., a program that helps students explore career options. The other branches of D.E.C.A., Finance and Marketing, helped their sister subdivision.
“Marketing helped Fashion advertise around the school,” CCHS Sophomore Lucia Tsai said.“We created posters to hang in the bathrooms, and the giant display in from of the classroom.”
On the day of, the auditorium was abuzz with Fashion Academy students preparing for the show. Set designers constructed the stage, and the tech team checked sound. Every detail was refined with a fine-toothed comb, and the building was set in a limbo of tension made equal parts of excitement and nerves.
Quickly, the impending success of the show was clear; in A lunch alone, 300 pre-tickets were sold.
As day turned to night, the building slowly filled up – first backstage, then upfront.
Behind the scenes, hairdressers and makeup artists shared the small space with models, the hosts and academy students.
Roy Hen, Taylor Goldman and Jordan Lairson were all veteran hosts, returning for their second and third years.
“We’ve all done this before, we all know what we’re doing,” Hen said before the show. “I have confidence in each of us, [and] I’m ready to rock it.”
To tide over antsy guests, Academy students offered homemade cookies and lemonade outside. The first audience members started trickling in around 6:30. There they found seven raffles for gift baskets.
“I’m out here to watch my good friend, Cayla Sullivan, on the runway,” sophomore Jojo Hernandez said while waiting outside. “I feel like the fashion department is essential to growth and development because it lets students express their creativity in ways other activities can’t, plus the fashion show gives everyone something to look forward to.”
Lilia Flores, along with 11 family members, came to see her daughter Ashley Flores on stage. They brought balloons, flowers, and sign boards.
“We are [very] much excited to see her on stage,” Flores said. “I’m so proud of all of the work she’s put in.”
Upfront in the VIP section, the family of Lior White waited eagerly for his collection.
“Who knows, one day we might doing this in New York,” brother Oren Ayalon said. “He put a lot of work into making his vision a reality, to see it on stage is just remarkable.”
Directly prior to the start of the show, the raffles were drawn, with teachers, students, and siblings winning alike.
The hosts were introduced as Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, all hosts of The Voice previously.
After a short number from Kate Gualillo, singing the rock anthem Bad Reputation, the grunge lineup started. Ryan Caldwell came out to sing Count on Me, introducing the the business lineup. Then, they returned back on stage before the pop collection to sing a duet.
During pop, the Littlest Cowboys came to make a surprise show. They modeled the clothing and a special, handmade design by Saeryn Jones made its debut. Working with FDT, Jones created a custom look that rocked the runway.
But it wasn’t just daycare students who showed off their creations. The design team’s dresses got a special segment of their own, with each handmade garment taking its turn in the spotlight.
Next came the collections from CCHS students. De Santos’, titled Saints, was an artistically curated collection of jackets and bottoms. The hand drawn designs took on a sophisticated quality.
“I thrifted or borrowed most of the pieces from my friends,” said Maurin. “A big part of the artistic process for me was getting inspired.”
Sarah Megna modeled for the show, wearing one of Maurin’s pieces, a fitted denim skirt.
“It was so nice getting to wear a piece that had so much love going into it,” Megna said. “I felt like a walking piece of art.”
Lior White closed the show with the line Equipt Color/ Eye Play. Reminiscent of Yeezy Season, his line featured static models wearing solid colors. A giant projector screen was used to animate the custom designs, rolling grainy clips of models posing with poker faces acting generally cool.
“It was very fresh and unique, graphic and bold,” sophomore Alina Peraya said. “I’ve already seen people walking around with [Equipt Color] hats around school.”
“We were not expecting the show to be so good,” JCP Salon representative Juliana Guzman said. “We were truly blown away and will be looking forward to sponsoring the show again.”
For next year, it’s unclear whether or not the hugely successful Fashion Show will be held.
“Fashion Two classes run the show, and there is no Fashion One class right now to fill the vacuum next year,” Hen said. “Fashion Three is more about management, so we will see I guess.’’
“We really appreciate all the support from the school with Jamie Curran and the janitors and the maintenance, and all teacher and models,” Slann said. “It taught us a lot about teamwork, and cooperation.”