It’s no coincidence that the stone walkway in the area between Mount Kisco Public Library and Village Hall became a catwalk early last Friday night.
There, more than 50 Fox Lane High School students from the fashion design school program were able to show their peers, parents and the community their creativity and talent honed in the classroom, with some of them for the past three years.
For the play, the students created about 70 clothing items. Many of them found volunteers at the school who would model their creations, while some of them flaunted themselves along the public square facing the runway.
“They’re learning how to use templates, they’re learning how to create patterns, and from the beginning we’ve been working on individual expression,” said Fox Lane art professor Lindsay Lappin-Burke of the program, which teaches all three levels. “So it’s not about creating a cookie cutter or anything; it’s really like your aesthetics, as you can put it. “
The weather that was perfect for this occasion and the music that was played while the models were circling the walk created a special atmosphere for students and spectators.
The idea for the show was planned by three high school interns, Olivia Lippolis, Bianca Giuliano-Thomas and James Antash, who were all part of the program and wanted to show what they and their classmates had achieved at school.
“I went to fashion classes and it was the best part of my school career. That was the best thing, “Lippolis said. “I loved people, I loved teachers and it’s like a community that really supports me, so not only have I learned to pursue fashion and technical skills, but it kind of gives you a better sense of the world.”
Not only did Lippolis, Guiliano-Thomas and Antash organize a fashion show, but they took an empty shop window from the main street in Mount Kisco and turned it into an art gallery this spring, Lappin-Burke said. During the last five weeks of the school year, four different types of art exhibitions were held, each with its own public reception.
Mount Kisco Arts Council President Lisa Abzun said the council and the village encouraged the fashion show as a way to bring together different parts of the community that are not usually interacting.
“If you have a child in school then you will know what is going on in schools. “If you don’t have a child at school, you won’t necessarily have any news about what’s going on,” Abzun said. “This is the perfect place.”
The fashion design program was launched in the 2019-20 school year. years after the Gerbino family from Mount Kisco made a donation to start the program, Lappin-Burke said. Their son graduated a year before the launch and headed to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Although music and sports programs have their supporters, the family concluded that there must be other students like their son who would benefit, she said.
Their belief turned out to be correct, but there was no college on Fox Lane that could run the program. Lappin-Burke said she pulled out a “short straw” to oversee the program and dive into the acceleration, including learning how to sew.
“I really studied with the kids, so it was a huge experience for me to refresh my career,” said Lapin-Burke, who has taught at Fox Lane for 14 years.
Best of all, the passion of the students helped them take the initiative to help create the foundation for the program, she said.
For Giuliano-Thomas, who has been part of the art program for the past three years and who will go to the Pratt Institute in the fall, this has helped her narrow down what she hopes for.
“So I feel that school has shaped me to learn what I wanted to do as a career and what I want to do for college, so I’m really happy,” Giuliano-Thomas said.