By Isabelle Thompson and Lily Munsee
Novato High leadership students took charge earlier this month, to pull off one of the school’s most anticipated fundraisers: the fashion show. Despite the stressful preparation process and a few mishaps, the Old Gym was transformed into a glamorous runway that hosted a variety of students and parents for an unforgettable, around-the-world themed event. After years of NHS fashion shows dating back to 1989, this year’s marked Novato High’s final extravaganza due to the imbalance of work it takes to the amount of money raised.
With leadership teacher Stephanie Searle on maternity leave, seniors Luis Soriano and Veronica Arata took over the supervisory role in making the fashion show come together.
“A lot of what Luis and Veronica did, which was a lot of the behind the scenes stuff that nobody wants to do or deal with, calling the stores and getting the outfits...I do a lot of that, but I have nothing to do with it this year because I am enjoying my baby,” said Searle.
Another new surprise was that modeling was not exclusive to the junior and senior classes, but incorporated all classes into the show.
“We had a really small turnout of models last year so we decided to open it up to more classes,” said interim leadership teacher Jennifer Russell.
Models danced down the runway to various songs wearing luxurious clothes from Bay Area stores. Some of those stores included Anne’s Secret Hang Ups, A Closet Affair, T and B Sports, Hello Gorgeous, Clothes Fit, Athleta, Sundance, Lesley Evers, Bliss Bridal, Men’s Wearhouse, Accent’s, along with our very own NHS gear. The fashion show also debuted the designs of a talented student from Novato High, junior Mairead Addicks.
“I’ve been sewing since I was really young but I’ve never actually done a line of clothes that have gone together. I’ve never presented them on a runway of any sort, so I just took the opportunity and I’m really happy I did,” said Addicks.
From vintage classics, to athletic wear, to sparkling gowns, the fashion show had smooth transitions and rehearsed choreography to go with a unique selection of songs. The speakers blared songs such as “Glamorous” by Fergie, “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, “Fire Burning” by Sean Kingston, “Dancing Queen” by Abba, and capped off with “We’re all in this Together” from High School Musical.
The choreography to these songs was very entertaining. There were one-handed cartwheels, couples dancing, classic posing, and even a dance involving a cane and some very classy moves. Students kept the cameras busy. A crowd favorite was when the boys from Men’s Wearhouse were joined by the girls from Bliss Bridal in a partner dance.
“When the guys danced with the girls, that was definitely my favorite,” said sophomore and NHS swag performer, Brad Arata.
Students made modeling look fun and easy, but one of the models confessed that it takes a little work too.
“It was really exhausting. I’m a little tired, but it was great,” said senior model Sydney Gibbs, after the show.
Each model also had to be extremely careful with the clothing that was borrowed for the event because any damaged clothing would have to be paid for and replaced. Some of these outfits were over $400. Yet, the extreme prices also made it that much more fun to wear.
Although it is not one of the school’s most profitable fundraisers, this event is fun for both the models and the audience. Prior to the start of the show, family and friends sat around tables to eat a catered dinner provided by Forks and Fingers, which included jerk chicken, rice pilaf, a side salad, and a roll. In keeping with the night’s theme, each individual table was named after a country. Another one of the night’s activities was a silent auction, which highlighted Giants tickets and various basket packages that included tempting items such as restaurant certificates, movie passes, and candy.
“I know all the models had a lot of fun. The outfits were great and it sounded like the audience had fun too,” said senior Sarah Bailey.
The leadership class faced many obstacles in the process of bringing everything together and there were times when it seemed that the show would have to be canceled, but their hard work and determination led to a spectacular night.
When asked if she thought the show was a success, organizer Veronica Arata stated, “Yes, 100% yes. I was honestly worried that I wasn't doing it right or something and it turned out so much better than I could have imagined.”
It was a night of high fashion. While models were rocking the house at Novato High, schools including San Marin and Marin Catholic were holding similar events of their own. With Prom only a few months away the extra $8,705 will go to good use as the proceeds will be split between the junior and senior classes. Some seniors in the audience might have even gotten some inspiration as to what they might wear to the upcoming event.
Overall, the event seemed to be a huge success, as there was nothing but excitement and praise expressed from the participants, coordinators, and audience. Although many at Novato High will be sad to see this cherished tradition come to an end, the leadership class and all contributors can feel proud they created such a triumphant finale.