Renee Pedigo plans to be on a Metro-North train heading to New York City Monday morning.

Her destination will be Macy’s and an 11 a.m. interview for a job as assistant designer for a clothing line for millennial women.

As Pedigo makes her way, the Illinois resident will likely be reflecting on the past four years she spent in the Town of Poughkeepsie, studying fashion design at Marist College.

With her portfolio in hand, Pedigo expects to be feeling, “a little nervous, but excited and confident, ready to show everything that I worked so hard for — excited to see what lies ahead.”

Pedigo is a senior in the Marist College Fashion Program. And she discussed her upcoming job interview Friday afternoon after the 3 p.m. edition of the 30th Silver Needle Runway and Awards show was held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie.

The Silver Needle Runway and Awards represents the culmination of four years of work for seniors in the Marist Fashion Program and it showcases the work of fashion design and merchandising majors.

Pedigo was one of 13 senior design majors whose apparel was showcased by models on a runway. The work of fashion merchandising majors who are seniors — there are 76 this year — was featured on screens.

And the stakes were high.

More than 2,000 people were expected to attend one of the two shows Friday.

And Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior and Giorgio Armani are among the companies that have welcomed Marist College students as interns and hired them as employees.

Radley Cramer, director of the Marist College Fashion Program, said a representative of Ralph Lauren spoke with a senior design major after the 3 p.m. show.

Asked about the seniors, Cramer said, “They have a bright future.”

Recorded music, lighting and models whose expressionless faces contrasted sharply with the dazzling designs they wore framed an event that seemed like it could have taken place in Milan, Paris or London.

Loud cheers emerged from the crowd throughout the 3 p.m. show.

And buttons, belts, cuffs and cloaks seemed to enter a new dimension, far beyond simple apparel, thanks to asymmetrical designs, texture and varying shades of single colors.

All senior design majors competed in the categories of Best Garment, Best Collection and Best Portfolio.

Select junior and sophomore design majors also underwent a juried process to reach the runway. And everyone received a grade.

The Marist College Fashion Program includes 68 design majors and 332 merchandising majors.

Asked how it felt to see her designs worn by a model on the runway, Pedigo said, “unreal — out of body almost.”

Pedigo’s mother flew to New York from Illinois and planned to attend the 7 p.m. show.

“I’m so proud of Renee and what’s she accomplished,” Kathy Pedigo said. “She’s going to go far.”

Students in Marist College’s fashion program talk about producing work for the Silver Needle Runway and Awards.
Alex H. Wagner/Poughkeepsie Journal

Four years ago, Taylor Harris came from her home in Hawaii to study fashion at Marist. On Friday, following the 3 p.m. Silver Needle show, the senior design major was in awe.

“I’m just overwhelmed with joy and excitement,” she said.

Following graduation, Harris plans on moving to Brooklyn and applying for jobs.

“I’m excited for the new chapter,” she said. “It’s a new and exciting part of my life that will be happening.”

As she pursues a job, Harris expects to incorporate what she learned at Marist into a fashion career. She said the professors at Marist have left her “industry ready.”

“They definitely molded me into the person I am today,” she said.

Marist College held its 30th Annual Silver Needle Runway and Awards at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.
Alex H. Wagner/Poughkeepsie Journal

John W. Barry: jobarry@poughkeepsiejournal.com, 845-437-4822, Twitter: @JohnBarryPoJo

On the Web

Visit www.poughkeepsiejournal.com to watch videos, view photos and read stories about the Marist College Fashion Program and Silver Needle Runway and Awards.