According to organizers, the fashion show began as a high school event, but keeps on evolving. So much so the event had to be moved. It used to be held in the second-floor ballroom of 22 Main Street in Cooperstown.
Cooperstown graduates Jessica Haggerty-Denson and Phoenix Miller started the fashion show because it was something they were both passionate about. The event has since been handed down for peers to organize.
This will mark Wilcox’s third year directing the show and Breiten’s second. Both are seniors and will have to hand down the reins. They have called on Taylor Bayes (who is in Germany on Rotary exchange) and Aaron Idelson (who is the tech director this year) to take on the directing responsibilities.
The event has always been student-run, but last year the group became an official club at the school.
Wilcox said a lot of work goes into the show — with students starting on their designs as early as the first month of school and rehearsing for two or three hours every day after school weeks in advance of the final production.
Wilcox, a senior, began participating in the show as the youngest designer when she was in eighth-grade.
“I feel it would be really mean to deny eighth-graders from participating when I was given the amazing opportunity at that age,” she said.
Designers this year range from eighth to 12th grade, Wilcox said. Models can be of any age as long as they are committed and show up for practices, she added.
There really are no strict rules for participating as a designer; however, Wilcox said nobody is allowed to use purchased items.
“You cannot just go buy a t-shirt and spray paint it,” she said. “Everything must be handmade and must be school appropriate. Designers have to come up with their own models and music.”