Skip to main content

Senior Fashion Show is a Night to Remember for All

During the third marking period, life as a senior tends to lull. The days start to blend together; classes begin to feel more and more stagnant; the never-ending burden of the dreaded senioritis takes full control. However, every year, there is one event that helps to liven the senior class: one event that, for just one night, brings everyone together in a way unlike any other.


The Senior Fashion Show.


A long-established, widely-anticipated, and understandably-iconic event, this year’s Senior Fashion Show took place on March 13, 2024 at Valley Regency in Clifton, New Jersey. An annual fundraiser intended to lower the cost of Senior Prom, senior students found great joy and amusement within the walls of Valley Regency regardless of whether they were a runway model or a volunteer. Over a hundred students in the senior class participated. 


The Senior Fashion Show is divided into two walks—Formal and Casual—with a Tricky Tray fundraiser in between. The Formal walk typically consists of formal attire, including gowns, tuxedos, heels, and the like. The Casual walk, on the other hand, tends to be the more fun part of the night, with students dressing according to themes or decades. Students had the opportunity to walk one or both walks with a slideshow of their photos as a baby, kindergartener, and senior photos off to the side. A professional photographer, Francesca Leite, was present to take photos of the runway models, as well as seniors Abby Rufino and Taylor Vasserhelt from the Photography Club.


Senior Rebecca Caporaso walked both the Formal and Casual walks and is a perfect example of someone who took the Casual walk to its fullest extent. She followed a theme and threw it back to a decade, dressing according to a 1950s Grease-esque theme with seniors Kaya Guven and Ilhan Ilhan. In the midst of all the excitement, she said, “This night has been so exhilarating, so fun. I love the scenery, I love the place, I love the building, I love everything about this. I love the atmosphere, and I love how supportive everyone is.”


Caporaso was especially supportive of her friends that night, as between walks, she took it upon herself to help take off-runway photos for the students. The reason?


“I really want people to see how beautiful they look tonight,” she said.


Starting at 12:30 PM, volunteer stylists from Salon Pazzazz, First Impressions Beauty Parlor, and The Mastered Mane were available to students free of charge for hair and makeup duties on a first come, first serve basis until 6:00 PM. Students received an early dinner at 4:45 PM, with the Formal models kicking off the show at around 7:00 PM; the Casual segment did not begin until 9:00 PM.


Though not all students walked the runway, the night was one of movement for all. Volunteers worked as photographers or stage crew, yet still found a sense of joy in the event as it gave them the opportunity to be involved within their comfortable limits. 


Senior Angelina Colarusso, who was part of the stage crew, discussed her reasons for volunteering: “I wanted to be a part of the show, but I didn't necessarily want to walk the runway and get all dressed up, so I figured I could do my best to help behind the scenes. [The night] has been very hectic, but calm at the same time. I’m having fun walking around, seeing everyone dressed up, and helping them. Hectic, though, because I’m running around everywhere, making sure everything’s in line.”


Planning the Senior Fashion Show was no easy feat. Every year, the event falls on the responsibility of the senior class’ PTO. This year, mothers Janice Fraser and Stephanie Ostrowski acted as the main event’s coordinators, with about 16 other parents organized into committees below them to help make the night run smoothly. These parents included Tricia DelGreco, Michele Bonassisa, Francesca Roselli, Jill Divilio, Mary Beth DePersio, Anamika Jain, Sherri Budinick, Kimberly Cariaga, Carmen Pizzano, Sandy French, Gia Green, Jennifer Albanese, Jennifer Sebastiano, Alexis Demetroulakos, Ambar Orr, and Angie Giella. Despite assistance from the senior class’ student council officers—such as seniors Cynthia DePersio, Gianna Pizzano, Erin Granelli, and Morgan Dolaghan—most of the responsibility fell onto them.


“For the Fashion Show, I sent a lot of Google forms,” said Fraser. “We had a lot to keep track of with making sure we had students signed up, parent permission, who was walking with whom, etc. Using Google Sheets was a lifesaver in keeping it all straight. . . It was definitely a team effort.”


Even with 18 total parents working together, there were still some difficulties that could not be avoided. “I had two major struggles; one was communication,” Fraser relayed. “Often, students or parents would not respond to emails to complete forms; sometimes I would send 5 emails and a couple text messages, and still not receive a response. The other was just with trying to keep the rules of participating in the show fair and people wanting exceptions made for them.”


As fun as the night always is, the Senior Fashion Show is, at its core, a fundraiser. For $90 a ticket, parents and guests were allowed to sit and watch the models whilst indulging in a dinner prepared for them by the venue. Daunting as this cost may seem, the proceeds from this fundraiser were directed towards the cost of the senior class’ Prom ticket. The official cost of the Prom ticket is set to be released after spring break, but seniors learned in a morning assembly that their current ticket cost range is from about $55 to $75.


“It’s the largest money-making event that a class has over its four-year span, so it strongly impacts the cost of a student’s Prom ticket,” Class of 2024 advisor Kevin Reilly said. 


The Senior Fashion Show was also the last senior fundraiser of the year. Rest assured, however, that it was just the beginning—of the end.


“[We’re] finally getting to the really fun part of the home stretch here,” Reilly continued. “We’ve got Raiderfest still coming up, which is a great school event. Prom will be the big event we’ve been working towards for years. [We’ll] have Yearbook Day, graduation rehearsals, and of course, [our] graduation ceremony followed by Project Graduation.”


 A #NutleyForNelson banner was available at the venue for students to sign in honor of senior Nelson Matos, who suffered and continues to undergo medical treatment for an undiagnosed congenital heart defect since the spring of 2023. A banner for senior Rocco DeLitta laid next to it as he was unable to participate in the event due to an abrupt medical emergency.

The Senior Fashion Show, in its entirety, was a night filled with joy, glamor, and unforgettable memories. It is an event that has been occurring for decades, and there is no doubt that it is an event that will continue for decades to come.

*Photos courtesy of Francesca Leite of Francesca Marie Photography.