Barbie-inspired ‘Fashion in Toyland’ puts childhood memories on the runway through May 24

barbie and ken models

White Plains fashion show features SWBOCES students’ original designs 

As she peaked out from backstage, Teacher Carmen Galiano could see the bright lights illuminating the runway, which was flanked by toy decorations. She could also see colorful gowns and students confidently striking their best poses.

What she saw told her all she needed to know.

“Everything looked so good, but the audience’s faces said it all,” said Galiano, whose Fashion Design/Merchandising program staged the fashion show May 16 at the White Plains Public Library. “They were all smiling — and they were so proud.”

student in fashion showWhile the families were beaming, the students had plenty of pride in their creative designs, which were on display during the toy-themed “Fashion in Toyland” show. The theme was inspired by the film “Barbie,” which dominated the box office last summer. But Galiano encouraged the students to delve deeper, and they produced designs that were connected to a toy they shared a strong connection to as a child. While there were four different versions of Barbie (and one of Ken), there were also multiple Disney characters, Cookie Monster, Care Bears, G.I. Joe and more.

One student, Ian Orellana, designed a marionette puppet costume because he found the toy “creepy and cool.” Another, Francesca Shapiro, said her creation was inspired by the lead character in the children’s book series “Fancy Nancy,” whose aesthetic clicked with her as a child.

fashion in toyland runwayThe designers — 22 in all — have been working on the project since they visited New York City in December. They visited FAO Schwartz and Toys “R” Us for inspiration during the trip but many were simply inspired by warm childhood memories.

“That’s where it took on a life of its own,” Ms. Galiano said. “That’s when designers are inspired and do their best work — with something they love.”

The fashion show was produced with the aid of TV/Video Production, Sound Production, Cosmetology and Commercial Art students.

Several of the Fashion Design students’ creations are now on display — along with names and why the project was inspiring — outside the White Plains Public Library’s auditorium.