Syracuse Snarl Fashion

Syracuse Snarl brings horror movie characters to life on the runway

The Halloween spirit is in the air with Syracuse Fashion Week's third Snarl fashion show.

It’s not every day that a fashion show opens with little Danny Torrance wheeling down the runway on his iconic tricycle, only to be met by—you guessed it—those ghostly Grady twins and a most unsettling invitation to “come play.”

But this scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining did in fact unfold on a cobweb-covered catwalk in Syracuse’s historic Landmark Theatre on Saturday, for the third Syracuse Snarl fashion event.

The Snarl, which now comes each fall at the tail-end of Syracuse’s Fashion Week, began as a small, general celebration of local designers, boutiques and the macabre in December of 2012. Since then, Syracuse Fashion Week has livened up the event with a nine-member organizing committee and a revolving team of horror-crazy hair stylists and makeup artists.

Lisa Butler, executive director of Syracuse Fashion Week, said each Snarl gets bigger and better.

“This is our big kickoff to the Halloween season,” Butler said.

While last year’s Snarl cashed in on the zombie craze spurred by AMC’s The Walking Dead, this year the committee resolved to make runway models of the many icons of horror cinema.

From classic Universal Studios staples like Frankenstein, his bride and the Wolfman, to ‘80s slashers Michael, Freddy, Jason and Chucky, to modern favorites like Samara from The Ring, this year’s Snarl served as an illustrated history of horror—of course, with a healthy dose of couture.

Participating outfitters Boom Babies, Mr. Shop, A Dash of Dass, Tori’s ClosetNail Bang and Inspired Designs had the evening’s scary characters dressed in their finest vintage threads and lingerie. Fashion buzz words like “fierce” and “slay,” overheard in shouts from Saturday’s excited audience, felt overwhelmingly appropriate at the Snarl.

Syracuse Fashion Week’s hair and makeup coordinator, Shannon Fleming, said re-imagining everyone’s favorite ghouls and monsters as fashionistas was undoubtedly her team’s most creative endeavor all week long. With that creativity, Fleming noted, came a significant challenge.

“We are the designers,” Fleming said. “But you have to respect the film. It’s not a mockery.”

The stylist added that before creating each look, many artists revisited the corresponding movies to check for accuracy, which, while grueling, allowed for the majority of them to get into the Halloween spirit.

And spirited, too, were the models. Leila Dean, in a tribute to Tim Burton, walked as Lydia from Beetlejuice and shared a dance with Edward Scissorhands. She said this year’s Snarl was “incredible,” in that some of the evening’s looks actually opened her eyes to horror films she hasn’t yet seen.

“Now I’ve got to go write them down!” Dean exclaimed.

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