Halloween fashion show fractures your favorite fairytales

Syracuse Fall Fashion Week kicked off Halloween early with its annual Syracuse Snarl fashion show.

Neon lights flashed around a runway at the top of the curved staircase at the Landmark Theater on Thursday, Oct. 13. The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin, and… Donald Trump? Those were just some of the looks that strutted down at this year’s Syracuse Snarl fashion show.

Hosted by Syracuse Fall Fashion Week, the theme was “fractured fairytales.”

With mixed drinks in hand, the audience (some dressed in their own cat ears and zombie makeup) watched with puzzled enjoyment as they tried to figure out what story was being portrayed on the runway.

One of the audience members, Heather Vona, said the best part of the show was how they twisted the storylines of the classic pieces.

“At first you’re staring at it like ‘what fairytale is that?’” Vona said. “And then it pops in your head and you think, ‘wow, that was a great idea!’”

Sleeping Beauty’s prince was actually a princess. The Tin (Wo)man actually ripped out a guy’s heart, and Little Red Riding Hood became a tatted-up rapper.

Local musician Jess Novak portrayed Little Red from the hood.

“At first they wanted me to do breakdancing,” Novak said. “I actually did it in college so I was like, ‘yeah, okay I’ll brush it off,’ but when they showed me my outfit I said no way I can’t breakdance in this. It’s not happening.”

As the hairstylist was adding bright red streaks and cornrows to her hair, Novak came up with the idea to rap on stage instead. The rap verse she preformed was originally from TLC’s hit song “Waterfalls,” but she changed some words to incorporate the storyline of her fairytale.

“It was very last minute,” she said. “I asked my friend to beatbox earlier today and he said yes so it all came together.”

In addition to the models and audience members who enjoyed their night of offbeat fantastical fashions were the ladies working behind the scenes to create the looks.

Julianna Pastella, a freelance makeup artist and wardrobe stylist, has been doing makeup professionally for four years and has been on the hair and makeup team for Syracuse Fashion Week for three seasons.

“Snarl allows me to get into special effects makeup where I normally do not roam,” Pastella said. “It really just lets me run wild with my imagination.”

She also mentioned how they incorporated unicorn masks on stage to pull together more of an enchanted 90’s girl feel for the Boom Babies collection, a local vintage retailer located at 489 Westcott St.

The stylists and designers didn’t limit themselves to the framework of original Brothers Grimm storylines by any means–instead they interpreted everything in their own way.

“The makeup inspiration for this year's show for the Boom Babies models turned into a little bit of a Lisa Frank vibe,” Pastella said. “We knew we wanted a lot of glitter and the 90's era is so on trend right now, we just knew we had to do it.”

One of the models that Pastella helped transform into a storybook character was Keyanna Coleman who portrayed one of the evil stepsisters for Boom Babies. This was the second time Coleman participated in Snarl and she said she loves how close everyone gets throughout the Syracuse Fashion Week events.

“Everyone is like a family,” Coleman said. “We constantly bounce ideas off each other and it helps bring the show together when you all have a good connection.”

Pastella said coming from a styling background has made collaborating with many people feel natural for her.

“I work very closely with the Boom Babies creative team for the Snarl shows and I assist the hair and makeup coordinator, Shannon Fleming, when she needs an extra eye for her visions,” Pastella said.

From the weeks of planning and designing to the ticket scanning, glitter application, and peculiar runway performances, Syracuse Snarl demonstrated the intersections of fashion, theater, and community.

“The most memorable moment of Snarl was looking around the dressing room right before show time and seeing how incredible everyone looked,” Pastella said. “Everyone puts so much blood, sweat and tears into this show and it's over in a blink of an eye. It's those little gratifying moments that make it all worth it.”

Syracuse Snarl 2016


From tricks and treats to jingle bells

Syracuse Fall Fashion Week will be skipping Thanksgiving and heading straight from Halloween into Christmas as they end the season with a “Nightmare B4 Xmas” themed event. It will take place on November 12 at 7 p.m. at the Barnes Hiscock Mansion, 930 James St.

In addition to showcasing local designers, the event also gives recognition to this historic site. The mansion was built by George and Rebecca Barnes in 1853, and has since become an important part of Central New York’s history due to its role in Syracuse’s abolitionist movement, according to grbarnes.org.

The momentous venue is sure to set the tone for another funky yet fashionable event, except instead of shattered princess images, local designers will be displaying looks that blur the line between avant-garde and holiday glam.

This event is not just another runway show, there will be a five-course dinner prepared by five Central New York chefs. Each course will be paired with wine or beer.

Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite for $60 each. For more information visit syracusefashionweek.com.

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