By Lana Kazangian
NEW YORK—New York’s Fashion Week may have met its match. On Fri., March 1, the HMADS Alumni Association hosted “A Night of Fashion” at the swanky Leonard’s of Great Neck, N.Y. This first-of-its-kind event for HMADS was a benefit for the school, with a show of children’s and women’s fashions, a vendors’ expo, a Chinese auction, and a family-style dinner-dance all wrapped fashionably into one. The event drew out the fashion forward, including alumni and their parents, current students and their parents, teachers, friends, and community supporters. Most of all, it was a very chic pep rally for everyone’s favorite educational institution, the Holy Martyrs Armenian Day School (HMADS).
“Our alumni have always made us proud,” said HMADS’ school principal-icon Zarminé Boghosian, “but never so much as tonight.” She reflected on the unprompted desire of HMADS alumni to help give back to the school—a true sign of its lasting impression long after the elementary grades are done.
“We proudly wrap ourselves in your fabric as we flaunt down life’s fiercely competitive runway. You are the thread that runs through our needles. Every step we take is stitched with your color,” wrote the alumni in their message to the school.
The Fashion Show Committee, comprised of HMADS grads spanning 25 years, worked arduously over several months to pull the seams of the ambitious night together—and with uberific end results. “We were very pleased with the response to ‘A Night of Fashion,’” said event chair and Class of 1992 alumna Nicole Ryder. “We took a chance and were overwhelmed by the support of everyone who was eager to see this event materialize.”
The event, a huge success on the fun-o-meter and as a fundraiser, was the place to be seen. The Who’s Who of the local Armenian community—more than 300 people—showed up in Hye style to strike a pose.
Natalie Gabrelian (alumna ‘88), the evening’s emcee, opened the festivities and wrangled the rowdy to order. The show featured fashions from two Armenian-owned businesses, Flair Designer Boutique in Stony Brook and Petite Me Chic Children’s Online Boutique, modeled by HMADS alumni, students, and friends. Each style-savvy model put his/her best foot forward to model the outfits, ranging from the ultra-cute to the daring. Every child was a supermodel, even those who shed some tears (oh, the pressure!). The styles included classic threads for children, some with a vintage or hipster edge, and bold and stunning special-occasion gowns for women.
DJ Harry Latirofian delivered a mix perfect for the sashay from runway to dance floor: some “Gangnam Style,” just enough Taylor Swift, and the must-have “Chicken Dance,” topped with Armenian favorites like “Hye Em Yes,” Tata tunes, and “Habibi Ya Nour el Ain” to send everyone shimmying home.
HMADS is a 46-year old educational institution in Oakland Gardens, fully accredited by the New York State Department of Education, providing a regular school year for Nursery through 6th grade students (plus a once-a-week “Hye-Bardez” program for 2-3 years old). Its regimen is supplemented with daily lessons in Armenian language, history, music, and dance. At its seasoned age, the school is tried and true: HMADS has distinguished itself twice in recent years as the #1 private school in Queens. And let’s face it, #1 never goes out of style.