Popular Competition The Masked Singer Inspires Sayville Fashion Design Art Class

Art Chairperson and Advanced Fashion Design teacher Deb Urso takes a cue from successful television show.

  • “Fashion is always about trends,” Deb Urso stated, “so I decided to develop a lesson for my Advanced Fashion Design students based upon a current trend. I was watching the show The Masked Singer and was amazed at their intricate costume design and intrigued by their subtle clues and challenging trivia. I then thought: why not incorporate that into my Costume Design Unit?”

    Acting in the role of “producer” of the hit Fox show, Urso “commissioned” the Advanced Fashion Design Students to create costumes for a “Season 2” of the show. (Having ended its first season, the Fox series actually has been renewed for a second season, and maybe the real producers of the Fox series might be interested in the Sayville students’ designs!)   Urso challenged her students “to come up with a celebrity and design a look for them to wear on stage while performing in the show.” Urso expected her students to “problem-solve ways to incorporate subtle clues into their designs that would be worn by their secret celebrity. The challenge was about creating a design incorporating symbolism, form and function. The students were so excited and worked to keep their celebrities a secret even some from me!”

    For this real-world simulation project, the Fashion Students figuratively walked in the shoes of a Costume Designer. “They researched their celebrities,” Urso said, “and as all artists do, learned about symbolism and how it is used within a piece to create meaning. They thought about how print, color, and texture also communicate meaning and problem-solved how form and function work hand in hand in design.”  

    The students created looks for a variety of celebrities. Among the fascinating fashion designs were finalists:  Alex Pettari’s The Star for Helena Bonham Carter, Ava Herrera’s The Snake for Britney Spears, Maria Buffardi’s The Caterpillar for Hayden Christensen, and Deanna McNally’s The Unicorn for Miley Cyrus.

    Four “Celebrity Judges” from the high school—science teacher Ms. Stoll DePompeo, Math Chair Mr. Brown, Assistant Principal Ms. Makris, and English teacher Ms. Perlin—were invited to  review the designs of the contenders, to ponder the verbal clues, and to guess the identity of each masked singer. If the panel guessed the secret celebrity, that student faced elimination from the competition, if not, the fashion-design student survived another round to give another clue.  

    Determining the winner was no easy task, as everyone who worked on The Masked Singer Costume Design project showed great creativity and imagination, but the final decision and special congratulates go to Maria Buffardi for winning with her Caterpillar design

     “This project was another great example of how Art is everywhere around us,” Urso declared with delight at the success of the assignment. “The creative mind is so essential in today’s society and influencing trends. Stay tuned for Sayville Advanced Fashion-Design’s Season 3 next year!”


  • Maria Buffardi’s The Caterpillar for Hayden Christensen

Panel of Judges
Examining the designs
Discussing the clues
 Contestant answers questions
Alex Pettari’s The Star for Helena Bonham Carter
Ava Herrera’s The Snake for Britney Spears
and Deanna McNally’s The Unicorn for Miley Cyrus