By Laura Azahar–
On Friday, Jan. 25, U of L dressed in couture to put on the 11th Annual International Fashion Show, IFS, presented by the Student Activities Board, SAB.
The Student Activities Center’s Multipurpose Room was transformed to a site only seen at New York Fashion Week. A white runway occupied half of the room with tables on the right and left sides. All tables were covered in black cloths with a flower submerged in a vase that changed colors throughout the night.
The fashion show was promoted around campus since the beginning of the spring semester. Advanced tickets sold for only $3, while entrance at the door cost $5. An affordable night out provided its audience with a choice of seat anywhere in the house on a first-come, first-serve basis. The show included performances of cultural dances, fashion designs by both students and local boutiques and food courtesy of Ramsi’s Cafe On the World.
The evening began before the doors opened at 7 p.m. Over 100 volunteers including SAB members, models, high school and U of L students were present an hour early. The performances and fashion finally began at 8 p.m. and went until 10 p.m. “I loved the fashion from the local boutiques, because I shop there already, and I loved the performances, and the food most definitely,” said Katie Benge, a sophomore nursing major at U of L who attended the event. Most of the evening went without a glitch; there were the occasional technical difficulties with the microphone, but nothing impaired the enthusiasm of the crowd. The music was an arrangement of top charters played by the locally-known DJ Prism.
The models on the runway engaged audience members with their respective culture’s dress. They were also charismatic and enjoyed themselves by striking their own signature pose at the end of the runway. The performers were not limited to student groups from U of L; there were also dance groups from the community — the African Dance Troupe and the Louisville Lion Dancers were among the few. IFS brought together a mixture of cultures. While not all cultures were represented, it was still an educational, fashionable and entertaining way to see the diverse community on and off campus. Jay Patel, a freshman biology major, commented on the variety of cultural representation.
“I liked the different kinds of clothing and culture that were represented at the fashion show,” he said. “These events are important so that people are more aware of their surroundings and of the different cultures around the world.”
The fashion show included performances this year in hopes of doing what Patel said opening the minds of people to experience new cultures. The crowd was energetic and responsive to the performers. When the Korean Student Association took the stage with their performance of Gangnam Style, some audience members even rose to their feet to join the dance.
Another performance by a student group was the Bhangra Dance, performed by the Indian Student Association. This performance was another lively and energetic dance, which got the attention of the audience when they saw U of L’s school colors; the men sported the Cardinal L on the back of their vests, but the school spirit did not end there. The show’s last models were some of the university’s international athletes from Canada, Spain, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil.
SAB’s diversity board members coordinated IFS with the help of their committee members. The two students in charge of curating the event were D’Ante J. Tinson, SAB Chair of Diversity, and Catherine Moster, SAB Vice Chair of Diversity, under the supervision of SAB Special Projects Coordinator, Stuart Neff.
The show was scheduled last year. It took over three months to plan and a week of setup. Moster, who was a first year coordinator said, “With it being such a huge event, and me going in not knowing or expecting anything, I think it’s going to make it better than last year. It really is a big commitment, but it’s the best commitment.”
On diversity, both Moster and Tinson were proud of their accomplishments at the end of the night. They said they were expecting to reach full capacity of 1,000 By the looks of it, with no empty seats and people sitting on the floor and standing by the doors, they had reached it. This was the largest audience participation since the first show in 2003, which took place in the Red Barn. Tinson said that this was because diversity was becoming more important on campus. “Fashion is a universal thing to me,” he said.
Friday evening was a night of talent, fashion and education. The evening was just as glamorous as the name of the show, “Beautiful by Design.” The next upcoming event by SAB Diversity is Step Africa on Feb. 7 in Comstock Hall at 7:30 p.m.
Photos: Jessica Knebel/The Louisville Cardinal