By Jacqueline Kelly–
Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling while rich purple curtains provided a regal backdrop for the 14th annual International Fashion Show, Clash of the Fashion Empires.
The transformation of the SAC MPR may have seemed magical to viewers, but there was nothing magical about getting the stunning set up just right. SAB members had arrived the morning of the event in order to prepare.
Their hard work proved to be well worth it as tickets sold out. There were well over 800 students and community members in attendance and more than 100 student models. It was an evening full of music, food, dancing and, of course, fashion. The event is known and appreciated by many for its ability to incorporate an array of people and cultures. With heightened expectations each year, it’s always important to bring something new to the table.
“We brought new stores, new boutiques and new performances,” said Karen Udoh, chair of SAB’s diversity committee.
Among the newly included showcases was Peppermint Palm, a Lilly Pulitzer signature store. In typical Lilly fashion, the models wore bold, bright colors and prints. The incorporation of Peppermint Palm didn’t disappoint, as the clothing captivated the audience while Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” filled the room.
The show also featured local clothing lines, such as Taylor’d by U of L student Taylor Robinson. Robinson’s line focuses on men’s business attire. Models were dapper but not boring in suits that hit at the right places and bow ties.
IFS didn’t do away with all the fashion lines spectators have come to know and love, however. Shawntez Taylor’s line, Vintage Junkie, was featured again. The lines aesthetic harkens back to hit shows like “A Different World” and “The Cosby’s”. Models rocked the runway in chunky knits with cool prints. Even the music selection, a remix of SWV’s “Weak” and ODESZA’s “Say My Name,” followed suit with the line’s funky, vintage vibes.
Another familiar showcasing was Pink Door Boutique—a local women’s store that focuses on handmade, new and used pieces with styles ranging from the 1940s to the 1970s. This year, the boutique chose to showcase lots of midi skirts and dresses. The makeup was clean and timeless with simple face makeup and red lipsticks.
The show closed with a performance by Cardinal Bhangra that had viewers in complete awe, calling for the biggest round of applause of the night.
“We love to end the show with Bhangra because of their energy,” said Udoh.
With all the RSOs, boutiques, local clothing lines and variety of tunes, IFS remained true to its concept of diversity.
“I enjoyed how it wasn’t just people walking up and down, but people were performing, too,” said Mathias Duarte, a U of L junior and a first time attendee. “It’s definitely something I’d come back to next year.”
With an event that keeps getting bigger and better, it’s difficult to think of what next year’s IFS will hold.