By Eiman Zuberi —
The 16th annual International Fashion Show came, and it conquered. The Student Activities Board’s illustrious event was held Jan. 28, appropriately titled Bloom: The Awakening of Cultures.
“This theme was inspired by the changing seasons from winter to spring to tie into the ways in which we, as humans, from various cultures, are continuously growing in our commitment for a unified committee,” Diana Lalata, one evening’s emcees, said.
Joseph Holland, Cheyenne Richardson and the rest of the SAB Diversity Committee had visibly worked hard to bring the event to life.
“Planning the 2018 International Fashion Show was an absolute honor, and seeing the show live-in-action was a true delight. The night was amazing from start to finish,” Cheyenne Richardson, SAB Diversity Vice Chair said.
The usually subdued gym on the first floor of the Student Activities Center was transformed into a glowing room representing the four seasons. The decor featured a snow machine, blooming flowers and large snowflake balloons. The single runway shone in the center of the room, promising the fashion from around the world that so many people anticipated seeing.
The event sold out minutes after doors opened. While the gym seated 850, it quickly became a standing-room-only event.
“This year was the largest IFS we have ever had,” Joseph Holland, SAB Diversity Chair, said. “We had 150 more [guests] than our record high last year.”
Lalata and Jesse Bailey, the two emcees, proudly showed off their own fashions from sponsoring companies. This year’s runway looks were sponsored by Dillard’s, Peach Soul, Ayanna Boutique, TransCloset, Blush, Acesiki, SerV, francesca’s, The Peppermint Palm and Just Creations.
As always, RSOs from campus participated in the show, showing ethnic garments from their countries. Featured organizations included the Indian Student Association, the Muslim Student Association, the Vietnamese Student Association and the Nigerian Student Association. Students from Morocco, Somalia, Tanzania and Ethiopia were also presented as African fashions.
IFS had more than just fashion — live performances were also scattered throughout the two-hour event.
The opening act was by BourGeoiSie Modeling & Fashion Troupe. Other performances were by Cardinal Hip Hop, The Dazzling Cardettes, Cardinal Bhangra and Shades of Movement.
Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. also showed off their dances.
Finally, there were solo performances by U of L students Nala Kathleen, who sang “Colors of the Wind,” Delmar Pruitt, who entertained the audience with his own covers to popular songs and Leah Nelson, with a cover of “Feeling Good.”
“The soloist performances have really set the bar high for any solo performance in years to come,” Holland said.
Overall, this year’s fashion show was one of the most impressive yet.
“Every performance received monstrous applause, which is an honest reflection of the sensational talent added in this year’s show,” Holland said.
“I think this year’s IFS went extremely smoothly in multiple aspects. From the models, to preparation, and outfit changes and even the timing — there was honestly little to no chaos that occurred compared to some of the previous years,” overseer Ameenah Ikram said.
“Bloom brought the audience together to appreciate the beautiful diversity we have in Louisville,” Lalata said.
Photo by Arry Schofield / The Louisville Cardinal