By Joseph Garcia —

All the stars in the constellation Cassiopeia, which represents beauty itself, were shining on the catwalk for the annual International Fashion Show.

This year’s theme was Luminance. The goal was to highlight culture through fashion.

“Why I’m so excited about this show is because it shows that when you come to the University of Louisville, the world comes to you,” President Neeli Bendapudi said in a prerecorded message.

Various U of L students, including the Dazzling Cardettes and Seoul-K, gave performances.

Celeste Menard, a sophomore marketing major and member of Seoul-K said how her group planned to highlight Korean Pop music along with hip-hop culture.

Many U of L student models also walked the runway wearing clothes sponsored from local boutiques.

“In the end we actually chose a large number of performers, more than in previous years. We made the decision to have a preshow because all these performers were very deserving to be on that stage,” Poonum Haldankar, Student Activities Board’s Diversity Chair and Director of this year’s show, said.

For most students, like sophomore bio-chemistry major Ben Xie, this was their first International Fashion Show, and the energy in the room was unlike anything they had seen before.

“[The International Fashion Show] really highlighted there is a lot of diversity at U of L. Walking around campus is one thing, but seeing an event that embodies the full magnitude of our diversity was great to see,” Xie said.

Putting on a show of this magnitude is difficult though.

It takes time and it requires more than one person to pull it all off. The theme and décor were decided late November 2018, which Haldankar said was late for usual planning.

“Planning something like this really does test every aspect of who you are especially if you are the chair and vice chair of the committee,” Haldanker said, “I feel like everyone who was behind the scenes has put as much heart into the show as I have.”

“Emmanuella [the Vice Diversity Chair] and I were just the ones connecting the dots we just facilitated the process. The passion came from the students, vendors, and the community and that is what ultimately led the show into its fruition.”

They sold all 854 tickets. They had to turn away 50 people.

Photo by David Mucker / The Louisville Cardinal