By Zichen Qian
Momoka Okamura ’20 from Japan arrived early at McCarthy Arts Center to help with the preparation of the second annual International Fashion Show on Valentines’ Day, Feb 14. Two hours later, she walked onto the stage in a long white dress from the Dominican Republic along with other student models featuring costumes from different cultures.
The room was packed with students and faculties. The International Fashion Show started off with an multicultural dance. Students modeled fashions from various countries around the world in the following sessions.
“The traditional Japanese outfit used in the show was brought from Japan,” Okamura said, describing the dark silk kimono with bright patterns that one of the models wore. “It represents the modesty and elegance of traditional Japanese culture. The show was organized to educate people about other cultures, and it is easier to achieve the goal by using a visual aspect.”
One of the students who helped to put up the show was Nabe Achinda ’18 from Congo. He said, “The aim of this show is to celebrate the diversity we have on campus, and we choose to do the show specifically on Valentines’ Day because we also want to praise the theme of love at the same time.”
Elaine Roman ’18 is the Vice-president of the the Diversity Coalition, which supported and held the Fashion show. “We are trying to include many cultures in the show and promoting diversity. All the money we get tonight are going to MOVE, we are rising money for the service trips,” she said. Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts (MOVE) are service trips that would go to places in and out of the US to help the locals.
The event ended with rapturous applause and cheering from the audience. Xiaowen Wu ’18 from China, rushed to the front row after the show. “I just want to see the clothes from a closer distance. Some of them are really beautiful,” Wu said. “I came with my Japanese friends, and they seem to like the show, too.”
Groups of about 30 students and faculty were chatting and examining different costumes closely even the show had already ended. Many students jumped onto the stage to take pictures of models in costumes from different cultures around the world.
“The highlight of the show tonight was definitely that students wore outfits different from their own countries. I deeply felt the multicultural fusion from it,” said Wu. “I only hope it could be longer.”