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Enviro Fashion Show: Fashion with a Message

Victoria College’s annual Enviro Fashion Show took place at the Polish Combatant’s Hall last Friday the 13th, and was met with a small but supportive audience. The show, which was organized in just a few months time, featured outfits made by student designers. The clothes were put up for auction at the end of the evening. Her Campus was able to speak to a few of the brilliant models and minds behind the show.

“I’d say my favourite part of the show as an organizer is seeing the planning unfold — I remember the first meeting with Chris and Elena, and we were all so excited to brainstorm the theme of the show as well as recruit designers and models – that was the most rewarding part of the experience,” says Alice Zhu, VUSAC’s Sustainability Commissioner. “As for my favourite part as an audience member, seeing how well the concept of sustainability and high fashion can come together was truly inspirational for me. I think it is important to remember the impact that the fashion industry has on the environment, and to remind ourselves that we can each contribute to protecting the environment through the way we dress.”

The fashion show featured models of all different body types and provided a fun working environment for everyone involved. Model, Sharon Wang reveals: “my favourite part of the whole experience were the minutes that led to the actual show. All the models, designers, makeup artists, Chris, Elena, SaraLi, we’re all backstage getting finishing touches on models and dresses. We had a pep talk and everyone was anxious and anticipating start of the music music to begin the show. It was my first ever experience working a runway so I was really nervous. But after getting out there and doing it, and having people applaud was a feeling I can’t describe! The adrenaline I got from it was incredible.” 

Model Chelsea Spagnolo adds: “I actually attended the show in my first two years before deciding to get involved with it myself. I think it’s amazing to see the creativity and talent of Vic students be put to good use for a good cause. Like many other co-curricular activities, being involved in the fashion show is an opportunity to try something new and to get to know more students in the Vic community. I hadn’t known my designer before the event, but I was so impressed with her work and how considerate she was to ask us (her models) what we felt comfortable wearing, carefully selecting each piece and adding her own flare to it to turn it into something glamorous.”

The fashion show also offered an opportunity for students to show off what might have only been a hobby. “I loved how it allowed creative minds to practice and showcase their talents. We don’t have a fashion program at U of T but so many people are actually amazingly skilled at fashion design,” says model Elizabeth Ching.

However, the most important part of the show remains in its message. For model Sharon Wang, “the environmental fashion show is important because it raises awareness to environmental and sustainable issues. The clothing that the models wore were all either made from used material (mine was a bedsheet) or bought from thrift stores. They were then sold to raise money for Canopy Style, an organization for sustainability in the fashion industry.”

Photos by Jimmy Dieng

Linh Nguyen is a contributing writer and blogger at Her Campus, as well as a writer for the U of T student newspaper, The Varsity (thevarsity.ca/author/linhnguyen). She is a sophomore at the University of Toronto, studying Literature and Writing, and aspires to improve the world with words. Topics especially close to Linh's heart include body and sex positivity, love and relationships, and mental health. When she's not reading or writing, she can be found baking, singing musical soundtracks, or enjoying a nice tea latte.
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