Here's What College Fashion Week is Actually Like

Back in August, I made an impulsive decision to attend College Fashion Week after receiving an email from Campus Trendsetters. Sure, Boston was across the country and I’d essentially be taking a vacation in the middle of midterms, but there was no real reason I shouldn’t go. I knew I had a friend I could stay with in Salem, and I grew up wanting to be a fashion designer, so attending a fashion show of any kind was a dream come true.The HC merch booth at the entrance.

I had three full days in Boston to explore, but the main event was Saturday night. At the suggestion of a friend who was modeling in the show, I showed up about fifteen minutes before the doors opened. This gave me a sneak peek of the VIP hour, complete with snacks and exclusive products. Speaking of products, everyone who attended got a cute canvas tote filled with items provided by the show's sponsors. Additionally, there were plenty of times throughout the night that attendees could experience more things and find more goodies. My favorite experience was screenprinting put on by Primark, where you picked out a white t-shirt and after choosing from four designs, they made your shirt for you right then and there. In addition to fun interactive things like that, there were also photo ops like the Venmo confetti dome and a sparkly Primark wall. One of many, many selfies I took that evening.

Seating was limited for the runway show but the space made it easy to see what was happening regardless of where you were. I ended up being grateful that I came alone because I managed to snag a second-row seat towards the end of the runway that gave me a perfect view of the entire show. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better spot. A model from the grunge catwalk.

Three runway shows were put on: an athleisure style one, a 90's grunge one, and a monochromatic neutrals finale. Although all three were wonderful, the finale was by far the showstopper. Whereas the first two were smaller, the finale included every model and culminated in a visually pleasing and inspiring showcase. The styling on the third was my favorite: to the point where I literally went to Primark the next day to grab a couple of the items. One of the key elements of CFW is #TheRealRunway, which means that a variety of women were walking: something you'd never see in a high fashion show. The models looked like they were having a blast and the diversity was refreshing and empowering. It made me regret not applying to walk. A model from the neutrals catwalk.

Although the runway show was ostensibly the primary focus, the real highlights of the night were the moments outside of it. I got to meet some wonderful women from chapters all over. I spent the entire night feeling glamorous and cool and left with a bit of a high from the experience. Although I'm nowhere near Boston or New York, I'm already trying to figure out how to make it out for next year's show. And who knows: maybe I'll even walk on #TheRealRunway.

All images courtesy of the author.