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Transforming Fashion for a Better World: The F4C Soul Show at UWaterloo

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

Founded in 2010, the brilliant non-profit organization “Fashion for Change” is the largest student-run charity fashion show using artistic expression to impact the K-W region, bringing together students from the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Simply put, this close-knit community uses multiple art mediums to empower, inspire, and combat the pressures of every student’s isolating experiences.

Fortunately, a few members of the Her Campus team had the honor of being invited on March 25 to attend and cover their Annual Charity Fashion show, “Soul.” This show portrayed raw and vulnerable emotions ranging from anger to sadness and love through different choices of fashion, music, and dance choreographies. 

I didn’t know what to expect as I had never attended an F4C event. Yet, I immediately got pulled by the living environment that filled the event hall. The energetic cheers from the audience, the dynamic dance choreographies, and the unique fashion styles guaranteed an enjoyable event.

The brand story was well executed and appealed to the university’s demographic. You could easily understand and resonate with the intense emotion portrayed through each set. The designs were aesthetic and trendy, and as an audience member, I was amazed. The amount of effort and attention to detail put by the designers in each garment was extremely evident. There was so much diversity in the color palette, from pastels to flashy colors, and the fabric choices ranged from jeans to silk. 

While some pieces leaned more towards streetwear, notably Y2K styles, others were more classic, bold, and daring, depending on the targeted message. I especially liked the level of creativity and craftsmanship in the collection that portrayed the emotion of anger as it used different bold fabrics such as faux fur and faux leather. But the real star of this collection was the beige dress torn to pieces, creating a perfect silhouette for the girl wearing it. Other pieces that stuck with me were the lingerie designs conveying a different feeling ignited by love. For instance, the black chemise represented passionate love, the white piece expressed innocent and pure love, and the green baby doll represented flirtatious love. 

Moreover, the show’s presentation enhanced the designs’ overall impact. The lighting varied from very bright to dim according to the emotion portrayed. For instance, returning to the lingerie collection, the lighting turned pink, associated with love and femininity. The music also helped tremendously with trendy songs appealing to younger audiences. Notably, the songs played ranged from mainstream and popular on TikTok, like “Holy” by Sam Smith and “OMG” by New Jeans, to hip-hop classics like “Yeah” by Usher. This made the choreographies more fun and dynamic and energized the audience. 

One performance that resonated with me was the slow dance between the couple while the guy pulled away, leaving the girl longing for his love. The girl wore a classic black silk dress with a halter neck and ruching on the side that flowed elegantly as she moved. Strong but vulnerable, the dress perfectly reflected the girl’s character and brilliantly portrayed the spirit of the performance. The audience can sense the agony resulting from tragic love as the boy pushes her away while struggling with his emotions as he gets closer to her and gives her a rose. The performance was accompanied by slow, melancholy music, which deepened the performance’s emotional impact. The lighting was cold and blue, perfectly capturing the heart-wrenching feeling of the performance and added a layer of visual and emotional complexity. This combination left a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed it. 

As a sustainability and financial management student, I was impressed to see them feature a powerful performance reminding the audience of the importance of sustainability in fashion and our present world. The three designs showcased were unique, imaginative, and built with recycled materials to have a minimal environmental effect. An accompanying backdrop video helped emphasize the message of ending fast fashion as it presented visuals of environmental challenges such as deforestation, pollution, and climate change impacting various regions of the world. I highly appreciated the efforts of the designers to promote responsible and ethical fashion practices.

Overall, attending this fashion show was a special occasion I will never forget. It’s always empowering to see creative designers and producers use their abilities to spread a positive message and improve the world. With the popularity of this fashion show, it’s thrilling to see what the talented executive team’s effort of F4C will hold next.

Maryam Awad

Waterloo '27

Hey everyone! I am a sustainability and financial management student at the University of Waterloo with a passion for writing. I love going to the gym, hanging out with my friends and family, exploring new places, and traveling. I am very in touch with my Egyptian background and love sharing it with others. Notably, I love meeting new people from different backgrounds and learning about their cultures and different interests :)