What about our clothes reveals who we are to the world? Any culture or era in history will be marked by a particular style of dresswear that makes it unique and recognizable to any outsider looking upon it. On Thursday evening, Boston College students gathered in a bright, spacious room in 2150 Commonwealth Ave. to watch their peers strut down the runway in a variety of outfits that ranged from mundane to exquisite, though entirely ordinary in the context of the culture from which they originated.
Entering the room, one was struck by a clamor of voices, laughter, and music from the likes of Kanye West and Cardi B. Blue Christmas lights ornamented the sleek white walls which proved a perfect setting for a fashion show of any kind. These same LED fixtures guided the impromptu runway, its simple delineation between model and spectator making for a relaxed and down-to-earth viewing experience. Free drinks, desserts, and a raffle for a Starbucks gift card contributed toward this participatory atmosphere.
Ines Maturana Sendoya, the director of the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center (BAIC), opened the night with a statement on the show’s purpose and some background. The show centered around the theme of “Being a Global Changemaker.” Each model brought their own interpretation of this theme to the runway, as they posed and waved to friends who came out to see them, or simply did a round tour and strode back somewhat indifferently. Inez explained that the fashion show was an important way to celebrate the cultures of the world. This celebratory aspect certainly shined through the laid-back interactions between the models and the viewers.
Cheering and applause erupted once the models started down the runway. The outfits ranged from household dresswear to extravagant compositions of floral patterns. One model flouted a long yellow dress that clung to her ankles, fit with a head wrap that was bright and cheerful, while another sported cat-themed leggings and pigtails. Though many of the attires represented cultures which BC students don’t necessarily see everyday, the runway was a place for everyone to express their own identity, rendering each fashion style equally valid. No outfit took precedent over another, just the manner in which the model demonstrated it.
Aneeb Sheikh, MCAS ’20 stole the spotlight with a checkered Palestinian headwear and long white thob which flashed around his ankles as he posed for the audience. Looking “To restore the rights of Palestinians,” said the night’s presenter Stephanie Jones, MCAS ’19, Sheikh and many other models came forward representing causes or messages of which their outfits were emblems.
Featured Image by Jake Catania