EMBRACE: a global styling fashion show

Madison Annen, left, and XinXin Nong lead the way down the walkway at the end of the “Embrace Fashion Show” on Nov. 16 at Madison College’s Truax Campus.

The second annual Madison College “Embrace Fashion Show” was a display of ethnic pride, memories of oppression and voices from the past with memories meant to shed light on our future.

With each piece displayed during the Nov. 16 show at the Truax Campus, individual student designers shared their take on a variety of global issues or celebrated global diversity.

Student designer and model Jordan Schober created wardrobe in memory of Germany’s legendary Deutsche Bank, which Schober describes as playing a huge part in modern economics.

Each sleeve of Schober’s outfit was a large Deutsche Mark. The bank has been described as being “too big to fail.” Schober asks, “Does all of this sound a bit familiar?”

Some designers, like Madison Annen and Bernice Ayite-Atayi, celebrated their personal heritage in their designs. Annen’s “Streetwear with a Flair” design was inspired by her lifestyle as a modern Latina woman. Ayite-Atayi’s “Miss Togo” flowing dress featured fabric from her home nation of Togo in West Africa.

Designer Andrea Win created two pieces that were inspired by the Myanmar culture, one even featured an umbrella called “Pathein Htee” and a bracelet and earrings made of jade from Kachin State in Myanmar.

Some designers created pieces to match their model’s cultural heritage. Sarina Kent created a piece that featured a kilt-style skirt in honor of model Abby Moodie’s Scottish heritage. Ashley Duncan designed an outfit to showcase the Hungarian heritage of model Leila Fletcher.

Duncan’s design incorporated images from Madison College’s STEM Center 3D printer that  were made to mimic the difficult designs of Hungarian Matyo embroidery. The printer’s work was used by other designers to depict imagery of people and 3-D Mayanmar map.

Designer Haley McKnight chose to focus on how people “treat each other as humans in society no matter their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.”

McKnight’s work was inspired by Instagram photographer, Brendan North. McKnight was inspired by North’s painted series which “uses words and phrases within life and society to capture the meanings of the words in a photo-shoot” according to McKnight.

McKnight’s model “choose negative and positive words…words like ‘no,’ ‘hell’ and ‘reject’ to illustrate how we tear each other down; and positive words, like ‘love,’ ‘equality’ and ‘beautiful’ to”…”uplift.”

Other issues this year’s Fashion Show designers chose to address a resistance to animal poaching, “dark secrets” amongst religious authorities, “clothing afterlife” and waste reduction.

The Embrace Fashion Show was a message to make use of thrift stores to personify looks that are can be bold, romantic, classic or urban. Thrift can also mean that quality is not sacrificed as one can hand pick 100 percent natural material without breaking the bank.

Overall, this year’s Embrace Fashion Show was all about spreading our own message and looking through the eyes of another person.