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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Struttin’ at the Third Annual ALANA Fashion Show

Colgate University

A large crowd of students, faculty, staff and family members gathered on the patio of the African, Latin American, Asian American and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center on Friday, Oct. 27. The center hosted its third annual Multicultural Fashion Show, showcasing a variety of identities. 

The scene was nothing short of spectacular, with vibrant colored lights following the beat of the music, spotlights illuminating the runway and big speakers delivering powerful beats. As “Show Me Love” by Robin S. pulsed through the speakers, the audience was transported from the ordinary world to a world of high fashion and cultural celebration.

In keeping with the theme of celebrating diversity, the show’s organizers integrated music as a medium for highlighting a variety of identities. Some of the runway walk songs included hits like “Rain on Me” by Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga and “PURE/HONEY” by Beyoncé, each providing a unique backdrop to the models’ performances.

The Multicultural Fashion Show unfolded over two captivating hours, offering a variety of entertainment to keep the audience engaged. The show featured four different fashion walks for students and staff to strut down and strike a few fierce poses. Each model had their own approach: some walked, some danced and some sported flags representing their identity. In addition to the runway presentations, the event included two soulful singing performances and two electrifying dance performances, all serving as a reminder of the talent present within the Colgate University community.

Among the highlights of the evening was junior Josh Docking’s memorable performance. Carrying a pumpkin on their head, they strikingly split it open with their hands, revealing their face – an act that left the audience awestruck.

Docking’s first walk was with senior Max Gardinier; the two were a power duo that took the audience by storm. For some of the models, this event has become an annual tradition. Gardinier reflected on their experience.

“I walked in the fashion show this year with my best friend Josh Docking,” Gardinier said. “This is our third year in a row walking together. Josh and I are [both] nonbinary and/or trans, so we use the show as a sort of excuse to more publicly embody that and feel good. We both love fashion, so that plays a big part as well.”

Gardinier brought bold outfits and an unapologetic attitude to the fashion show, and expressed their appreciation for the show and the ability to be a part of it.

“This show is put on by, in my opinion, the loveliest people on this campus, and I’m so grateful for its existence,” Gardinier said.

Senior Rose Nguyen shared her feelings about the event and explained a little about the cultural significance of her outfit. 

“I was wearing a long pink dress; it’s a traditional Vietnamese outfit,” Nguyen said. “We usually wear it for any holidays or any formal events […]. It’s supposed to show the elegance of the Vietnamese people.” 

Nguyen also noted that this year was not her first fashion show experience. 

“I did this last year,” Nguyen said. “It’s really fun, and I did it with friends.”

Junior Sabikun Orpita also commented on the re-contextualization of these traditional outfits, describing her outfit.  

“I’m from Bangladesh; this is a Sari,” Orpita said. “Typically married women wear this. I’m not married […], but today I am wearing one.”

The fashion show was preceded by a photoshoot with many of the models in the show and some who were not in the show. Senior Caroline Gaskin was not a model in the show but did participate in the photoshoot. At the end of the show, the host, senior Mariama Lemon, invited the audience to come up and walk the runway. Gaskin described that moment and the fashion show’s meaning to her.

“My friend pulled me up [on stage], and it was a truly flattering moment,” Gaskin said. “The community at Colgate is very welcoming and supportive of all individuals to share their culture and identity. I wore a Ghanaian dress from my father to represent my culture.”

This event had many volunteers and community support from those like senior Tingkuan Hsieh, drawing from the tight-knit connections fostered within the Colgate community.

“I’m not an official photographer, but I’m friends with [senior Elannah De La O], the person who’s coordinating this, so I’m just here to support and also to take pictures,” Hsieh said. 

Hsieh also shared that he enjoyed the fashion show and its set up.

“It’s really good – they pulled it off really well,” Hsieh said. “This is my first time, so I heard good things about it in the past, and [I was] excited.”

Lemon, the hilarious and energetic host of the show, guided the audience through this spectacular event. Her charisma and infectious joy added an extra layer of enchantment to an already magical atmosphere. Her unmatched presence made the Multicultural Fashion Show a night to remember.

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