Culture Jam fashion show boasts global style

By Kalyn Dunkins

Staff Writer

Students and staff gathered in the Roost to see the annual “Beauty, Race, and Culture” fashion show. The Roost transformed for the show on April 3, decked out with lights, banners, and even a red carpet for the models to strut across.

The Roost was packed with spectators awaiting the eclectic styles crafted by Juan Bernabe ‘17 from Lawrence, Mass., along with his crew of dedicated workers.

“Producing the fashion show was definitely a challenge,” Bernabe said. “I’ve been a part of other fashion shows but I’ve never on my own completely directed and thought out everything about a single fashion show. I had enough experience and knowledge to make it work, though.”

The show consisted of 22 models that showed off styles inspired by the Muslim Student Association and the Multicultural Awareness of Ethnicity and Tolerance Institute.

There were also runway lines that represented personal characteristics of each individual model, and a line Juan himself helped design, representing countries and cultures all around the world, including Mexico, Japan, Argentina, India, and the Dominican Republic.

“It was a lot of time commitment but in the end it was worth it,” said model Maria Aybar ‘17 of Lawrence, Mass.

“I felt like it was going to be hard, but with the support that we had for each other and the support from the community, we achieved our goal. It was a really fun experience that I am hoping to do again,” Aybar said.

From the model walks to the haute couture, the audience was captivated by all aspects, the rounds of nonstop applause.

“My experience in the fashion show was really interesting, especially since it was my first time,” said model Elijah Smoot ‘17 from Elk Grove, Calif. “It brought out a lot of confidence in me and I just enjoyed all of it.”

“Juan was doing auditions and I wanted to do it because I wanted to try something new and fun,” said model Cathy Lagunas ‘17 of Chicago, Ill.

Lagunas accounts the memorable experience of modeling in the fashion show: “We met every Saturday since November for about two hours practicing everything from walking to facial expressions, and things like that. I never thought I’d feel the way I felt that day—it’s unexplainable. It’s really cool to have all the attention and the audience staring at and cheering for you.”

“I am definitely proud of the turnout. The show came out exactly how I planned for it to—everything was excellent,” Bernabe said. “I am doing it again next year so that should be fun.”