By: Richard Joseph, Gazette Staff
Haute couture is strutting along the catwalk towards London with Vivify, the 16th annual fashion show from the Canadian Asian International Students’ Association.
The show, entirely organized by Western students, is the largest student-run charity fashion show in Canada. Attendance regularly exceeds 1,500 people from London as well as the surrounding universities of Queen's, Toronto and Waterloo.
The theme this year is "minimalistic, with a modern vibrant twist." Rochelle Menezes, public relations director for the show, says that it "revolves around three main characters and involves 'doll-like' imagery."
A range of clothing will be on display, from black-tie to lingerie and swimwear. Retail brands appearing include American Apparel, Banana Republic, Jean Machine and Mexx.
The fashion show also promotes local designers, like VC Collections and the Richmond Row boutique Leslie's Clothing, and even independent Canada-based designers including Stephanie Yiu and Mark Aguilar.
But showcasing clothing is only part of the experience — fashion shows are all about theatrics, and Vivify is no exception. The show is advertised as a high-energy production involving choreographed dancing and singing; past years have even included martial arts stunt teams.
Vivify is also a great way for students to get involved with local charity work.
"A fashion show is a great way to marry the skills many undergraduates have with doing good for the community," says Menezes. "At the show we have over 120 team members who contribute by doing choreography, music, graphics, styling, modelling, marketing and promoting — the show really brings these diverse skills together to support a good cause."
The money raised by the CAISA Fashion Show goes to the Children's Health Foundation. The show has donated over $170, 000 over the years to CHF, supporting a variety of causes including Epigenetic and Palliative Care Research, the Family Assistance Fund, the Child Life Fund and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
CAISA's Vivify will be showing at 7 p.m. this Saturday at Centennial Hall. General Admission is $30. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/caisafashionshow.