Fashion meets passion at CAISA's Vivify 2015

Models from CAISA's 2015 show Vivify perform.


High fashion meets dystopia with Paragon, the 18th annual fashion show from the Canadian Asian International Students’ Association.

The show is Canada’s largest student run charity fashion show with an expected 1,300 people attending and a 118-member team made up entirely of Western students. The show regularly attracts students from other universities such as McMaster, Queen's, Toronto and Waterloo.

The CAISA shows often have a narrative element throughout. This year’s theme follows “She,” the nameless main character and leader of the totalitarian state known as Paragon.

“As She furtively acclimatizes her citizens, one rebel sees through her deception,” says Serena Lam, public relations director for the show, “and takes the audience on a journey in saving the citizens of Paragon before it’s too late.”

The show features several clothing styles, ranging from casual and formal wear to swimwear and lingerie, and highlights several London based designers, including VC Selections, Jordan Stewart, and Elizabeth Noel, as well as online brands Knight and Grey suits and Lavish swimwear.

This is no ordinary fashion show, however, as each scene features distinct choreography that models have been perfecting over the course of the year. Dance and acrobatic performances from members of the Western community are also integrated into the show. 

Additionally, the event will feature a silent auction, with prizes from Aritzia, Umbra and the Toronto Raptors, and an after party held at the London Music Hall, sponsored by the Social Science Students’ Council.

Paragon’s primary commitment to fundraising is a great way for students to get involved in the local community while building strong, lasting friendships.

“CAISA Fashion Show has a hash tag, #1Team1Dream, which holds it’s meaning. The whole team become like a big family and we’ve met our best friends through the show,” says Lam. “It’s for a really great cause, since we're supporting the Children’s Health Foundation and have been for 15 years. It’s a great way to give back to the community, especially in London.”

Proceeds from the CAISA Fashion Show go to the Children’s Health Foundation. Over the past 15 years, the show has raised over $200,000 and hopes to donate $30,000 to their Personalized Medicine Research initiative this year, which will allow the department to begin ground breaking research on specialized treatments that many children desperately need.

CAISA’s Paragon will be held on Saturday, March 19 at Centennial Hall (550 Wellington Street). General admission is $30 (show + after party admission) and $50 for VIP (show + after party admission + reserved seating + gift bag). Doors open at 6 p.m. with the show beginning at 7 p.m. For more information, visit


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