Identities Fashion Show Celebrates Diversity

Identities
Harvard undergraduates strut down the catwalk of the annual Identities fashion show on Saturday evening in the Northwest Labs. Identities is a student-produced show founded in 2006 to showcase international designers from Paris to Japan.

The annual Identities Fashion Show showcased high fashion and celebrated diverse identities on Saturday night.

Seventy-two student models strutted down the runway throughout the evening, sporting designs by fashion vendors from eight countries.

The hour and a half showdescribed on its website as “a celebration of the cultural and intellectual significance of fashion at Harvard”was produced by 20 students who spent an entire year working to iron out every detail.

Many students who worked on Identities said that the program offers a valuable look at a world that Harvard rarely sees.

“I feel that Harvard is so focused on creating doctors, lawyers, and bankers that there is not enough large-scale productions in the arts beyond theater at Harvard,” said Executive Producer Jack Pretto ’14 . “Fashion is actually on the minds of a lot more students than usually thought.”

According to Executive Producer Whitney T. Gao ’16, Identities sets itself apart from the other fashion shows at Harvard by its focus on high fashion.

“Whereas Eleganza is more performance-based, Identities is more similar to a traditional fashion show, like the fashion weeks at Paris, New York, and London,” Gao said.

Many models said they not only appreciated the traditional fashion show vibe, but also enjoyed how Identities brings together an eclectic group of people.

“I love the idea of a show that celebrates all kinds of body types and all kinds of people, and all kinds of crazy fashion. It brings creative energy to Harvard,” said Monet S. Clarke ’16.

Another model, Kunho Kim ’17, completed his catwalk in a wheelchair.

“I got to contribute to the production process, which was really fun,” Kim said. “The models felt like they made the show with the board, which makes it such a memorable experience.”

Identities debuted in 2006 and featured models wearing their own clothes or low-budget costumes from H&M, Pretto said. But this year Identities showcased haute couture garments designed by professionals from Paris, New York, and London.

Many designers whose works appeared in the show flew from overseas to attend the show.

“This is just as good as Paris, if not better,” said Holly Fowler, a London-based designer whose dresses were showcased during Identities.

Members of the audience also noted that they appreciated how the show attempted to bring Harvard students in touch with the fashion world.

“I really like the exposure to fashion that I otherwise would never see. The models are all doing a really great job,” said Bari C. Saltman ’14.

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