Fall fashion show makes it work

The Fall Fashion Show raises money for one charity every year. Photo courtesy of Bayanhian Student Organization.

Has anyone ever said you’d be perfect for TLC’s “What Not to Wear?”

If so, don’t despair — this Saturday, Marquette’s largest student-sponsored event, the Bayanihan Student Organization’s 14th Annual Fall Fashion Show: Fashion Forward, will offer some fashionable alternatives to your Mom jeans and fanny packs.

While Fashion Forward will feature traditional catwalk modeling, the action doesn’t stop there. The show also includes a series of ten dance segments, ranging from formal to hip-hop.

Steven Nguyen, a junior in the College of Engineering, will appear in the sportswear dance, which showcases apparel from the Marquette Spirit Shop, and a cultural segment called “Maglalatik,” an indigenous dance from the Philippines.

“I will be wearing coconuts on my body to make beats with them,” Nguyen said.

But it’s not all fun and games. Fashion show dancers practice rigorously every year to produce a polished performance.

“We usually try to meet up three to four times a week in two-hour sessions,” Nguyen said. “Since I’m in two segments, it’s doubled. Modern dancing has the highest (difficulty) and they meet almost every day with two- to four-hour sessions.”

Though the show is designed to entertain the Marquette student population and show off the latest in style trends, this is secondary to the actual reason for its creation — charity.

Every year, the Bayanihan Student Organization coordinators select a nonprofit organization to donate the proceeds of the fashion show to.

Last year, the fashion show raised $5,000 for the Wisconsin Humane Society, according to Asya Domingo, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, who will serve as an emcee and choreographer for the fashion show.

This year, the coordinators picked Our Next Generation – an after-school organization on 35th and Lisbon that provides tutoring for kids ranging from first grade to high school.

“It’s a good way to keep the kids off the streets and keep them motivated to stay in high school and eventually pursue college,” Domingo said. “80 cents of every dollar donated goes straight into programs for the kids.”

Proceeds donated to Our Next Generation will not only come from admission, which is $8 in advance and $9 at the door. A silent auction will be held at the show, and private donations are also welcome.

To increase the amount of funds that go toward the charity, local stores and boutiques lend their clothing pieces for the participants to model and dance in, which will include over a hundred students and a even few faculty members.

For readers scratching their heads and wondering if the Bayanihan Student Organization is somehow related to the Japanese hibachi bar downtown, you’ve got the right hemisphere, but the wrong ethnicity.

“Bayanihan” is a Filipino term used to convey a sense of communal unity, according to Nguyen.

Marquette’s Bayanihan Student Organization’s mission is “To promote, educate, and celebrate the Filipino culture with members of Bayanihan, Marquette and the greater Milwaukee community,” according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Domingo has been a member since the beginning of her freshman year after she discovered the organization at O-Fest.

“I didn’t really know anything about being Filipino and knew nothing about my culture,” Domingo said. “I joined to see what it’s all about, and now I love it and find out new things about my heritage.”

This year, Nguyen said, the fashion show will attract out-of-state spectators from other universities’ Filipino organizations, namely the University of Minnesota’s Philippine Student Organization and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Filipinos In Alliance.

The 14th Annual Fall Fashion Show will take place Saturday, Nov. 13 in the Alumni Memorial Union Grand Ballrooms. The show will begin at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are on sale in the lobby of the AMU for $8, or at the door for $9.