Bayanihan student organization hosts 25th annual fashion show

Bayanihan+student+organization+hosts+25th+annual+fashion+show

Photo by Josh Meitz

The 1970s, known by some as a cultural turning point, represents moving forward for Marquette University’s Bayanihan Student Organization as they hosted their 25th annual fashion show, Saturday, Dec. 4 in the Alumni Memorial Union ballroom with the theme “That 70’s Fashion Show.”

BSO’s fashion show and dance showcase invited the audience for a night of fashion, dancing and culture through the Filipinx principles of unity and growth.

BSO is a Filipinx cultural organization at Marquette that works to promote, educate and celebrate Filipinx culture with over 50 members of Bayanihan, Marquette University and the greater Milwaukee community.

Bayanihan in Tagalog translates to “working together to achieve a common goal.”

“Bayanihan describes coming together for one common goal so I think that combines really well with Marquette’s value of cura personalis and the value of service that we have on this campus,” Gillianne Savella, a co-coordinator for BSO and a junior in the College of Engineering, said. “We recognize that we’re not just here for an education or a degree, we’re here to change the world for the better.”

Each year, the organization chooses a charity or non-profit to support through their fashion show fundraising.

This year, the event raised proceeds for FundLife International, a youth-led, non-profit organization based in the Philippines that works to provide innovative access to equitable education and dignified and safe opportunities to reach their full potential. Their mission includes providing COVID-19 relief packs, after school education programs and gender equality initiatives.

BSO’s fashion show is Marquette’s largest student-led fundraiser on campus, bringing together coordinators, dancers, models, sponsoring businesses and the audience to achieve their goal of giving back. The 25th annual show raised over $3,000 and all proceeds will be donated to FundLife International.

“The fashion show is super great because we interact not only with the immediate Marquette campus but also with local businesses,” Savella said.

BSO collaborated with a total of 12 businesses and organizations for this year’s show: Meat on the Street, Abakada, SereniTea, Jamba Juice, Milwaukee Home, Retique, Commodi Tees, Tangled, All Goods, Marquette Spirit Shop, Marquette Residence Hall Association and Marquette University Student Government.

Elyse Monma, a dancer for BSO and a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said BSO gave her a way to get involved on campus as a commuter student.

“It’s just a really amazing experience, especially if you’re not in tune with the community at Marquette, this is just a really great way to become integrated,” Monma said.

The silver anniversary fashion show featured four dance segments, including formal, modern and cultural styles, accompanied by modeling of 1970s inspired fashion. Each portion of the show incorporated distinct genres of clothing from more than 20 models, including 70’s casual, formal and cultural clothing styles.

The first segment featured several Bruno Mars songs, Shannyn Paguia, a choreographer for BSO and a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said she used Bruno Mars as inspiration.

“When I found out it was 70’s themed and I realized Bruno Mars had this 70’s sound to him, I went with a bunch of his songs for the show,” Paguia said.

The show also featured guest performances from Hype, Indian Student Association and Radiance as well as a silent auction.

“To be able to participate in such a large project knowing that I can change lives of not only people here but people in the Philippines, where I never really had that cultural connection before, it’s amazing to feel that I can have that impact and it’s super motivational for future endeavors, and that’s sort of what BSO is all about,” Savella said.

This story was written by Bailey Striepling. She can be reached at [email protected]