Boldly Me Fashion Show

Rae Ma

The Boldly Me Fashion Show was a student-led event focused on building gender inclusivity, survivor advocacy awareness, STI prevention and the promotion of healthy sexual relationships. The fashion show is the grand finale of the The Boldly Me week here at OSU. Throughout the week, events engaged student voices with various perspectives, healthy relationship workshops, and a fashion show hosted by DAMchic.

The Three Themes of the Boldly Me Fashion Show:

Healthy Communication: “The ability to express one’s needs, feelings, or desires in a positive and constructive way”

Healthy Sexuality: “An idea that someone is able to express their sexuality in a positive way, and feel confident within themselves and their personal sexuality”

Advocacy: “Going forth and putting education to work in daily life, promotion of a healthier lifestyle, and breaking down stigma”

The experience of being at the rehearsal of the show and the actual show was a whirlwind of excitement and emotion; I enjoyed every single minute of it. As I arrived around 4:00 PM for the rehearsal, a speaker was passionately sharing their story to the semi-empty MU ballroom. Even though it was just the practice run, I could sense that they meant every single word. The energy and passion everyone had was mesmerizing to see and have at the event. Not only were the speakers deeply into their speeches, but it was also clear of the zeals of the designers, the event staff, and the models. 

I gotta give props to the set up team who came out early at 8:00 AM on a Thursday and spend 9 hours setting up for this event.

Before the show, I managed to interview three of the designers whose work was featured in the show, and two of them won one or two awards at the end of the show. I wanted to know their reason for designing garments for this show and their concept behind it.

Anya Dod, one of the designers who won Best Representation of Theme and Best Construction, said “The style of my garments are bohemian. I was inspired by communication. Eva’s look is the layers of communication, and how people have lots of layers and they are all different. Michaela’s dress is about the messy side of communicating. Like if you know someone in a relationship, it’s part of being healthy and it’s messy. The look I’m wearing is about transparency in your relationship.”

(Anya’s Designs, Models from left to right: Eva Roberts, Michaela Breaux, Anya Dod)

The message in each of Anya’s garments were captured beautifully, and Anya and her models walked away with their two awards in style.

 Maddie Field, senior in apparel design who participated in the Red Dress Fashion Show and directed both the Red Dress Fashion Show and the Recycled Fashion Show, said, “the fashion shows at Oregon State are a super great way for students to get involved on campus. My design was the red dress with tulle overskirt.”

(Design: Maddison Field / Model: Emma Johnstone)

“I wanted it to be fun and flirty and something that would have a solid impact, but also come across commercially. I designed this dress for my friend.”

Levi Pitters, the street style editor of DAMchic, said, “I designed this white jacket which is fully made out of recycled white denim jeans. I love reworked denim. (I made it for the Take-Over photoshoot that is featured on the cover of the DAMchic winter edition 2016 magazine.)I love fashion, and shows, and I think it’s a great way to get all the students together and talk about things that they love.”

(Levi’s Design, Model: Tiger Hu)

“I wanted to turn an existing thing and turn it into something else. I took apart the white jeans and made it into a jacket. I made it for the Take-Over photoshoot. The photoshoot was a progression of stress and anger. A progression from a zen mind state to a total addiction. The piece represented the first part of the transition. It’s all white to represent the happiness.”

Levi’s design also won best overall garment in the show and will be featured in the next DAMchic issue. The construction of his design was very strong and the story of his design was interesting and powerful.

The other designer who won the other two awards, Creativity and WOW factor, was Hannah Norum. Her two designs were explicitly wild but impressive.


(Hannah’s Designs, Models from left to right: Elizabeth Ramirez and Munish Prakash)

As I didn’t get the chance to interview Hannah, the interpretation I have received of her designs is the expression of creativity. This show taught the audience about accepting yourself for who you are and I believe that Hannah was able to incorporate that message into her own designs.

The whole experience of the Boldly Me Fashion Show was overpowering and so loving at the same time. Each speaker had something to share about their own experience, whether it was accepting themselves or discussing what is a healthy sexual relationship and how to have one. It was very informative but the way the speakers delivered their messages were overarching magnificent and elegant.

In the end, we were told to love one another and accept our differences.  If we ever needed a safe place, it is amazing to hear that we have many here on campus.

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