Runway Warriors: RISE

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Bwog sent Arts Editor Sarah Kinney and newly-appointed Bwog photographer (!!!) Aliya Schneider to cover Alpha Chi Omega’s Runway Warriors fashion show. They saw some cool fashion and got some cool photos. Yeah, you heard that right. Bwog is no longer just posting shitty iPhone photos anymore. Read on to get a glimpse at our new artistic prowess (and to read about the show, of course). 

Friday night, Alpha Chi Omega put on its fourth installment of Runway Warriors, a fashion show whose ticket sales and raffle bids raise money for three different organizations: the Joyful Heart Foundation, Womankind, and Sanctuary for Families. Alpha Chi’s national philanthropy Domestic Violence Awareness and Support, and that’s exactly what these three foundations support. This year’s event, guided by the theme Rise and the artistic direction of Sarah Lu (CC ’20), raised over $3,000.

To kick off the event, three sisters introduced speaker Gwen Wright, the Executive Director of the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Wright spoke about the critical work her office does to protect women, and she even shared her own story of being a domestic violence survivor. Evoking this year’s theme of Rise, Wright discussed how important it is to lift up survivors and remind them that they have the strength to rise above it all.

After Wright’s speech, the fashion show began. Over 30 models showcased clothes from five different clothing lines—Meg, M. Martin, We Are Mortals, Grana, and Stella & Dot. Every model was a Columbia student volunteer, but that didn’t stop them from looking professional and stunning as hell as they hit the runway (in Roone Auditorium, that is). The creative and unexpected makeup design by Bailey Prado further enhanced the elegance of the show. Everything from the lighting to the music to the models’ engaging use of space truly made the show an exciting, interactive experience.

In between the three separate waves of models were two incredible student performers: Abigail Eberts on pointe and Camille Allen singing acapella. Both women owned the stage and captivated the audience with their talent. This year’s show was all about empowering women, and Eberts’ and Allen’s performances embodied that theme.

All together, this year’s Runway Warriors show was an impressive celebration of female empowerment. It was refreshing to watch my peers own the runway—people of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds. In an industry that can often be very cut-throat and exclusive, Runway Warriors turned fashion into something accessible for everybody.

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