Runway Warriors take the stage

Runway Warriors take the stage

Last night, we sent music and fashion Bwogger Daren Napier and sorority-girl-at-heart Mason Amelotte into the world of college fundraising. The following is a collaborative reflection on Alpha Chi Omega’s fall philanthropy event, Runway Warriors.

On Saturday at 7PM in the Lerner Party Space, the women of Columbia University’s Alpha Chi Omega hosted their fall philanthropy event. According to the show’s artistic director, the chapter has been “counting down [to] every day since March, literally.” The sold out event, aptly named “Runway Warriors,” was a fashion show featuring designers from throughout the city intended to raise “publicity and funds for Domestic Violence Awareness.”

The event featured a collection of roughly 20 different pieces in what is best described as a hybrid between a runway show and a performance art piece. The performance opened with a brief run-through of the various designs, and closed with each model’s return to the stage, as they vamped down the runway to Destiny Child’s “Survivor” and scattered in an arrangement of poses across the platform.

While the cause was noble and the pieces were exquisite (a deep blue romper pantsuit being among the most notable), certain aesthetic inconsistencies had a more lasting impact than the clothes themselves. The Lerner Party Space, with its obscure lighting and ever so prominent staircase planted in its center, is not what one would typically consider an ideal location for a fashion show. Combine this with a peripheral PowerPoint presentation of quotes and the single model that couldn’t seem to figure out that you don’t smile on the runway despite numerous opportunities, it became extremely difficult to focus on the main objective of the event. This purpose was undercut once more following the show when one of the emcees promoted the ongoing raffle event, which featured “a 3-month gym membership, so you too can become a model!”

However, ignoring various technicalities and why would you say that? moments, one would agree that the show itself contained some redeeming aspects as well. The designs and outfits made great use of color, often moving from dark to light pieces within each designer (a possible reflection of what this dialogue has to offer for victims). Additionally, the models’ synchronized movements helped convey the overarching theme of the event: empowerment and support.

Overall, “Runway Warriors” was an enjoyable experience, successful in continuing a dialogue about Domestic Violence Awareness. While the orchestration of the actual show was lacking in some facets, it was a great idea for a greater cause, and one that proceeded in a way that was efficient, clearly indicative of all the hard work put in by Alpha Chi Omega and the event’s many sponsors.

Photo courtesy of Mason Amelotte