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The UTSC Charity Fashion Show: Where Glamour and Humanity Intertwine

There was an undeniable sense of anticipation as the opening beatboxing rap song reverberated throughout the Highland Hall Event Centre. The UTSC Charity Fashion Show was a perfect example of how the University of Toronto students can combine fashion with social purpose. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the RadioFWD Street Team and attend this fantastic event, which benefited a good cause while showcasing the skills of UTSC students and fashion industry professionals.

Three student performers, @jerry_yu0317, @maxma0709 & @k_nn.ling, from UTSC got the party started with a bang with their Chinese Hip Hop., which was the ideal way to start the evening. With its tasteful furnishings, the location was the perfect setting for the charity fashion show. Drinks, food, and event kits were handed out to visitors as they arrived, kicking off an evening of networking and mingling with influential people in the fashion industry.

The runway was a vibrant tapestry of diverse fashion styles, each telling their own unique story. Traditional Chinese and streetwear were two prominent motifs that highlighted cultural richness and urban edge. The variety of designs wowed the audience. From the Flora collection by @child.chung, which featured dresses made of machine-knit natural fibers and inspired by summer wildflowers and morning dew, to the sustainable clothing line by @shopsoapstudios, which featured clean white outfits, including the figure-hugging Desiree dress that radiated easy elegance, the styles were all top-notch. The show's menswear by @atelier.arruejo was daring and sophisticated, with pieces like leather harnesses, cargo pants, and flight coats. Not to be outdone, the Mujosh eyewear collection served as the cherry on top, with models exuding confidence as they effortlessly showcased the latest in eyewear fashion. Each collection represented a distinct blend of creativity, craftsmanship, and cultural influence, leaving a lasting impression on all who attended.

In the middle of all the flash and glamour, the event's genuine purpose—to raise funds for Feed Scarborough, a local food bank fighting food insecurity—was evident. I was fortunate enough to interview Faith, co-founder of the UTSC Charity Fashion Show, to learn more about the motivations behind this worthy cause and the extensive preparation that went into the event.

In Conversation with Faith, UTSC Charity Fashion Show Co-Founder:

Please provide me a brief synopsis of this year's Scarborough Charity Fashion Show at the University of Toronto.

The UTSC CFS is the perfect blend of style and charity. At the conclusion of each academic year, we hold a magazine and fashion show in addition to other activities focused on the arts, fashion, and philanthropy. Feed Scarborough is a local food bank that has many programs to help those who are hungry, and this year we're going to donate to them. Here, models, photographers, businesspeople, and fashionistas may all feel comfortable establishing and expanding their professional and personal networks.”

How did Feed Scarborough come to be selected as the recipient of this year's event's charitable contributions?

According to Faith, who had experience working as an administrative assistant with Feed Scarborough in the summer of 2022, the need in the neighbourhood has risen since the pandemic hit. Hot meal programs, culinary workshops, community gardens, and more are just a few of the many services they offer, as I discovered. As well as wanting to provide my support to a community organization.

In the context of a charity fashion show, could you explain us what it takes to plan such a massive event?

"The Fashion Show has been in the works since September. We've been in constant contact with designers, hairstylists, sponsors, and model castings to make sure the brands are properly represented and photographed appropriately on the runway. This past year, we put a lot of effort into organizing creative events like photoshoots, embroidery workshops, vendor markets featuring local artists, and more to cater to students with an interest in fashion. We were able to increase our visibility on campus and attract more people to our fashion show as a result of this. In addition to working with the UTSC Underground to select articles for our magazine, our team reached out to authors to include them in our process. Everything was designed by our magazine coordinators, and they also assisted with the styling of photoshoots for the magazines that were released on the same day as the fashion show. Regarding our activities and how to provide them with the most financial support, we have been in touch with Feed Scarborough.”

What were the standout moments of this year's fashion show? Is there anything unique going on?

The show would not have been possible without the help of the designers, models, hairstylists, and make-up artists, as well as the three guest rappers that performed. We enjoyed having over 200 visitors and promoting kids' right to express themselves creatively while raising money for a worthy cause.”

Last but not least, how can those who want to help with the cause participate in Feed Scarborough and other events?

"You can volunteer at Feed Scarborough by applying through their website, they also have part-time and full-time jobs available throughout the year so follow them on Instagram to stay up to date @feedscarborough"

Ultimately, the UTSC Charity Fashion Show at Highland Hall was more than an event; it was a joyous celebration of kindness, imagination, and camaraderie. Collective action can have an immense impact on society, and the students and organizers from UTSC proved that through their fashion and charity efforts. As the stage lights went down and the ovation died down, it became crystal evident - fashion can transform people's lives.

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