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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

Students strut their stuff for Asian Kaleidoscope Month

<p>Valentina Lopez-Diaz gets made-up before modeling a Shama Boutique saree in Asian Kaleidoscope Month's "Immortal" Fashion Show. "I've always wanted to model, but I'm petite," the 19-year-old UF marketing sophomore said. She had modeled commercially before and decided to try out for the show after hearing it was open to models of all races and sizes.</p>

Valentina Lopez-Diaz gets made-up before modeling a Shama Boutique saree in Asian Kaleidoscope Month's "Immortal" Fashion Show. "I've always wanted to model, but I'm petite," the 19-year-old UF marketing sophomore said. She had modeled commercially before and decided to try out for the show after hearing it was open to models of all races and sizes.

Students strutted down a catwalk, draped in embroidered fabrics, clothed in skater styles and wrapped in sunny colors Wednesday night.

Asian American Student Union’s annual fashion show hit the runway in the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom to celebrate Asian Kaleidoscope Month. About 200 students attended.

TSS, an on-campus dance group, surprised the audience with a hip-hop and breaking dance performance. When the group came onto the stage, Diane Bo, co-president of the Chinese American Student Association, screamed on the edge of her seat.

“My favorite part was TSS because a lot of the people in it I know,” the UF business administration-management senior said. “It’s basically a group of friends that came together that wanted to perform and dance for fun.”

The outfits were designed by people all over the country, said AKM fashion show director Amanda Kissoon. The crowd yelled and shouted their friends’ names as student models posed with their hands on their hips, staring seriously without a hint of a smile.  

This year, two Indian-American designers, Tina Tandon and Shobana Singh, who owns Shama Boutique, brought Indian culture to the runway.

“Being an Asian myself, I enjoy connecting to my roots by designing Indian clothes and showcasing my collection,” Singh said.

Kissoon, who is Indian-American, said she wanted to share her culture at the fashion show this year.

“Our culture is very vibrant too, and I wanted to bring that to the table,” the 20-year-old said.

This term’s runway show also featured designer Hanmiao Yang from season 14 of Lifetime’s reality TV show “Project Runway.” She presented a collection of mostly modern, black-and-white ensembles.

“As an Asian fashion designer who lives in USA, it is an amazing opportunity for me to show my collection,” Yang said.

Kissoon said the fashion show is important because Asian-Americans often express their culture through their clothes.

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This was the first AKM fashion show to incorporate an all-male collection, Kissoon said.

“We really wanted to give the guys their spotlight,” she said.

Valentina Lopez-Diaz gets made-up before modeling a Shama Boutique saree in Asian Kaleidoscope Month's "Immortal" Fashion Show. "I've always wanted to model, but I'm petite," the 19-year-old UF marketing sophomore said. She had modeled commercially before and decided to try out for the show after hearing it was open to models of all races and sizes.

Victoria Hutchins, a 21-year-old UF electrical engineering fifth-year student, models a saree from Shama Boutique in Asian Kaleidoscope Month's "Immortal" Fashion Show on Wednesday. The show also featured work by other Asian designers: Hanmiao Yang, Jeff Ng and Tina Tandon.

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