For the fifth year, national-touring College Fashion Week made its way to its place of birth, Boston, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Not only does this show seek to bring attention to up-and-coming young female designers, but it also selects college female models of all sizes and ethnicities. The unique fashion show is annually run and organized by Her Campus Media, a network for college women, and StyleWatch, a style resource for women of all kinds balling on a budget while still expressing themselves through their clothing.
Show organizers this year were all about creative presentation. As show-goers first entered the hotel venue, they were handed either general admission or VIP admission goodie bags full of sponsored snacks and products. Show-goers immediately had the option to purchase alcoholic (yet unfortunately costly) drinks, as well as the option to partake in a breathtaking “candy buffet.” The buffet was stuffed with funky and fun glass bowls, each uniquely shaped and colorfully decorated, carrying every candy imaginable. When I arrived, the line stretched almost across the entire length of the large entry room, which certainly boded well for the night ahead.
As show-goers made their way into the show area, they found themselves surrounded by tables of free goodies, including a raffle for Maidenform Shapewear, a brow-shaping event hosted by European Wax Center, and other various goodies. The Shapewear products, not only in the raffle but also in the goodie bags, seemed to be an odd choice for a featured organization. For a fashion show that champions the idea of celebrating women of all sizes, fat-hiding hosiery wasn’t the best way to represent their principles.
Still, the energy in the venue as the night began was warm and energizing, a perfect chance for people-watching stylish youth to talk excitedly to one another. However, I was a little disappointed that the fashion show has stuck to its tradition of the “runway” being amongst audience members rather than on an actual stage. While likely due to budget constraints and an attempt to surround viewers with the excitement of the catwalk, the setup made it pretty difficult to get a good view of many of the models and outfits.
The show was divided into four themes: School Chic, THEME 2, THEME 3, and Night Out. While some of the outfits were interesting, I certainly felt that the outfits last year blew this year’s out of the water. The two most underwhelming categories were School Chic and Night Out. Both categories just regurgitated the usual trends that come with chilly weather: beanies and little backpacks.
The Night Out set was by far my least favorite. Each model exclusively wore tired graphic tees and beanies of glittery emojis. It was nothing at all like what a college student would wear on a “night out.” The segments were also stretched a bit too far apart as well; in between each 5-10 minute walk, audience members had to wait 20 minutes for the next round. With each break, fewer and fewer audience members remained.
To be fair, the lack of organization regarding timing probably stemmed from the fact that the same models were used for each walk, meaning that the 20 minutes in between were spent changing hair and clothing. The models themselves, however, were certainly fun to watch—a number of them had a lot of fun with their walks, striking poses for the cameras and owning their time in the spotlight.
I appreciate College Fashion Week and its goals: it really is wonderful to have an accessible and affordable option for college students who are fashion fanatics but simply don’t have the means or connections to get involved with the more famous fashion week shows. Perhaps with a tighter time schedule, more models, and more suitable goodies, the show can continue to grow in the years ahead.