By: Ryan Thompson, Features Editor
Dressed with creations from Jacksonville fashion designers, UNF student-models of all body types garnered cheers from their friends and peers as they stomped down the runway at the Student Union Thursday night.
Not that students walking down runways and celebrating body image is out of the ordinary at UNF, but two UNF organizations sewed the threads on the night’s occasion to fashion the feel-good-about-your-body event.
The UNF Volunteer Center and UNF fashion club Couture Helps Inspire Charity partnered to create the night’s show, A Runway to Loving Your Body, the sequel to last year’s spectacle.
As the main host throughout the night, CHIC club president John Silang informed the enthusiastic audience about the importance of positive self-image, independent of the number of belt loops it takes for one’s pants to fit snugly.
Representing the Volunteer Center’s side of the event and co-hosting the night with Silang, Wendy Alinor doubled as a model for the night.
Alinor, the event chair for the Volunteer Center, said she had to make sure everything came together for the show. She only modeled at the beginning of the show and swapped with Silang the rest of the night.
Alinor and Silang said not everything about the event went smoothly, but the latter said this year’s show bettered its predecessor.
The Volunteer Center and CHIC allowed speaking time to the UNF PRIDE Club and Girls Inc. of Jacksonville in between runway exhibits. The organizations spoke about the importance of positive body image regardless of gender and sexual orientation.
As for the excited audience, Alinor estimated 200 attendees watched the animated-on-the-catwalk models display designs from six Jacksonville-based clothing lines — Love of Dresses, Beyond V, Chabri, NUFSED, FUNKfashion and Bofresco — and two Jacksonville-based accessory outfits: Love of Dresses and Up a Tree, Cup of Tea.
Although harried from post-show responsibilities at the event’s end, Silang said the portrayal of the night’s message superseded any technical bumps.
“We did a better job getting the message out about body image issues,” he said.
Email Ryan Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.