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CHIC fashions its first charity event

Fashion is defined as the latest and most admired style in clothes and cosmetics. However, what is considered fashionable one minute is often replaced by a new and different style before you can say “charge it to my card.”

Though the term “fashion” varies greatly, especially throughout the student body, the UNF fashion club, Couture Helps Inspire Charity, has managed to capture what’s “in” among students by hosting the It’s Time to Rock Your Image Fashion Show GIVE event Feb. 24 in the Student Union.

John Silang, CHIC president and UNF public relations junior, has been planning the event all semester. CHIC joined forces with Michelle Mallari, event chair for the volunteer center, and An Bahn, a UNF graphic design sophomore and fashion director for the event, to make the night a success.

Both male and female models will be strutting their stuff down the runway sporting three diverse collections of clothes from Jacksonville designers Alex Palmer, Veronica Jones and Traci Evans. A few San Marco-based boutiques were also willing to temporarily donate their garments for a good cause.

Palmer is providing both men’s and women’s ensembles while Jones and Evans gave pieces from their women’s clothing collections, Silang said.

“Veronica does vintage reconstruction dresses, so she takes old styles and makes them new and modern,” he said.

Banh said even though the designer’s styles are different, they will mesh well in the show.

“Traci’s clothes are super girly, fun, party dress-type things, whereas Alex’s stuff is geometric and drapey with a more neutral palate,” she said. “Wolfgang boutique is also donating some ready-to-wear clothes.”

Banh said she contacted Jacksonville designers and boutiques to organize the selected garments and attended model fittings in preparation for the show.

“The models in the show are all sizes and all races,” she said. “That’s why there was no casting call for models. If the goal is to celebrate your body, then you have to accept everyone at every size.”

Silang said CHIC’s main goal is to raise awareness about eating disorders and help spread a positive body image among women and men who may be struggling with a disorder.

“It is predominantly an issue that girls deal with, but that’s not to say that boys don’t feel the pressure, too,” he said. “I want people to just respect and appreciate their bodies.”

CHIC consistently works with local charities and businesses by collaborating its club goals with those of organizations that share its same passion and ideas.

Last semester, the club held a clothing drive on campus for the Jacksonville Youth Crisis Center. This semester, it is working together with Girls Inc., a nonprofit youth organization that helps girls as young as six with aspects from education and sports to life skills and career-planning strategies. Girls Inc. will have a booth set up at the fashion show for those interested in becoming a mentor.

CHIC’s fashion festivities are in conjunction with National Eating Disorder Awareness week, which runs Feb. 20-26. NEDA’s theme, “It’s Time to Talk About It,” inspired Silang to incorporate clocks and time into the fashion show’s theme.

“It’s more complex than I thought it would be,” Banh said. “There will be a professional lighting set up on the runway and photographers taking pictures.”

Silang hopes some audience members will be inspired to join CHIC, especially those interested in learning more about fashion.

“We want this show to be the club’s debut for this semester,” Silang said. “There hasn’t really been a fashion club at this school that I’ve heard of, so people interested in fashion should join.”

CHIC isn’t the only club with a flare for fashion. The Mu Theta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority hosted the Pink Friday Fashion Show and Model Competition Feb. 18 in the Student Union. Like CHIC, Mu Theta teamed up with a charity organization, the American Heart Association, in order to raise awareness and funds in the fight against heart disease.

The fashion show will be held in the Student Union, room 3703 Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. It is free and open to everyone. Free desserts and drinks will be provided.

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