Diversity meets fashion
Runway show celebrates students from more than 20 cultures
Published: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 13:11
An international fashion show started this year's Diversity Week. USU students modeled costumes from countries such as China, Somalia, Taiwan, Mexico and Cambodia.
Maribeth Evensen-Hengge, international student advisor, said there are about 87 countries represented at USU, so the show was just a small sampling.
Evensen-Hengge asked students to keep an open mind during the fashion show.
"The fashion doesn't make a person, but the student that can make the fashion," she said.
She said the costumes shown were what she called "fusion fashion."
"The students are taking traditional elements and fusing them with Western fashion," she said.
The fashion show was judged by a panel who will preside over the Mr. and Ms. International Show this Friday. Angie Vatista, the International Student Council vice president, said the fashion show is part of the Mr. and Ms. International Contest, so the judges weren't there just to observe.
"They were judging the contestants based on the outfit, their personality, everything," she said.
Vatista said the International Student Council puts on the fashion show every year to teach students about diversity.
"We want to teach people about the culture of the different countries," she said.
Raje Juri, a graduate student majoring in management information systems, represented India by wearing a colorful dress called a salwar. Juri said the colors aren't the important part of the costume.
"It's not about the color, it's about the design of the dress," she said. "We mix and match the colors, which makes it look really good."
Juri said she chose her outfit because it is extremely typical in India.
"We generally wear it in all parts of India," she said. "You generally see people wearing it to work and everything. It's very typical. It's the second most seen thing in India."
Juri said she has participated in this fashion show in past years, but this year was different.
"This time, what I have noticed is that there is more diversity compared to last time," she said. "Last time it was good, but we saw a lot of people from the same continent."
Sandra Molinas, a sophomore majoring in exercise science, represented her country of Mexico by wearing a long white dress, a black apron and large red flower in her hair. Molinas said her outfit was traditional of Veracruz, Mexico.
"It shows everybody's and it shows how different and diverse the cultures," she said. "It gives you more knowledge."
Molinas said other than her own, she liked the costume from Somalia.
"It was really random and unique," she said. "It really caught my attention."
"The Malaysian costume was very pretty," Juri said. "It makes you look like a princess."
Juri said the contest was important for not just international students but domestic students as well.
"We would like to show the domestic students and other international students the diversity that we have in USU," she said. "Many people would be interested to know, 'What do they wear in their country?' Normally here, people just wear t shirts and jeans. This is a very good occasion to show people how the people of your own culture dress and you can see other cultures."