SAGE’s Any Body Fashion Show transcends expectations
A trail of tea candles defined the runway, making the high ceilings of the Trabant Multipurpose rooms seem endless. Bouncy pop music softly played in the background, giving the mingling audience the opportunity to dance before the 18 models strut their stuff.
On Nov. 14, Students Acting for Gender Equity (SAGE) hosted the Any Body Fashion Show to celebrate Love Your Body Day.
“We all know that the fashion industry can be pretty exclusive,” Junior political science student Alyssa Hornung says.
Indeed, one glance at a standard fashion exposition will display only tall, thin and pale-skinned people.
Hornung announced the names and brief biographies of each model before they made their mark on the runway. The models took this opportunity to dress in clothes that made them feel the most themselves, anything from casual streetwear to men’s floral formalwear to a bald eagle onesie.
Annie Mitchell of Dover dressed in a particularly iconographic outfit.
“I wore a turtleneck body suit with some chain gear, fishnets, and thigh high lace ups underneath a mid length charcoal coat,” Mitchell says. “I also had a face mask on overtop 20 pounds of makeup and 10 pounds of teased hair.”
She fully expressed herself as she jumped across the runway, hitting the audience with evil eyes and energetic twists, peaking with a death drop.
“Self expression to me is wearing what you want without fear,” Mitchell says. “I only really started dressing and feeling the part [of goth subculture] after I stopped caring what random people in my day to day life think … ignore them and just be you, because being your most authentic self is expressing your happiest self.”
The parade of models ended with SAGE president, Caila Scarpitty. Scarpitty has been involved in the last two fashion shows put on by SAGE and noted that this year’s fashion show was particularly diverse.
In addition to a wider variety of body types and outfits, Dark Arts Performing Dance Company (DA) opened its Fall Out fundraiser to the fashion show in an impromptu collaboration by removing the wall between Trabant Multipurpose rooms A/B and C.
Some members of DA rocked the runway with well-practiced jumps and splits while patrons of the fashion show indulged in DA’s autumnal activities.
Scarpitty noted that the collaboration highlighted the purpose of the fashion show: to include all kinds of people and encourage those who want to participate in celebration of others and of the self.
“It seems so radical to love your body at this point,” Scarpitty says. “But for me it was all of a sudden, ‘Wait, this is the only flesh skeleton I have to be trapped in, so I kind of have to.’ I could either struggle with it, or I can embrace it and have fun.”