Body Diversity Fashion Show Celebrates All Shapes and Sizes

Student designers wowed the audience last night at the Body Diversity fashion show, which featured colorful and creative everyday and eveningwear that celebrated bodies of all shapes and

Emily O’Neill (pictured right) won the judges and audience over with her Irish claddagh-inspired dress and coat ensemble, drawing loud applause as she modeled her own design on the runway in Ravenhill Chapel. O’Neill, a senior Fashion Design major, won first place in the Gala Premier category from the panel of judges and was also voted Audience Favorite.  She and fellow first-place winners Fashion Design major Stephanie Singh ’08, Day to Night category; Textile Design major Carin Sauerwein ’09, Girls’ Night Out category; and Fashion Design major Carly Cirillo ’08, Wear to Work category, received $150 each for their body-liberating creations.  Second-place picks, including garments by Sauerwein, Audience Favorite category, and Fashion Design students Sharelle Hall ’09, Shevare Perry ’08 and Lydia Scott ’08, Gala Premier category; Shannon Carlino ’08, Day to Night category; Thomas De Jesus ’08, Girls’ Night Out category; and Melissa Tsui ’08 and Casey Saccomanno ’08, Wear to Work category, received $50 each for their efforts.

“I was pleased with the energy level of the designers, models and volunteers who came together in such a professional way for the show,” said Natalie Weathers, associate professor of Fashion Industry Management.  “I was also excited to see the students’ concern for creating designs that have the ability to impact the fashion industry in a positive way.”

Organized by Prof. Weathers; Fashion Design and Merchandising students from the Phi Psi Textile Fraternity and Fashion Apparel Management Experience (F.A.M.E.); and A Chance to Heal, a regional nonprofit dedicated to preventing eating disorders, the show encouraged consumers to question and challenge industry standards of beauty through educational programming and innovative designs.  Ivy Silver, president of A Chance to Heal, applauded the work of the students and said, “You are the designers who will change the future of the industry.”

The students’ designs were judged on creativity, wearability, construction and design by Marissa Maximo, senior designer for Anthropologie; Nora Gomez, vice president of product development for Lane Bryant; Mary Ellen Prentis, executive vice president for Victoria Secret Direct Production; Joan Shepp, owner of Joan Shepp; Cheryl Ann Wadlington, creative director for Evoluer Image Consultants; and Elizabeth Wellington, fashion writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ticket sales from the event benefited A Chance to Heal.

Photo by Albert Yee.

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