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Students reduce, reuse and re-style at GreenFest Enviro-Fashion Show

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Students reduce, reuse and re-style at GreenFest Enviro-Fashion Show

Marketing freshman Zoe Swift was victorious the

Marketing freshman Zoe Swift was victorious the "vintage pop-up shop" category.

Kiely Mizumoto

Marketing freshman Zoe Swift was victorious the "vintage pop-up shop" category.

Kiely Mizumoto

Kiely Mizumoto

Marketing freshman Zoe Swift was victorious the "vintage pop-up shop" category.

by Madeleine Schwarz, Staff Writer

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Illusion jewelry, balaclavas and re-constructed suits were just some of the student-made pieces that strutted down a candle-lit Montezuma Hall runway on March 13. Part of GreenFest’s week-long festivities, the Enviro-Fashion Show featured student competitors across a range of categories, all with the same principle in mind: sustainable fashion.

“The fashion show is important to GreenFest because it is one of our few student competitions that really allow students to show their creativity,” said GreenFest Chair of Student Team Competitions Kaylah Abdullah. “We wanted to create the event so that students have free reign to come in and make it what they want.”

Both individual students and groups were allowed to participate in the midweek show — each competing in up to three of the event’s audience-judged categories for a $50 gift card to Buffalo Exchange.

As part of the “Anything But” category, students were asked to create ensembles made of non-traditional clothing items. The first and only competitor to grace the runway in this category was the GreenFest Action Team, whose model donned a rainbow fringe skirt made of old tee shirts.

In the next category, “Reduce, Reuse, Restyle,” competitors showed off thrifted looks, presenting a colorful range of styles based solely on vintage finds.  

Commencing the category once again was the GreenFest Action Team, walking a trio of re-worked suits down the candle-lit path. Bringing new meaning to business casual, the suits extended across three styles—street, girly and ‘90s chic.

The looks, designed by first year marketing student Zoe Swift, showed first-hand that any trend can be found in a second hand store.

“I wanted to show people that you can buy clothes from thrift stores and still look professional, but not look stuffy,” Swift said.

Also featured in this category was Creative State, a student artist collective, which showcased three separate clothing and accessory lines.

Garde, a line designed by Khayri Carter, paraded a trinity of bold streetwear down the runway, featuring graphic hoodies, neon green prints, a balaclava and socks with sandals.

The collective’s next participant was Julia Altamirano’s Sinners’ Vault, an illusion jewelry line. Kaleidoscopic necklaces, sunglass chains and hair clips were paired with oriental-style brocade pieces that floated down the platform in a hallucinatory fog.

Moral motives, a graphic clothing line by Sam Beadle, closed out the group’s entry, showing off printed tees and jeans.

All three designers walked in the show.

Brian Cung, the show’s only solo participant, took home the winning title. No stranger to vintage, the first year marketing student tucked an unbuttoned denim shirt and a white tee into black jeans, paired with a silver chain link belt. Cung tied off his thrifted look with a subtle chain necklace that peeped out from beneath his chambre collar.

His confident strut was met with roarous cheers from the crowd.

According to Cung, his victory took him by surprise.

“I didn’t know I was going up against groups,” Cung said, “I thought it was going to be three other people, but when I saw multiple groups I thought ‘oh no, I severely underestimated this.’”

Cung said the event pushed him out of his comfort zone, and prepared him for an upcoming student fashion show in April.

“Winning gives me the confidence to do it again in the future,” Cung said.

The last competition of the evening called for audience participation, pointing students to the Green Love vintage pop-up shop in the back of the hall. Competitors then had five minutes to create an outfit using pieces from the racks of donated items — leftover apparel and accessories from Green Love’s last clothing drive.

After the time was up, 10 contestants scrambled to the runway, each flouncing their thrifted finds. Swift’s winning ensemble was classically chic — a mid-length blue dress matched with an oversized blazer and green satin pumps.

Each participant was allowed to bring home any clothing they fancied from the pop-up shop.

For event coordinator Abdullah, the Enviro-Fashion Show presented a unique platform within GreenFest for students to be environmentally sustainable in a creative way.

“I think it’s difficult on college campuses to think sustainably and always have sustainability on your mind, but we’re definitely a campus that does push for sustainability,” Abdullah said. “Greenfest to me is important because it really explains to students the importance of being sustainable and all the different ways you can live sustainably.”

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