On Oct. 24, Asian Kaleidoscope Month (AKM) held its 25th Fashion Show, titled “Allure,” in the J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom. This celebration of fashion and culture featured collections from professional fashion designers that were modeled by UF students.

Celebrating its 25th year, AKM is a month filled with events to raise awareness about Asian culture and bring the Asian American student population together. The fashion show is meant to celebrate culture through fashion and bring Asian representation to the fashion industry.

“I really like the idea of raising awareness for Asians in the fashion industry because you don’t often see that,” said Regine Coloso, AKM 2017 fashion show director. “I feel like they’re underrepresented in the industry.”

The fashion show included collections from three designers: Julia Chew, Peter Jean-Marie and Yuna Yang. The show also included a cultural wear segment. Mr. And Mrs. AASU winners Trung Tran and Shreya Nirmalan hosted the event and gave out raffle prizes throughout the show.

Photo by Tho Tran.

Julia Chew, a Chinese American designer from Tampa, Florida, was the first to showcase her collection during the show. The collection consisted of a variety of her favorite pieces from her brand “Xiaolin,” ranging from ready-to-wear to couture to bridal. Most of the pieces in her collection were inspired by nature and elegantly incorporated feathers.

“A lot of my designs, you’ll see different inspirations from birds, butterflies, moths,” Chew said. “I do a lot of different textures, so what I like to do is take a really elegant or basic silhouette, like a nice A-line gown or a mermaid gown, and then incorporate a different animal into it, whether it be butterfly fabric or bird wings or that sort of thing.”

Next, Peter Jean-Marie, a Haitian fashion design student at the Miami International University of Art & Design, showcased unconventional blazers from his menswear line. The collection included elements such as oversized sleeves, loud patterns and mismatched prints on different sides.

“The theme for AKM is reflection this year, so I pretty much did something reflective with the design by playing with the colors and making one opposite from the other side,” Jean-Marie said.

The second half of the show began with the cultural wear segment. Models from various Asian student organizations showed off their kimonos, saris, barongs, baro’t sayas, traditional robes and suits. While the models walked down the runway, Audrey Ogoc, a second year anthropology and criminology major, sang “Sorry Not Sorry” by Demi Lovato and “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit.

Photo by Tho Tran.

The last part of the show featured South Korean designer Yuna Yang’s collection. Yang could not make the event since her flight was delayed, so AKM executive director Megan Wong read the transcript of Yang’s prepared presentation. Yang also sent in an apology video, which was played at the end of the show.

Yang’s collection included a lot of floral prints and jewel tones. The collection was inspired by her desire to stop pollution and preserve life on our planet.

“I was inspired by climate change and wanted to share the importance of caring for the beautiful Earth we have,” Yang said.

Students enjoyed the cross between art and culture at  the event, and they look  forward to the new designs that AKM will bring at next year’s fashion show, which has become an annual tradition.

“It was cool seeing the art pieces and the different clothing, but also seeing how they connect to culture and identity as an Asian American,” said Leah Vincencio, a first-year advertising major. “It was educational and fun.”

Photos by Tho Tran.