October 17, 2006

Moda brings fashion to campus

[img id="80079" align="alignleft"] Hutch Commons stirred with activity Friday night as students gathered for the Moda fashion club’s second annual Trunk Show.

With beats like Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” blaring from the DJ booth, a predominantly female turnout explored the stylish goodies and exhibits of 27 Chicago-based vendors. The medley of items on display ranged from hand-made corsets to pheasant-feather earrings to aromatic, homemade foot creams.

Accompanying the festive atmosphere was a display of cookies, drinks, and other treats. The program also featured a raffle for prizes consisting of contributions from each participating vendor, making for an alluring fundraiser that generated nearly $200 in ticket sales.

Among the most popular displays was the $5 trunk—a hodgepodge of vintage items including tweed hats, cowboy boots, and oversized sweaters that attracted bystanders as soon as it opened early in the evening.

Other tables offered hand-embellished belts, ranging from $100-$250, jewelry crafted solely of old buttons, knitted hats and wrist cuffs, one-of-a-kind beaded evening gowns, sunglasses, and various trinkets of coral and stone.

Most sellers handcrafted their products, distributing to local shops as well as making individual sales. Above all, vendors shared aspirations to open their own boutiques.

“The purpose of participating in such shows is to build clientele, get feedback from people on your designs, and get a feel for whether there is demand for your product before risking it all with a boutique opening,” said Luz Diaz, founder of the LuDia Couture Designs clothing line, which was showcased at the show.

The Trunk Show was the product of a summer’s worth of work by Moda club members, who toiled over the logistics of scouting out vendors, reserving the venue, sending press releases to fashion publications, and tending to last-minute entries, according to Moda president Sarah Cohan, a fourth-year in the College.

With about 350 students and fashion industry experts, this year’s turnout exceeded last year’s numbers.

“This year’s show was bigger due to heavy advertising, with more designers, and more student-friendly prices,” Cohan said. The success of the show left loftier plans on the minds of Moda members.

“I hope next year’s [show] will be even bigger,” Cohan said. “Maybe we’ll even collaborate with other college campuses.”