A group of enterprising youth organize a runway show-cum-bazaar to raise funds and have fun at the same time.
Buy a dress, heal the world? That was the lofty ambition of Fashion In The Sky, an evening of fashion, music and art that broke all the rules with youthful panache, held on the rooftop of the YMCA clubhouse.
“The idea was to centralize budding talents in a showcase event to accelerate their discovery,” said organizer Jamie Lai, 22, a fashion enthusiast and college student. The three-hour runway show-cum-bazaar sale was the first of its kind in Singapore that did not feature any high-end or established brands, Lai added.
This community’s rallying call echoed that of Naomi Campbell’s fashion fundraiser for Haiti in New York in January, and the event drew support from artists and audience alike. Hours before the runway show was due to begin, fashionable young people were already thronging the poolside area on the roof, fending off the sweltering remains of the day with aviator shades, straw beach hats and cups of juice. The blogshops at the bazaar seemed to be making brisk business.
“We were excited to contribute to this one-of-a-kind fashion showcase,” said Xuan, 19, and Jacklyn, 22, co-owners of popular blogshop Le Flirtini. The entrepreneurial pair attested to the popularity of online shops because of the low start-up capital required, although they hope to expand into a physical shop within the next few years. Along with several other blogshops like Chasing Black, Le Flirtini sponsored the rental fees for the evening because they believed strongly in the event’s community significance.
A veritable stable of models, photographers, make-up artists and singers also lent their talents pro bono to the event, according to Lai.
Various musicians took to the stage to serenade guests with feet-tapping acoustic hits, kick-starting the fashion show at sundown with a group rendition of “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson. The runway was dominated by breezy, endless-summer aesthetics, with both professional and amateur models trotting around the pool in flirty printed dresses and graphical heels from the various blogshops.
Throughout the program, Fashion In the Sky took on an unconventional approach to charity by encouraging its audience to donate online to the Haiti disaster relief works at give.sg. This social medium was easily accessible to young people and allowed the organizers to bypass administrative red tape that would have caused weeks of delay in the fund collection process, Lai explained.
Acknowledging new media’s impact on fundraising, Aseem K. Thakur, marketing director of give.sg said, “People are now using what they are good at to help others.” He added that the S$500 target amount of online donations to Haiti was exceeded even before the event started.
|CN PHOTOS: Gay Sen Min|
According to Lai, they have now raised the target to S$3,000 to be achieved by March 30, an amount she believes is entirely attainable.
The passion and derring-do of the young organizers, all of whom are local university students, were not lost on fashion and media industry professionals.
“It’s a refreshing idea, and I’m in awe of the huge turnup,” said guest-of-honor Janet Chew, author of The Mile Hi! Club and director of social media agency Peppercorn, who was keen to talent-scout at the event.
As the show wound to a close amid photographers’ flashes, it was clear that lofty ambitions or not, the young people behind Fashion In the Sky certainly did not have their heads in the clouds.