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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Sustainability meets couture: Vanderbilt Fashion Week 2022

Vanderbilt Fashion Week to kick off starting March 31 for a series of shows, thrifting and more.
Karina Popowycz
Vanderbilt Fashion Week board members in The Wond’ry are ready to kick-off upcoming events, as photographed on Feb. 27, 2022. (Karina Popowycz)

Correction: A previous version of the article stated that winners would win a $50 gift card and the outfit they created. However, the prize solely includes a $50 gift card.

You’ve heard of New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Maybe you’ve even considered booking that one-way ticket to Milan. But look no further—Vanderbilt has its very own Fashion Week.

Vanderbilt Fashion Week (VFW) Director junior Lauren Parker reminds us, however, that this is no ordinary fashion event. The week-long festivities will feature everything from drag brunches to exclusive beverages, but with a distinct purpose in mind: sustainability. 

“If people can care about the clothes that they put on their body, and each morning feel comfortable about a sustainable design that they put on, then everything else—from sustainable energy to what items they’re using—feels simpler,” Parker said.

A week of sustainability-studded events. (Graphic/Becca Morency) (Becca Morency)

Sustainable Fashion Show 

Kicking off Fashion Week is the Sustainable Fashion Show on March 31 from 7 to 8 p.m. Head over to The Wond’ry to get a glimpse of sustainable everyday wear from brands across the country. 

“Sustainability is a concept and fashion sustainability is a product. To see an actual product of sustainability is really beautiful,” Parker said. “A lot of things aren’t tangible [to college students]. Ideas like the Divest Movement are huge on campus but are abstract and we don’t always know how to interact with them. But clothing is so physical.”

The show will exclusively feature Vanderbilt models who have worked closely with Parker to be runway-ready. Using her experience with Miss USA, Parker hoped to transfer her expertise to modeling newcomers like VFW Head of Public Relations sophomore Matti Angelides.

“It’s something I never expected to do and I’m really enjoying it. [Modeling] isn’t only a confidence boost, it makes you feel very powerful,” Angelides said.

Heavenly Bodies: Beat for the Gods Drag Show and Brunch

Speaking of powerful, Sunday’s festivities will feature queens from Rupaul’s Drag Race and beyond for LAMBDA’s Beat for the Gods Drag Show and Brunch. At just $5 a ticket, viewers can experience performances from both students and professionals as they dazzle the stage, with all proceeds going to the Oasis Fund for LGBTQ+ Youth.

Head over to the SLC Ballroom from 12 to 3 p.m. on April 3 with cash tips in hand. 

Sustainability + Fashion Panel and Networking Event

Monday’s panel provides the perfect opportunity for those hoping to get a closer look into the fashion industry or for anyone interested in environmentalism. Experts focused both on clothing and sustainability will speak in the BCC Auditorium from 6 to 7 p.m. on April 4. 

“We’ll be discussing how currently the fashion industry is largely left out of the sustainability conversation, even though it’s a major contributor to not only CO2 emissions but to waste and our landfills,” Parker said. 

After the panel, the event will open up into a typical networking event. Students will have the opportunity to chat with Nashville brands and industry professionals.

“Many Nashville brands have not yet tapped into Vanderbilt—a lot of companies are interested in working with Vanderbilt students, so this is a great opportunity for people to get connected,” Parker said.  

VFW board members previewing the week’s style, as photographed on Feb. 27, 2022. (Karina Popowycz) (Karina Popowycz)

Upcycling Workshop

For an even more hands-on approach to fashion, The Wond’ry is to host a workshop to teach attendees how to hem pants and how to turn a t-shirt into a tote bag. The free event on April 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. is aimed at making basic sewing skills accessible and helping students learn the creative process of what upcycling is, per Parker.

“So much can be done with what you already have in the closet,” Parker said. 

Buffalo Exchange Thrift-Off

The same day will feature a different sort of DIY event with an exclusive Buffalo Exchange takeover. Attendees will have the opportunity to thrift uninterrupted in-store from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on April 5. 

Students will also have the option to compete for a hefty prize: a $50 Buffalo gift card. The competition is already heating up—start strategizing now and you just might end up with a free new ‘fit.

“I like colorful things, so I’m just going to pick the funkiest pants and shoes and run with it,” Angelides said.

Strike Pop-Up Thrift Shop

Following the thrifting theme, event partner Strike will host a pop-up thrift shop on April 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. on Alumni Lawn. Pop over between classes to purchase clothing from fellow students and pieces featured in the Sustainable Fashion Show. 

VFW is especially excited to partner with Strike. Parker acknowledges the untapped fashion market at Vanderbilt and credits organizations like Strike magazine for giving voice to students interested in the print industry. VFW hopes to have a similar impact on the runway world here on campus. 

“This is really exciting because it’s something that a lot of people are really invigorated about,” Parker said. “It’s really different and something that Vanderbilt really needed.” 

The team behind Vanderbilt Fashion Week, as photographed on Feb. 27, 2022. (Karina Popowycz) (Karina Popowycz)

Our Heavenly Bodies Fashion Show 

For the grand finale of the week, models from Vanderbilt, MTSU and the greater Nashville area will take the stage in heavenly fashion. Vandy Vanity is to host the Our Heavenly Bodies Fashion Show on April 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wyatt Lawn and will feature haute couture. 

“We were very focused on a diverse and inclusive team. If you go out to the show on Thursday, it’s not a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—not exclusively tall and skinny white women,” Parker said. “It’s a whole array of people of all different skin tones and all different body types.”

Drinks and Eats

But wait, there’s more—and they’re just as heavenly. Suzie’s is offering a VFW-exclusive “Fashion Week Fog,” available for purchase with Commodore Cash. The drink is a twist on a conventional London Fog but with green tea and agave supplements. 

“Suzie’s is offering the drink to show their support for Vandy Fashion Week and to offer students a chance to take the runway into their coffee cups,” sophomore and Suzie’s employee Sophie Stachurski said.

Grins is also hopping on the Fashion Week train with two exclusive specials available March 31: the “Textile Toast” and the “VFW Veggie Burger.”

For more information, including tips on what to wear, check out Vanderbilt Fashion Week’s official website.

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About the Contributor
Justine Del Monte
Justine Del Monte, Former Life Copy Editor
Justine Del Monte ('22) studied Public Policy. She enjoys nature, VSG, cooking videos and talking about how she's from California. Send inquiries and Broadway-related playlists to [email protected].
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2 years ago

Justine you’re a phenomenal writer. Great piece!