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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Designing, dancing, singing, and fashion

SKIN 2008 proves to be an entertaining night of fashion designers, Zullo and Voice Mail

Published: March 14, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

diverse-city-3-14-08_page_1_image_0004.jpgA packed Levin Ballroom bore witness to the annual highlight of the Brandeis Asian American Student Association’s (BAASA’s) celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM). Coordinated this year by Kayla Sotomil ’10, SKIN 2008 is a unique fashion show, featuring the trendsetting styles of several Asian American designers. The theme of the evening was “Our Renaissance: Establishing Identity Through Art.”

The show could not have fit more in line with this theme. Brandeis’ own took on the runway, presenting the line Blacklava by Ryan Suda. The pieces in this segment were simple in design but bold in statement. Shirts featured quotes ranging from the humorous “I can’t do math” to the more poignant “I am not a terrorist.” The models expressed their own personalities within the boundaries of their designs, as they danced down the runway.

The show was briefly put on hold to present The Hunger Project. The Hunger Project (THP) a non-profit charitable organization, empowers peoples of the developing world to attain stable progress in health, education, nutrition and family income. John Coonrod, Vice President of THP, was present at SKIN, albeit via webcam. Currently in India, Coonrod thanked and urged everyone to aid in this great cause.

Without skipping a beat, the show continued to feature lines from Courtney Chu and Rachel Park. courtneycourtney by Chu provided men’s denims of various washes and styles. The female models took the runway with solid colored pieces from the line. Their hairstyles may have stolen the show, however, with some appearing to add a foot of height to the models. Rachel Park Designs: Ties featured several tie designs, of course. Park Designs also featured boldly patterned scarves. Justin Zullo ’09, of Zullo, helped end the first half of the show with two performances that definitely had Levin moving.

During intermission, A Night Market featured donated products for sale ranging from chocolate bars to POM Tea juices. To the delight of the attendees, the ever-popular Bubble Tea was also available for purchase. All proceeds from the fashion show and this Market went to The Hunger Project.

The second half kicked off with designs by Shin Choi. Choi’s line featured sequined tops, airy tops and form-fitting dresses. One of Brandeis’ top a cappella groups, VoiceMale provided the entertainment for this portion of the show. Their energetic and somewhat humorous performances provided a base for the following runway walks to top.

Sophia Reyes incorporated the contemporary with the classic in her designs. The dresses provided by her line were simple enough to wear by day yet trendy enough for night. They say to leave the best for last, and SKIN did not disappoint. Jun Jun Cambe is known as “Manila’s Prince of Avant Garde fashion.” His evening dresses featured striking, large patterns against subtle pastels. Some pieces had beadwork intricate enough to be mistaken for embroidery.

SKIN 2008, provided a platform to present ground-breaking Asian American designers and their works to the Brandeis community while promoting awareness to the world’s poverty issue. All in all, a great show + a great cause = an amazing night.