Entering the Taubman Biomedical Science Research building, I was unsure how the sterile space of a medical building could cater to the creativity of a fashion show on January 19th. But my preconceived misconceptions were disproved, shattered by the energetic and extremely successful runway show put on by EnspiRED Runway, a fashion and charity student organization at the University of Michigan.
EnspiRED has evolved into the student-led force behind a yearly fashion show that donates all proceeds to a selected charity. Said Public Relations chair Skylar Wilkes, “This is a great opportunity for students to showcase their talents through art, fashion and design and really put on a show that benefits the community and exposes them to things that they don’t otherwise have access to during their time at Michigan.”
And showcase they did. The title of the show was Allure and included six energetic and dynamic scenes, each showcasing a collection inspired by different artistic visions: youth innovators and go-getters, the hues of the Earth, the Vitruvian Man, Gianni Versace, the broken column and Kehinde Wiley. Each collection had its own distinct style manifested through both the clothing and the models. Creativity saturated the event, from the pre-show that included dance, spoken word and musical pieces, to the closing collection, The Red Scene, which allowed members of EnspiRED to show their own inspiration for looks they styled themselves.
In addition to the fashion and art, attendees were reminded of the main purpose of the event: giving back. This year all proceeds from the show were donated to Ozone House, a community based nonprofit organization that helps young people in Washtenaw County through housing and support programs, teaching essential life skills, improving relationships and enhancing their self image. “It’s bigger than just fashion and arts, helping people is our top priority and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said EnspiRED president Vivian Obia.
The show concluded with an extremely powerful spoken word piece by two volunteers from Ozone House, as well as closing regards from EnspiRED’s talented Executive Board.
The ability to combine the arts and charity is no small feat, yet EnspiRED executed this balance flawlessly and will continue to stylishly empower and help those beyond Michigan’s campus through fashion.