Fashion has for a long time been synonymous with a certain type of body.
thin. tall. White.
Gisele Bündchen on the Victoria’s Secret runway donning iconic wings. Kendall Jenner on the international covers of Vogue. Ariana Grande wearing Vera Wang at the 2018 Met Gala.
This often keeps fashionistas — especially members of the LGBTQ+ community — off runways. One student-led fashion organization at Vanderbilt University is looking to change that.
Enter Vandy Vanity.
On Saturday, April 8, the fashion group will host Cyber Futuristic, a fashion show that allows students to come as they are and feel seen and recognized, regardless of gender identity.
That’s why sophomore Stephon Bellamy helped organize the second annual event.
“It can feel lonely,” said Bellamy, an English and physics double major at Vanderbilt. “If you look around you can be like, ‘Oh, I’m the only minority here.’ … It’s just sort of the nuances of being at a private university.”
The event’s theme revolves around the future of fashion and the ever-growing technological takeover.
Some students participate for the fun of fashion. Others long for a professional career in fashion, from modeling to design.
What sets Vandy Vanity apart from other fashion organizations on campus is its inclusion of elements such as the ballroom scene, an underground LGBTQ+ subculture.
Since its conception, Vandy Vanity has hosted a fashion show, “Our Heavenly Bodies” and a Halloween Ball. Some models have been scouted by modeling agencies.
Bellamy said some patrons at last year’s inaugural event were brought to tears, and the designers involved have overcome the imposter syndrome that is often felt in the fashion industry.
“Our goal is just to really put a spotlight on the amazing people that are right here in our backyard,” said Bellamy, who also serves as Vandy Vanity’s chief of operations.
“We want to embrace this terror of technology and we’re incorporating that in our show. We also want to showcase a diverse array of what models look like.”
Saturday’s event, which wraps up a week of related events, starts at 7 pm at Vanderbilt’s Student Life Center Ballroom (310 25th Avenue S).
Diana Leyva is a breaking news and trending reporter at The Tennessean. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @_leyvadiana.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Fashion organization at Vanderbilt to host the second annual fashion show