Fordham Fashion For Philanthropy Braves Contradiction


FFP hosts an annual fashion show. (Courtesy of Instagram)

On Saturday, April 15, 2023, Fashion for Philanthropy (FFP) held its annual spring fashion show and put on an unforgettable night in the McGinley Ballroom. Fashion for Philanthropy is a student-run club at Fordham that brings together like-minded, creative students passionate about fashion and service. The spring fashion show is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year, donating all proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Metro New York Area. Since 2006, FFP has donated over $63,000 to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. 

This year, the show’s theme was “Contradiction,” and the fierce looks on the runway demonstrated confidence, creativity and radiant self-expression. Aligning with the theme of sustainable fashion, models were tasked with creating three unique looks they could wear on the runway by recycling, reusing, and reimagining the clothing items they already owned. As a model myself in the show, I must contest that this task was initially a daunting challenge, and I struggled to figure out which items in my closet were cut out for the runway. However, with time and patience, I embraced the opportunity for self-expression and creativity within this challenge. This year’s theme was built around the idea of sustainability and being confident in what you already have in your closet without having to buy something new or conform to today’s trends.

One model after another, the looks on the runway were unexpected, extravagant, over the top and jaw-dropping. Many of the looks featured contradicting prints, colors that don’t necessarily pair and mix-and-match fabric textures. Focusing on contradiction in the seasons, one model strutted the catwalk in a summer bathing suit, sunglasses and a fox fur winter headband. Similarly, another look featured a Hawaiian summer shirt and a winter burlap scarf worn as a skirt. In the same way, many unique looks paired colorful patterns with mix-and-match fabrics. One look featured green utility-like cargo pants with a more feminine, sheer, purple lace top. Many models achieved similar looks by mismatching loose-fitting, baggy pants or a skirt with a more tight-fitting, structured top. Similarly, many models juxtaposed different dress code genres to curate interesting and eloquent looks, such as pairing business blazers with shorts and sporty sneakers.

In addition to nailing down the theme of contradiction with their runway looks, many of the models in the show wore their clothing articles in creative, unexpected ways. For instance, one model creatively tied a traditional button-down, striped collared shirt into a new elegant wrap-style mini-dress. Likewise, another model wore a tie as a necklace and another wore a traditional skirt as a flowy tube top. 

Coupled with the theme of contradiction in fashion, the models heavily accessorized to level up their runway looks and express their true personalities. For example, one model featured an “I ♥ Pugsley’s Pizza” baseball cap in two of her runway outfits, which showcased her playful personality and spunk. With the same idea of heavily accessorizing to elevate an outfit, another model paired a lace, doll-like white dress with contrasting leather platform-heeled boots, unique jewelry and black lace gloves.

FFP works closely with a company each year to sponsor the Fashion Show. This year, the show was sponsored by ITGirl, a jewelry company with a mission surrounding self-love and the idea that everyone has the perfect “it girl” potential. Moreover, the talented entrepreneur behind the company is Kate Barton, GSB ’25. Barton is an active member of FFP, walking as a model in the show and giving an opening speech before the show’s commencement. In her speech, Barton emphasized the company’s mission to redefine what it truly means to be an “it girl” rather than striving to meet society’s standards of perfection. Barton believes we are all “it girls” in our own ways and hopes she can empower others to believe in themselves, tell their stories and unleash their inner “it girl” by wearing her jewelry collection. 

Each jewelry piece displayed by the models looked exceptionally made, well-crafted and professional up on stage. Outside the McGinley Ballroom, Barton set up a small pop-up shop for ITGirl, where the audience could browse her collection and speak to the young entrepreneur after the show finished. Near the ITGirl pop-up shop, FFP had tables beautifully decorated with top-tier raffle baskets, including luxury name-brand items such as Olaplex, Tarte and Dormify. 

As for the show’s layout, the models strutted down the catwalk on a platform, T-shaped runway stage. Throughout the entire duration of the show, fast-paced, energetic music boomed throughout the room as the models walked down the runway. Furthermore, everybody that attended the show received a complimentary goodie bag filled with unique items such as fun beverages, beauty samples, sweet treats and even a freebie class to Barry’s Bootcamp in NYC. 

To put on a performance like this, club members work hard throughout the fall and spring semesters to ensure that the event falls into place seamlessly. Throughout the year, students in FFP work together to brainstorm ideas, acquire donations, stuff goodie bags, find sponsors for the event, and overall work hard behind the scenes to bring the event to life. Seniors Anna Gaylord, FCRH ’23, and Christina Muraskas, FCRH ’23, organized the show, led outreach and excelled in their leadership roles to make the event successful.