For the average student, Sunday night generally turns out to be the time to play catch-up on all the studying and school work that probably should have been finished over the weekend, or at least a time to mull over it. However, for Charlotte Todd and the sisters of Pi Beta Phi, as well as other sorority and fraternity members from UC Irvine, Sunday Jan. 28 was anything but.
Just after 7 p.m., Todd, a second-year psychology and social behavior major, walked onto the runway to introduce the evening’s events to a standing-room only crowd; each of the hundred or so seats surrounding the runway were already taken. Attended mainly by Pi Beta Phi’s fellow fraternity and sorority members from the Irvine campus, the event also gained support from a few proud parents and significant others. Chic and well-dressed, the crowd’s style proved to be only a hint of what was to come.
The night included a fashion show, featuring the newest line from LF Stores for Spring 2007, as well as an after party featuring music and cocktails in a sleek setting. The fashion show, which was put together in order to raise funds for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, was held at Seven-Degrees, one of the many contemporary art exhibition centers in Laguna Beach.
Todd, who served as the most recent vice president of event planning for Pi Beta Phi, teamed up with LF Stores in order to organize this benefit event. According to Laura Waite, store manager for the LF Stores Laguna Beach location, LF Stores ‘features up-and-coming designs direct from Europe.’
To date, LF Stores, which has locations nationwide in such trendy areas as Soho (New York City) and Union Square (San Francisco), has raised over $75,000 for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. For Pi Beta Phi’s fashion event, LF Stores matched, dollar-for-dollar, all contributions made to the foundation. Besides straightforward donations, those in attendance could also contribute to the total fund LF Stores matched by purchasing $1 entry tickets to a prize drawing.
Todd explained that BCRF is a great organization to give to because ’85 percent of all funds go directly to cancer research.’ According to its Web site, since its opening in 1993, the nonprofit organization has had a mission ‘to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and genetic research at leading medical centers worldwide and increasing public awareness about good breast health.’
The fashion fundraiser, which featured 15 outgoing UC Irvine students from various sororities and fraternities, cost $15 for UCI students and $20 for the general public. Along with the show, the event included food catered by Pomodoro Cucina Italiana and an electric array of music by DJ Allan Bina. Decorated in soft blues and silvers, the design of Seven-Degrees added a modern feel to the evening.
After Todd made a few quick announcements and introductions, the evening’s events quickly got underway as two shirtless male models proceeded down the catwalk. Dressed simply in black boxers, a total of four male models each displayed a pink letter (‘B,’ ‘C,’ ‘R’ or ‘F) on the backside of their boxer shorts. All together, the letters formed the initials for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, for which the entire night was organized. It was a simple, yet unique way to fuse the fashion and fundraising parts of this event together on the runway.
Since the fashion show featured clothing and styles from LF Stores’ Spring 2007 line, it functioned as a kind of preview for the newest designs soon to come to LF Stores nationwide. Waite described the style as ‘Mod.’ There were bright colors, like tangerine and turquoise, boldly mixed with black and white geometric patterns. Imagine Twiggy or Pop Art from the 1960s. Hair and make-up styling was provided by the Paul Mitchell School. Long lashes, striking eye shadow and volume-infused hair seemed to support the Mod-inspired looks of the event. Overall, the show seemed extremely well-planned and professionally staged.
Considering the collaboration that took place among the different sororities and fraternities of the UC Irvine campus, many of the models expressed their satisfaction with having had the opportunity to have met other sorority and fraternity members.
Lynae Hashimoto, fifth-year sociology major representing Pi Beta Phi, thought that the best part of the entire experience was ‘getting to know the girls from other UCI sororities and a bit of the fashion, too, of course.’
Runway practices sometimes lasted three hours.
‘It took a lot of time, but [the end result] was all worth it,’ said Alexandra Kim, a second-year English major from Kappa Alpha Theta. Numerous other models echoed this same sentiment.
As a current stylist for the Laguna Beach LF Stores location, Todd found inspiration to organize this fashion fundraiser because of the past LF Stores fashion shows she has attended, as well as her passion for event planning. With a concept in mind, Todd and the sisters of Pi Beta Phi started organizing and planning in September. Both a car wash and bake sale were held in order to raise funds for the event. At the end of the night, Todd expressed that all the hard work over the past four months paid off when ‘seeing everyone enjoy themselves and the end production.’