UH students organize enticing fashion show

Students showed up by the hundreds Sunday to celebrate to celebrate culture in the Vietnamese Student Association’s second annual A Fashionable Date.

The fashion show at the University Center Houston Room was attended by an audience of around 400 students, parents, dancers, fashion designers and models.

The main benefactor was the Sunflower Mission, whose goal is to elevate the educational level of people in Vietnam by building schools and aiding in educational assistance programs. In 2006 the organization raised $109,000 that went toward the building of classrooms in Vietnam and $37,000 toward scholarships.

Fashion shows kicked off the festivities. The main outfit exhibited was the ‘aacute;o d’aacute;i, the traditional dress of Vietnamese women. The ‘aacute;o d’aacute;i, is a long, elegantly embroided dress that often reaches the ground and is tight-fitting around the curves, emphasizing the female silhouette.

The more traditional styles of designer Andrea Nguyen were first in the line up Sunday night. Two-tone dresses with bright shades of green, yellow and turquoise with natural, organic adornments traversed the catwalk. Nature was the main theme, with most of the dresses adorned with flower and leaf patterns.

Nguyen’s display of semi-traditional ‘aacute;o d’aacute;i followed, with higher neck-lines and softer colors such as pinks, yellows, whites and light blues. Gone were the natural patterns, replaced with soothing pastel colors.

Keeping up with the fashion timeline, Nguyen followed with a modern collection. The patterns now were playful, and for lack of a better word, modern. Sharp angles and creative green and red details adorned one black ‘aacute;o d’aacute;i, while another displayed a festive mix of orange, red and white. Bust lines were lowered and the long-sleeves of the previous collections disappeared and were replaced with spaghetti straps.

The transition to the abstract designs of Vivi Hua’s collection was made and interpretation of the Dem ngam ngui, a traditional Vietnames dance performed by Cypress Falls High School. The "little brothers" of the VSA did not fail to impress with their beautiful choreography and a climactic and inspirational ending; a gigantic blue lace star across the stage, to lyrics that loosely translate to "always reach for the stars."

Hua’s exotic fashions came next. A playful, pear-shaped dress which turned into an elegant black evening gown when the top was released was followed by the biggest surprise of the night, a dress made entirely of aluminum Coca-Cola cans.

"I kept my theme simple, with things that you see in everyday life," Hua said.

About ten brave students sacrificed and at times humiliated themselves to raise money for Sunflower Mission. They danced and sang as impressed bidders battled each other for the coveted dates. One auctionee even offered to cook for her date. "I make some mean fettuccini alfredo!" she yelled from the stage, but all to no avail.

Her $95 was trumped by the $135 date bid for psychology freshman Masie Cheng. "I feel lucky, I didn’t think (a date with me) was worth so much," Cheng said. "I am happy about helping out and hopefully (my contribution) will make a difference."

The event, which was produced by University of Houston VSA members and funded with the help of sponsors, was a beautiful glimpse into Vietnamese culture

Leave a Comment