Students share passion for fashion with campus RSO

Chester+Wilson+III+models+for+a+photo+shoot+that+celebrates+gender+neutral+clothing+in+February+2020.

Photo Courtesy of The Fashion Network

Chester Wilson III models for a photo shoot that celebrates gender neutral clothing in February 2020.

By Jenni Kallenback, Staff Writer

For the fashionably inclined or the photography inspired students on campus, finding a community of other folks with similar interests can be as simple as turning to the RSO catalog. There, one can find The Fashion Network, a fashion magazine that works to produce high-quality content highlighting the fun and the fabulous.

The Fashion Network attracts photographers, beginners and experienced, models, stylists and writers to contribute. They have published one issue per semester filled with sharp photos and compelling articles. Their most recent issue came out in January under the direction of previous President and Editor-in-Chief Sidney Madden and incoming President and Editor-in-Chief Jessie Peng.

Tyler Hixton and Elizabeth Karlovics model for a photo shoot that celebrates gender-neutral clothing in February 2020. (Photo Courtesy of The Fashion Network)

While their approach to putting together their latest project had to be adjusted to accommodate all COVID-19 procedures, the final product dazzles and intrigues those with an eye for the glamorous.

“I think we’ve had a very successful semester being online,” said Nubaira Kabir, treasurer of The Fashion Network. 

Most organizations and clubs on campus have not been able to meet as a whole since back before March of 2020. Members may be meeting virtually through Zoom or contributing and participating individually from different locations and time zones. Some made an effort to hold socially distanced in-person meetings when the weather was more temperate. 

Some have found this to contradict the purpose of an organization: to come together because of a common goal or interest. However, organizations have been doing the best they could given the circumstances.

The situation for The Fashion Network had added complications with their Zoom meetings, due to the immense amount of coordination between the several individuals that are required for their work. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, though, The Fashion Network has continued to publish content and create a fashion community on campus.

The Fashion Network published its Fall 2020 issue, Issue 06, on Jan. 1. Because some members were off campus, they had to make do with Zoom or FaceTime photoshoots. 

“If you were modeling, you could FaceTime a photographer, and they would tell you how to pose and how to take pictures on your phone. They really made it easy for people to do,” said member Nataleigh Rix.

Rix has styled and modeled for The Fashion Network and used clothes she designed for photoshoots. Under normal circumstances, models would get their makeup done by makeup artists and stylists would bring clothes, but last semester, models styled themselves. 

The Fashion Network’s Fall 2020 issue discusses how fashion is related to social issues and activism and emphasized the importance of voting.

“We want to tailor our magazine to current events and voting is such an important issue that we want all members to participate in no matter what they believe in,” Kabir said. “Voting is such an important power that people have.”

If members wanted to be involved in the “Vote” photoshoot, Rix said they had to apply by saying why voting was important to them and why it should be included in the issue.

Alanis Caref, Christine Chustak and Irene Ryu model for an early 2000s–inspired photo shoot in February 2020. (Photo Courtesy of The Fashion Network)

The Fashion Network collaborated with Kat Walk, a modeling RSO, for this shoot. The accompanying article discussed how clothing can be used to judge the people wearing it, especially women. One photo shows a model Kat Tamayo with two female gender symbols painted on her face.

“If you have these cool pictures of models on the page, you’re really drawn to whatever it is they’ve written about,” Rix said.

The Fashion Network also sells “Vote” stickers and accessories on RedBubble.

In addition to creating a community for fashion lovers and raising awareness about social issues that intersect with fashion, The Fashion Network provides an opportunity to make connections with brands for those interested in the fashion industry.

Before the pandemic hit, The Fashion Network partnered with brands by wearing their clothing during shoots. The Fashion Network is also sponsored locally by Karma Trade, which is a clothing swap service where people can trade in their old clothes for store credit.

Kabir said the biggest challenge for The Fashion Network has been not being able to bring all its members together, as social events and coordinated photoshoots haven’t been possible. Also, as an economics and biology major, she enjoys getting inspiration from members’ unique styles.

“I love being involved in that world especially because my major and what I do at school has nothing to do with fashion,” Kabir said.

Rix said she was amazed by how members still came together because of their passion for fashion despite the pandemic.

“If you’re looking at the issue compared to any issue in the past, it doesn’t seem any different,” Rix said. “It doesn’t even seem like there’s a pandemic which I think is really cool and I’m really proud of how that turned out.” 

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