GALLERY: Fashion show celebrates breaking gender roles

Clothes featured during Unity Week event were designed with gender-fluid people in mind

JOEL KEMEGUE, Evergreen mint editor

Fans of fashion, music and drag came together Tuesday in the CUB Senior Ballroom for a show that challenged ideas of gender and sexual expression through clothing.

Unity Week Fashion & Drag Show: United We Are Stronger brought GIESORC members, students from WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles and local clothing brands together for a gender-fluid runway show.

There were also performances throughout the show from three drag queens and a drag king, as well as a Q&A panel.

“The fashion show, their own outfits and the Q&A was interesting,” said Bailey Brynelson, freshman wildlife ecology major. “It was a lot of fun.”

The show featured clothes donated by brands Audio Helkuik, Babeland, FOXERS, and Shapeshifters and clothes designed by students of WSU’s AMDT department. Many of the models were also members of GIESORC.

The clothes were designed to promote fluid fashion, a style that rejects strict ideas of femininity and masculinity in clothing and focusing on freedom in gender and sexual expression, said model Samantha Villafuerte.

“I feel like it’s expressing yourself and not constraining to male or female, regardless of if you identify with either,” Villafuerte said. “ Kind of just seeing what you like, wearing it and calling it your own.”

On the runway, a diverse group of models wore everything from corsets and Victorian dresses to leather jackets to a rainbow crop top and sweatpants, all to the sound of the cheering crowd.

The show also featured drag performers Aquasha DeLusty, Faye, Hashtag Adjective and Roderick Von Schlong, each dancing around the audience to songs like “Froot” by Marina and the Diamonds and “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon.

The performers showed off outfits of their own such as Hashtag Adjective’s frilly dress and fruit hat and Faye’s dress made out of soda tabs.

Then the models and drag performers were brought on stage together for a final showing of all the outfits. To close out the show, the drag performers sat down onstage for a Q&A panel, telling the audience what inspired them to become a drag performer, what their first performances were like and what advice they have for those also thinking of becoming a performer.

The performers emphasized self-acceptance, including the importance of loving personal imperfections, and self-expression in any form as the key qualities of doing drag. They also relayed their own fears of starting out in the industry.

“No one can tell you you’re doing it wrong,” DeLusty said. “It’s your drag. It’s a reflection of you.”

Both DeLusty and Hashtag Adjective said they had fun doing the show and praised WSU’s AMDT students for their work on the outfits.

“I think the show was really successful. The fashion students really poured their heart into it,” Hashtag Adjective said. “The show looked amazing. Really looking forward to having it again next year.”