MODA spring fashion show, 2013

(Photography by Tom Tian, AB’10)

Girls (and guys) on film

Chicago style rules the runway.

On a Friday evening in early March, I covered MODA’s spring fashion show at Union Station. A popular and productive student organization, MODA focuses on all things fashion. It has a magazine, a blog, and a designer boot camp, where students delve into a yearlong curriculum that teaches clothing design and construction.

The spring fashion show is MODA’s highest profile annual event, featuring student work alongside that of professional designers. Walking into Union Station’s neoclassical great hall, I thought, this is what New York Fashion Week must be like. Students dressed in slinky cocktail dresses and platform shoes of all colors milled about, making last-minute preparations, as I pushed my way through the 1,200-person crowd to the press area.

With Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough” blaring over the speakers, I settled into a seat. The lights went down at 8:55 p.m., and a student model wearing a ’20s-style birdcage and green silk dress strutted down the runway. Immediately behind her came a stream of male and female models sporting styles both minimalist (sleek shifts, solid shirts and slacks) and intricately detailed (a polka-dot coatdress with red buttons was especially eye-catching). A student modeling a black swimsuit with daring cutouts earned raucous applause for her moxie.

Amid the fashion frenzy, I somehow missed my colleague Tom Tian, AB’10, photographing the show. Below are some of his images of event highlights.


Pony up: As the crowd streams into Union Station, a model gets a topknot.


Outsize blonde wigs contrast with sleek black dresses.


The models take one last walk wearing fashions by student designers: Alicia French, ’14; Amy Chou, ’15; Ethan Stockwell, ’16; Harrison Yu, ’15; Jonah Freedman, ’15; Joy Mao, ’14; Kumalasari Sondjaja, ’13; Maggie Sivit, ’14; Mary Ella Simmons, ’14; Maya Fraser, ’14; Noreen Wall, ’15; Tananya Thamthieng, ’16; and Trevor Ly, ’15.


MODA’s 2013 spring fashion show.