Behind the scenes at the MODA fashion show.
On a Friday evening in late February, the balcony of Union Station’s Great Hall was lined with bags: purses, backpacks, suitcases, totes, and pouches. Navigating the marble gallery with photographer Tom Tian, AB’10, I found an empty spot to plop down my own handbag and took in the scene as young men and women prepared for MODA’s annual spring fashion show. A student group that promotes fashion and design, MODA has a prolific blog, glossy magazine, and designer boot camp program. The spring fashion show—typically held a few weeks before spring officially begins—is the club’s signature event, showcasing the work of both students and established designers. With Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” humming in the background, I helped Tom set up his equipment. Meanwhile MODA organizers paced back and forth, shouting last-minute instructions and trying to cut down on the balcony clutter (“Whose trash is that?” asked one, passing by us and grabbing a piece of paper we’d left on the floor after unpacking). Student models in leggings and T-shirts ran downstairs to the dressing room, reemerging with intricate hairstyles and chic outfits: a green cocktail dress with a flared skirt, a red velvet tank top paired with sleek white pants, simple black shifts complemented by patent leather stilettos. One young woman practiced her runway pose, walking a few steps forward, dropping a shoulder, and twisting to the right as her friend snapped a photo and advised, “Don’t look sideways, look up.” Staking out a space amid a throng of photographers, Tom began capturing the preshow preparations. Here’s a glimpse of the hustle and bustle.