AXO Runway :: Fashion for Philanthropy

This past Wednesday night, 145 Dwinelle was transformed into a glamorous venue complete with DJ and colorful decorations as the girls of Alpha Chi Omega took over for their runway charity event. This show – the sorority’s annual big philanthropy event, according to second-year Jennifer Sternberg, Vice President of Fraternity Relations – was originally inspired last year by “Project Runway” as a fun way to support their national cause, domestic violence awareness. Tickets were $6 at the door, and all proceeds are going to benefit A Safe Place, a women’s shelter in Oakland.

The show featured ten Greek teams, four fraternities and six sororities, competing in a style war of high fashion and game day looks. But, like every good “Project Runway” episode, the designer teams had to make it work with a set of eclectic and not always flattering set of fabrics given to them by the AXO organizers (think football prints and white faux fur, just to name a few).

“We were given a variety of fabrics and we just tried to put it together in a stylish way,” Maya Yizhaky, freshman, said of her design for the Alpha Omicron Pi.

The show started with the “game day” looks, as models from each of the houses strutted their stuff and showed off Cal pride. Ranging from cute strapless dresses by the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority to downright disturbing short-shorts from frat Phi Delta Theta, these looks were fun, wacky, and even occasionally wearable.

“It was a good mix of goofiness and creativity,” said AXO first-year Hannah Kopeikin. “Definitely a unique group of costume designs.”

After a brief intermission performance by the female a capella group Golden Overtones, the remaining models stomped – and sometimes danced – out with their “high fashion” styles. Highlights included a well-sewn zebra print strapless romper by Pi Beta Phi that even Nina Garcia wouldn't find faults with, and Sigma Phi Epsilon’s Patrick Stelmach crawling around in a zebra costume to the Lion King theme (he later won the crowd vote for favorite model). Most frats’ outfits, though, would have had even Tim Gunn worried – like Sigma Chi's zebra pants and fur suspenders combo.

After a stellar musical performance by the Men's Octet, the judges – one from each competing house and two from AXO – deliberated, and AXO raffled off Bloc Party concert tickets and gift certificates to the audience. In the end, despite the men’s hilarious efforts, true style prevailed as Pi Phi’s one-shouldered brown satin game day dress and high fashion romper won them overall best design for the second year in a row. While the show may not have been up to Michael Kors’ or Heidi Klum’s sartorial standards, it was certainly a fun and entertaining display of creativity that’s sure to be back next year for a third season.

You can see why Pi Beta Phi won for their adorable printed romper

Unique sculptural detailing on Kappa Kappa Gamma' high fashion look

Phi Delta Theta shows off a couture man-skirt

Tri-Delt finished off the high-fashion display

Pi Phi's game day look - making even Oski hats look cute

AOPi's Danesha McCoy looking fierce in a game day gown

The Tri-Delt team's game day look

Denise Rodriguez of AOPi in a high-fashion T-shirt

Photos by Albert Treat

Elena Radicati
BARE Assistant Editor

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