Stanford's Charity Fashion Show

From vinyl gowns to retro chic swim suits, Stanford’s Charity Fashion Show brought together 25 collections from emerging designers united under a common cause. With over 2000 guests in attendance, CFS is the West Coast’s largest fashion show. This year’s beneficiary was Kiva, a non-profit organization on a mission to alleviate poverty by giving micro-loans to entrepreneurs worldwide. The Charity Fashion Show culminated in a full-scale, glamorous production as impressive as the organization’s dedication to philanthropy.

A look from Tosca Soraya's line.

The evening began with Tosca Soraya’s eclectic line. Fusing futurism and femininity, the Dutch-born designer blended structured, military silhouettes with lace and textured fabrics. She creates subtle, layered details with her meticulous tailoring. The white, vinyl jacket with a high collar and puffed sleeves evoked a sci-fi fantasy, with its layers of fabric like robotic fish gills joined by the double-breasted front zipper. Edgy, drop-crotch jumpsuits followed dresses with tutu-like layers of mesh and plaid.

A couple of looks from Civil Society.

Civil Society’s urban menswear collection boasted sleek updates of contemporary, casual looks. Their dark jeans flatter the wearer with a defined fit that is neither too tight nor too baggy—a perfect complement to their assortment of bomber jackets, playful bow-ties and puffy sneakers. Combining traditional formal wear with sportswear-inspired silhouettes, Civil Society’s low-key pieces balance current style with classic masculinity.

A look from Aksel.

Favoring a playful presentation, French label Aksel sexed up their collection of simple, solid color and striped men’s shirts. Male and female models danced out on the runway, donning the button-downs as if they were filming a morning-after breakfast scene for a romantic comedy.

A few looks from Kittinhawk.

San Francisco’s Kittinhawk offered a short sampling of their decadently detailed collection. Models came out in two groups of three and four girls, all in black dresses uniquely layered and draped with lace, chains and vinyl.

A few looks from Future Faces of Fashion student interns. All photography by John Kim.

Amid the professional designers, CFS featured their Future Faces of Fashion Internship Program’s special collections from talented, fashion-minded high school students Nicole Pansoy, Ylizaveta Shmatko, Taylor Tompane and Mary Lucas. FFF gives local high school students practical experience in fashion design while encouraging them to appreciate the diversity of human beauty. Featuring a variety of structured capes and jackets in deep reds and violets, Lucas’s designs were reminiscent of a fashion-forward Little Red Riding Hood. Meanwhile, Tompane welcomed the spring season with her collection of girly dresses.

Danielle Pettee’s was the final collection, featuring a wide variety of silky, feminine dresses with bright accents of well-planned paint splatters. The feather-like mesh ruffles and soft, metallic shades of vinyl fabric made for an interesting departure from classic spring florals. Here’s a video of the final walkout:

The collections featured in the Charity Fashion Show balanced cutting-edge fashion and practical wearability suited for a socially-conscious Bay Area clientele. But more importantly, CFS is a refreshing reminder of how art can foster community, locally and worldwide.

Nastia Voynovskaya
Editorial Director


  1. This is so cool! Can't wait to attend this next year! Please keep us updated

  2. great run down of the evnt! I had such a fun time!

  3. I love the 'A look from Tosca Soraya's line.' beautiful

  4. There should be more events like this!