Vaudeville Fashion Show allows Dalhouise/King’s students to design, create and model clothing. We spoke to Vaudeville’s co-presidents, Charlotte Cowan and Courtney Edwards.
But, first, why Kim Milligan nominated the women of the society: “I am nominating these people because we are a group of mainly women coming together to put together a Fashion Show that promotes healthy body image and body positivity no matter the shape/size. All while being full/part time students and working jobs.”
Gazette: Tell us about the proudest achievement of the society up to now.
Courtney: One of the things we were really proud of last year was that we were featured as the front page of the Arts and Lifestyle section of the Chronicle Herald. So being able to reach outside of the Dal and King’s community and get that coverage across Halifax made us feel like we were ingrained in the community and becoming a part of the Halifax community at large.
Gazette: What’s the next thing the show wants to achieve?
Charlotte: Our show keeps growing and continues to grow. The show we’re putting on this year is the largest one ever. This is our fourth year as a society, so we’re still quite young in terms of growing and branching out and having people aware that there’s even a fashion and design society. We’re really excited because the collection we’re showcasing is our largest ever. We have 12 designers that will be designing a full showcase and then we have a group scene as well, so people will showcase outfits, like one or two pieces together. So this is the largest group we’ve ever had. We’re also in our second year as jointly ratified between Dalhousie and King’s and we’re networking among both schools and trying to build the biggest show we can this year.
Courtney: We’re also working with Laing House this year. It’s our first year working with them and we’ve got some really exciting partnerships with them and we’re really excited to partner with them.
Gazette: You two are graduating, so what’s the future looking like?
Charlotte: It’s looking good. Our exec team is solid, which is why they were all nominated [for Galhousie]. We have a variety of members in second and third year, so we have the full structure. We’re trying to recruit a bunch of first year models, which is a really great way to bridge into the society and then start taking on leadership roles, so you have varying members in second, third and fourth year. So we have this nice branch structure which will continue on once we head out.
Gazette: What’s the coolest thing the society ever did?
Charlotte: The creation of the society becoming so big and popular as fast as it did. I don’t think any of us were expecting it to take off like it did. When Donelle, who was the past president, started the society and reached out to us to help with it, it was such a small group. Now it’s such a big group – we’re estimating around 80 garments – and when we were in first year, it was like 25, 30 garments.
Courtney: I would say we’ve grown four times since the beginning. Also in terms of members of the society getting involved. We’ve created a lot of the exec roles as we’ve seen a need for them because the society is growing so quickly and we found a need to bring on more people to manage it.
I would also add that the positive message received from the show. We’re constantly hearing people say, ‘Oh, I can’t do that, I’m not model material, I don’t look like a model.’ And being able to challenge that and seeing people’s change in their perspective about what the fashion industry is and who they are and seeing their inner and outer beauty and the confidence grow in those models as they get involved with us from October til the end of the year.
Charlotte: Especially because all the garments are student-made. People assume we have a sponsored section, by like American Apparel or Urban Outfitters, but it’s all student-made clothing.