The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Haraya’s Fashionable Benefit 2005 rocks the Little Theater

With 51 models, a live band, seven scenes and America’s Next Top Model in attendance, Haraya’s Fashionable Benefit 2005 was indeed a trendy place to be last Friday and Saturday night. Haraya joined with Student Life to coordinate the two-day show and donate the proceeds to the Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

“We know people are struggling down there,” said Haraya member Cassey Burrell, who was a makeup artist for the show. “The money is going to a very good cause.”

The show, sponsored by Complex magazine, raised over $3,000 to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Haraya has been planning the Fashionable Benefit since the start of the school year, E-mailing designers, looking for clothing, and finding models to work with. Several designers from last year’s show decided to return, and others were eager to feature their fashions. Participants included L-R-G, Beeing, Sean John, DC Shoes, Massive Revolution, and Paper Denim and Cloth.

“We had designers saying ‘we heard about your event, can we do it?’ And we were like, sure you can do it, the more the merrier,” Burrell said.

Many people were also interested in modeling in this years’ show.

“One hundred eighteen people tried out (to model),” coordinator Jessica Nabongo said. “I chose models based on personality.”

Naima Mora, who was crowned the fourth winner of “America’s Next Top Model,” came to support the Fashionable Benefit.

“I loved it,” Mora said of the show. “It definitely was great.”

Mora is also a fan of the music group Game Rebellion and decided to attend the show because “I support Haraya and the event itself,” she said.

The Fashionable Benefit featured seven scenes where the models wore different types of clothing: T-shirts, T-shirts, and more T-shirts, Jean Scene, Ties Any Way You Want It, Paris 1930s, Rugby Ralph Lauren, Urban Landscape and Skater, Chains, and Rock and Roll.

“The skaters scene was my favorite,” Nabongo said. During that scene, Game Rebellion performed on stage while the models all displayed their clothing.

“It was really high energy, the models had fun with it,” Nabongo said.

For everyone involved, putting the show together took much preparation. The models spent two days a week rehearsing for a month to learn how to walk the right way.

“We had a couple of long, long nights preparing for the show, but they were worth it,” model Ludny Pierre said.

Many of the models were grateful to have the opportunity to participate in the Fashionable Benefit.

“I met some great people and formed bonds that can only be formed by changing clothes in tight spaces and not having the time to care who’s looking,” Pierre said.

Model Adam Rodney said that while practice for the show was often not fun, the experience was worth all of the effort.

“When it comes time to go out on stage, your nerves are shot, but once you get dressed, it’s a rush for the whole show,” Rodney said.

Pierre was very appreciative of the seamless job done by everyone who worked for the show, especially Nabongo.

“She had the show on her shoulders, but she carried it like a diva,” Pierre said.

The Urban Landscape theme, the performance by Game Rebellion, the variety of looks featured in the seven scenes, and the money raised for Hurricane Katrina relief made the Fashionable Benefit 2005 a success.

“It was an all around great fashion show,” Burrell said. “We wanted to go out with a bang this year and we actually did.”

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