International Fashion Show is “Under the Same Moon”

Take a magic carpet ride across the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, all under the same moon.

Manchester University students, alumni and community members will model traditional and modern attire, while emcees recite tales of the cultures and garments during “Under the Same Moon: International Fashion Show.” Prom, sports and MU spirit attire will also be featured.

The program is at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus.

Sit down, relax and enjoy the beautiful colors or get up and dance to the beat as participants perform dances from their respective cultures.  A brief question and answer session will follow.

Michael Dixon, director of Intercultural Services and international student advisor at MU, has helped organize this event and arranged for it to count for a VIA credit.

“[I hope] that even in the small town of North Manchester of 6,000, we can still have a strong representation across the world,” Dixon said. “Manchester has had a history of an international consciousness and this is just another manifestation of that.”

Dixon also elaborated on what the show will consist of. “We have had a callout in September to find models and then another one a week later. We're doing walks, wardrobe changes; the show is going to look more like a play.

“There will be a script written up and we will have emcees sharing information about the clothes and the countries like when [the clothing] is worn and the customs associated within the countries,” he said. There will also be dance segments between the continents. It gives the opportunity to showcase other cultures.”

Student organizer for the fashion show, Selamawit Nicolai is president of the African Student Association. She said the show is in part meant to address stereotypes people might have about clothes in other areas of the world.

“There will be information about each country that will more or less show what kind of different cultures are represented in Manchester and how much of a diversified campus we are, said Nicolai, who is from Ethiopia. “They can utilize this by asking each other and talking to each other. I want to get people interacting with each other and knowing they have access to different cultures on campus.”

Lacey Carr, an exercise science major from Indianapolis and first-year student at the North Manchester campus, is among those taking part in the show. “I just want (the viewers) to learn about different cultures and how they have different styles for different events,” she said.

Another first-year student, Tobechukwu Helen Faith Nwaelugo, said the dance segment reminds her of home.  “I’m most excited about wearing my country’s clothes because I can't wear them to class, so I’m happy to show everybody, ‘Oh yeah, I wear this in Nigeria!’ "

The program will not only introduce different cultures but will promote awareness and tolerance toward these cultures. It will also aim to answer any questions and dispel stereotypes against a certain culture or group.

The program is sponsored by the MU Office of Multicultural Affairs and Peace Studies Institute.

Manchester University offers more than 60 areas of undergraduate study, one master's program and a professional doctorate to nearly 1,500 students from 24 states and 24 countries. It has two campuses, North Manchester and Fort Wayne.

Compiled with assistance by Rebekah S. Landers, media relations assistant.

November 10, 2014 (Updated November 19, 2014)

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