From the Manchester College Archives

News Release




International Fashion Show on Dec. 1

Celebrates Manchester’s diversity


The tailor of Tihitina Mekete Dagnew’s dress used traditional wood tools to hand-craft the intricate gold designs on her traditional Ethiopian “abesha kemise.” The beautiful dress is perfect for formal occasions, weddings – and Manchester College’s annual International Fashion Show.

“It takes a lot of time, as it requires precision and finesse” to create the uniquely Ethiopian outfit, noted Dagnew, a first-year student from tropical Addis Ababa, as she shivers in the Midwest fall.  She will join students in modeling native clothing from at least 17 countries for the annual Fashion Show, which begins at 7 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 1 in Wampler Auditorium.

The show celebrates the diversity of Manchester College, which this semester has drawn almost 5 percent of its students from 27 countries. “We hope we can help to develop an international awareness in the community, and we hope we can help our students realize there is a world outside campus,” said Jacquilline Nagila, director of multicultural services and campus diversity. She will wear a colorful hand-made outfit from her native land of Kenya.

Students will model traditional clothing from around the globe – the Philippines, India, Mexico, Nicaragua and Japan to Nigeria, Afghanistan, Uganda, Malaysia, Palestine, Guatemala, Ecuador, China, Indonesia, Panama … and North America.

The design junior Ha Phan of Vietnam will model is very special – tailored for her when she was home in Ha Noi last summer. Her ao dai is modified from the traditional long skirted dress for very special occasions. “The traditional one has a high neck and even sleeves; mine has a boat neck and diagonal sleeves,” she said.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is using the fashion show as an opportunity to raise awareness about how AIDS affects society. Free-will contributions and donated canned goods will go to the Fort Wayne-based Aids Task Force, which serves 11 counties in northeast Indiana.

Music and refreshments also are on the program, with donations from many generous community businesses.


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