By Raena Doty
With a catwalk, sparkly stars on the walls, and streamers to set the mood, the Fashion Club hosted a celebrity look-alike competition as a way to foster community and promote a shared love of fashion in the school Oct. 20.
Odila Mendez, senior fashion design and merchandising major and president of the Fashion Club, said this was the first time the event was held.
“We wanted to do something unique and different, so we thought hey, why not do something fashion-related? So we thought, OK, boom, Celebrity Look-Alike Costume Party,” she said.
Mendez also said the Fashion Club was inspired by the Halloween season. “We always hear about Halloween parties this or Halloween-themed that so we wanted to give it our own little spin.”
Beverly Leino, senior fashion design and merchandising major and the Fashion Club’s publicist, said, “It’s a great way to meet people and to find other people that share your interests … It’s really helpful for freshmen to go to events like this.”
The event started with about an hour and a half of socializing, food, and dancing. A considerable crowd gathered on the dance floor when “Cupid Shuffle” played.
Nineteen people dressed up for the celebrity or character look-alike competition.
Emily Monaco, a sophomore studio arts major, wore a painted body suit, styled her hair, and did her makeup to match the titular character in “Bride of Re-Animator,” a 1989 horror film.
“I am a huge fan of horror, and I felt like it would be totally such a waste if I didn’t wear this costume. I made this entirely myself. I painted it with textile paint and went to a horror convention and I figured, why not enter in the fashion competition?” she said.
Erin Gemme, a sophomore early childhood education major, was a doppelganger to hip-hop artist Yung Gravy.
“I love Halloween. I love dressing up. Had to show up, simple as that,” Gemme said when asked why they decided to come to the event.
Ciana Dickey, a sophomore health and wellness major and an RA in Corinne Hall Towers, came dressed as Blair Waldorf from “Gossip Girl.”
“I came here tonight because I saw this event promoted on Instagram and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that sounds so much fun. I need to make this my tag-along event for my residents, so I tried to get the whole building to come. Didn’t necessarily work out but I got some great residents who are definitely into it,” she said.
Other participants came dressed up as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Miss Frizzle from “The Magic School Bus,” two people as Jennifer Lopez, and Kendall Jenner, to name a few.
Half an hour before the official end of the event, the competition itself started and everyone participating lined up along a wall to show off their costumes. There were awards in three categories: “Most Creative,” “Most Look-Alike,” and “Crowd Favorite.”
“Crowd Favorite” was voted through polls on the Fashion Club’s Instagram story. The first round of voting turned out to be a four-way tie among contestants dressed as Annie from “Annie,” Katy Perry, Selena, and Diana Ross. A second tiebreaker round of voting was held.
The winner was the Selena look-alike, Charity Rose Marino, senior fashion design and merchandising majors.
She was involved with the Fashion Club in previous years, though she said she hasn’t had time to participate this year. She came to the event because it sounded like fun and she already had an outfit in her closet she’d bought.
Marino received a pair of Beats headphones for winning.
The award for “Most Creative” went to two people wearing a joint costume: Aili Schiavoni and Sage Sampson, both freshmen fashion design and merchandising majors.
Together, they came dressed as Gunther and Tinka Hessenheffer from “Shake It Up!” The hand-painted costumes were replicas of what the characters wore in the pilot episode of the show.
Their prize was a singular Apple Watch for the both of them.
“Most Look-Alike” went to Kyra Tolley, a sophomore sociology major, dressed as Britney Spears. She won a 32-inch Roku TV, a surprise to her, though she had been planning her costume for about two weeks in advance.
“I just love dressing up. It’s really fun for me, and my best friend loves Britney Spears,” she said. “He was like, ‘You have to be Britney Spears.’”
Fashion Club hosts other events throughout the year.
Bella Omar, a sophomore fashion design and merchandising major and treasurer of the Fashion Club, said, “We do a ‘trashion’ show in the fall, and then we host Bingos and other fashion-related parties and things. We just did a clothing swap last week.”
She said the Fashion Design and Retailing department as a whole, not only the club, provides other valuable assets to the University.
“We host a spring fashion show where all the seniors showcase their final projects. It’s a really big one,” Omar said. “We also do a New York trip in the spring.”
She said events like the look-alike contest will hopefully serve to make more people interested in fashion.
This was the Fashion Club’s first year doing the look-alike contest, but Mendez said they’re interested in making it a tradition.