Behind the Scenes at Project East

by Lingbo Li

Fashion shows at Harvard often aren't quite so much about fashion as about other things. Like (we say this tongue in chic) seeing your friends looking really hot and plenty of blaring music and dancing (Eleganza) or with a greater focus on cultural identity (Identities - for which I did PR). Project East, which ran on November 14th, then, aims to differentiate itself by focusing almost purely on the clothes and designers themselves, with charming video title cards of each designer done in chalk on blackboard announcing who dreamed up each design. The show aims to "promote issues in both the Asian and fashion communities." Proceeds will be going towards building a school in rural China.

Backstage before the show, a crop of student models were trussed up in fantastical and whimsical and just plain beautiful clothing as finishing touches on hair and wardrobe were put into place by the team. Art director Andrew Cone explained that with the industrial space of Northwest Labs, he aimed to soften up and explore the contrast between the gray walls and red flowers that are Project East's logo.

The show is in its third year, now under the tutelage of Alexandra Clark and Tamara Harel-Cohen, after being started by Timothy Parent and Kristin Kim in 2007. Big names this year included Vera Wang, Derek Lam, and Uma Wang, along with clothes from Parsons student designers. VIP seats got a gift bag of Clinique skincare products

According to co-producer Tamara Harel-Cohen, that pesky recession meant that budgets were slashed, but on the plus side, a lot more money went to charity.

I got to hang out and chat with some models, as well as getting them to vogue for the camera before they went out and strut their stuff. What do you think? Headed for New York Fashion Week? Suffice to say, I had no idea so many tall, good looking people existed at Harvard.

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