Asian fashions a matter of culture

by Sara Goo

Calling it a “fiesta for Asian culture,” organizers from the Philippine Students’ Association are preparing for their third annual fashion show on Saturday at Coffman Memorial Union.
The fashion show will include an exhibition of food and dance as well as contemporary and historic cultural clothing. This year’s theme, “Moda at Kultura,” means “fashion and culture” in Pilipino, which is the language spoken on the Phillipine Islands.
The group aims to attract students outside the Asian community.
“We believe in education through entertainment,” said Jerald Garcia, president of the group. “The only way to teach a culture to many people is through their own interests (like a fashion show).”
Local clothing stores like The Limited, Banana Republic and Randy River will lend clothing to association members for the evening’s modern segment of the fashion show. For the cultural apparrel, the group will borrow clothes from the Cultural Society of Filipino-Americans in White Bear Lake, Minn.
This year the group will perform a re-enactment of the Santa Cruzan, which is a story about Catholic Saint Helen who searched for the true cross of Jesus Christ. The story includes a procession in which women present religious items. Each of the female presenters in the skit will represent the culture of one Asian country, such as Vietnam, China and Thailand.
Because May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Garcia said he wants the evening to break out of the stereotype that there is only one Asian culture.
“In general — (with) Asian culture — there’s a stereotype that’s always (associated with) the Chinese dragon,” he said. “But there’s more to it than that.”
Garcia said he expects about 300 attendees. The fashion show at Coffman’s Great Hall is free to University students.