The International Club of Ithaca College will host its third-annual Interfashional Night 7 p.m Feb. 22 in Emerson Suites.
The event includes a fashion show featuring clothing from all over the world, three performances and a pre-show international dinner at the Campus Center Dining Hall.
Nilshika Weerasinghe, the president of the ICIC, said the show typically has a theme, but this year’s will not have one because funding restrictions made it difficult for the club to produce what the members originally had in mind. This year’s show will feature both modern and traditional clothing.
She said, throughout the show, the different attires will be introduced to the audience with some detailed descriptions. After the show, she said, some of the models will come on stage and present their individual pieces, explaining what they’re used for and other cultural characteristics.
Weerasinghe is from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and will be wearing a modern-style sari. She said she appreciates being able to showcase something that is so familiar and meaningful to her.
“I get to represent a little piece of home, and I take a lot of pride in my tradition and in my culture, and having the opportunity to educate an audience about it — it means a lot to me,” Weerasinghe said.
Nicole Ang, the club’s event manager, said the club began preparing for the show in the fall by reaching out to international students to model in it. The models will showcase attire from their own culture.
Ang is from Singapore and will be wearing a qipao. The qipao is a traditional Chinese dress, typically used for special occasions, such as the Chinese New Year.
Diana Dimitrova, director of international student services and adviser of the club, will not be in the show, but she said she will be dressed in Bulgarian attire. She said her daughter, Dessi Furber, will model in the show, wearing a traditional nosiya, typically worn by women in Northern Bulgaria. Dimitrova said the show is a way for the international students to connect with their American friends.
“One of the main goals of the ICIC is to create a community where the international students can thrive and an opportunity for them to share their culture with their American friends,” Dimitrova said. “The Interfashional show is one of the many ways in which we try to do that. It truly is a celebration of the world as represented here on our campus.”
The show also brings together the international student population, Giulia Dwight, vice president of the ICIC, said.
“International students, when we come in, we tend to relate to each other because we’re so far from home and we’re in a different culture, so it’s an opportunity for us to come together and share this big event and just spend time together,” Dwight said.
Dwight said the most important part of the show is that international students get a chance to share their culture and traditions with fellow students, which is rare.
“We don’t get to wear our clothing, we don’t get to expose our cultures, and so we have the opportunity to be on stage and to show everyone else what our culture is, or this little part of our culture that is the most important thing to us,” Dwight said.
Weerasinghe also said sharing cultures is an integral part of the show. She said part of the main goal is to break stereotypes about other cultures.
“[I want the audience] to appreciate the fact that there’s so many diverse cultures represented on this campus and the fact that we’re all different in the sense that we all have different cultures, and I think we really need to learn to appreciate those differences, and I think that’s what I mostly want the audience to take away,” Weerasinghe said.