Island School's ANAIA 2017 charity fashion show to target stereotypes, highlight diversity, and celebrate self-confidence

Island School's ANAIA 2017 charity fashion show to target stereotypes, highlight diversity, and celebrate self-confidence

Organisers say it's time to annihilate stereotypes and celebrate diversity on the catwalk

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Student models were selected to reflect diversity. (Clockwise from top left) Neal Bentall, Justin Wong, Ben lee, Joe Reed, Maya Shabat, Noemi Hatterer.
Photos: Avantika Malhotra, Jasmine Chan, Ananya Gupta, Myu Inoue

Island School's ANAIA charity fashion show is back! On Saturday, March 18, the student-led annual event will take to the catwalk to challenge stereotypes and raise money for Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre.

The core value of ANAIA 2017 is to celebrate diversity and break stereotypes, and to help students learn to feel comfortable with who they are. Models were chosen to represent a wide range of body types and ethnicities. Head organiser, Kiara Jim, says this year's team wanted to change the way student fashion shows are held, because they believed it isn't fair to only select models based on things they can't change (like the colour of their skin or body shape), but not also on talent and confidence.

"It's time for all students to be given a chance to put themselves out there, and give new things a go," Kiara says.


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Even more excitingly, students will not be the only ones trying something new. This year, not only will 29 students from schools - including Island School, West Island School, Harrow International School and Wah Yan College - take to the runway, but so will seven teachers from Island School.

“We wanted to get the whole school involved and give teachers their time to shine,” Kiara explains.

Check out that smile on model Mwenda Chisulo!
Photos: Myu Inoue

ANAIA is also a platform for budding designers to showcase their work, and over 10 student designers have been working on their collections since September 2016.

Avantika Malhotra, a Year 11 student designer, says the experience has been both meaningful and worthwhile. “It’s helped me understand the fashion industry and allowed me to explore my passion,” she says. "(I've also learned that fashion) doesn’t need words - it speaks for itself in its own way."

“I can’t wait to finally be able to showcase what the models and the committee have been working really hard for," says Kiara. "It's exciting to see what you've been envisioning come to life!”

A sentiment also reflected by her co-head organiser, Nicole, who says she's so “inspired by all the student talent that has shone through in the past months.” 

ANAIA, now into its third year, is entirely run and organised by Island School students. Preparations began back in August with model castings, and you can tune in to Young Post on the Go's Instagram account this Saturday for our junior reporter Bakhita Fung's live report from the event.

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