Mochi Magazine's Night of High Fashion

On April 22, I made the trek to Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA to experience my very first fashion show along with Mochi’s co-founder, Maggie Hsu. Identities is a student-run annual event at Harvard that promotes Asian Americans in the fashion industry. At each show, Identities presents a Leadership in the Arts Award. This year’s recipient was designer Anna Sui, whom I had the pleasure of meeting. The Identities fashion show was held at Harvard’s historic Annenberg Hall, which is said to resemble the Harry Potter dining hall. This year’s theme was Nudity, Electricity, and Purity. According to the program, this show was “inspired by the limitless safari, the tinged purity of the Garden of Eden, the raw power of electricity, the thrills and lights of urban environments, and ever-classy romance.”

The inspiration behind Identities was to create a space for the arts for the Asian American community, something Harvard lacked at the time. “Identities was different because Harvard had Asian cultural events on food or politics, but not much of Asians in the arts,” said Identities co-founder Sanby Lee, Harvard ’08. “The design and heart behind Identities is the focus on fashion and clothes rather than on the show itself.”

Identities made its debut in Spring 2007 on a much smaller budget and in a less elegant dining hall. The clothes were either borrowed or from the dollar per pound bins often found at thrift stores. Since its inception, funding for the show has snowballed from $2,000 to $20,000 and the shows sell out. After making enough to execute the following year’s show, the rest of the money is donated to a charity. Last year also marked the first year of presenting the Leadership in Arts Award, which was received by designer Vera Wang.

“It’s fascinating to see it grow,” said co-founder Vicky Wu, Harvard ’09, who flew in from Hong Kong for one day for this event.

Other guests included fashion blogger Bryanboy and a performance by Kevin Oh. All seats included gift bags from this year’s event sponsor, MCM, with extra goodies for VIP.

For more information on the Identities Fashion Show, click here.

Photos courtesy of Samuel Lipoff