Personalities unveiled through style

Graphic showing the title, Personalities unveiled through style CREDIT: FSU PUBLICATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT

In the vibrant and diverse landscape of Fanshawe College, where cultures converge and perspectives intermingle, there’s a fascinating tapestry of fashion waiting to be unravelled. As a journalist, I have had the privilege to delve into the unique world of cultural fashion on campus, where students from all corners of the globe bring their heritage and style to the forefront. Let’s explore the enchanting realm of global fusion and how Fanshawe College students are weaving threads of tradition into their contemporary wardrobes.

A CULTURAL KALEIDOSCOPE ON CAMPUS

Fanshawe College is a microcosm of cultural diversity, boasting a student body enriched by individuals from various countries and backgrounds. This vibrant blend of cultures is showcased not just through language and customs, but also fashion choices that speak volumes about identity and heritage.

The Fanshawe College Student Services and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is shown sitting at a desk. Text states: Supoort comes in many forms. Experience flexible services that support you where you are. myfanshawe.ca/hereforyou

 

CULTURAL HERITAGE IN THE CLOSET

From traditional garments passed down through generations to contemporary twists on ethnic wear, students at Fanshawe are finding innovative ways to incorporate their cultural heritage into their everyday attire. One can spot a student confidently strolling the campus in a vibrant saree, another proudly sporting a kimono-inspired jacket, and yet another adorning themselves with intricately embroidered fabrics that trace back to their roots.

FASHION AS A BRIDGE BETWEEN CULTURES

Fashion becomes a universal language that transcends geographical boundaries, facilitating cultural exchange and understanding. In a bustling campus café, I had the opportunity to speak with Odi Itakpo, an international student from Nigeria, who shared, “Wearing my traditional clothing here is a way to introduce my culture to others. It’s also a reminder of my roots and keeps me connected to my family back home.”

MODERN TWISTS ON TRADITION

One of the most captivating aspects of cultural fashion is how students infuse modern elements into traditional attire. The fusion of tradition and contemporary trends creates a captivating aesthetic that’s both authentic and innovative. Students often pair traditional accessories with modern streetwear or incorporate traditional prints into their everyday wardrobe, resulting in a style that’s uniquely their own.

FASHION SHOWS AS CULTURAL SHOWCASES

Fanshawe College’s annual fashion shows are more than just runway events. They’re platforms for cultural celebration. These events allow students to curate collections that pay homage to their heritage embracing the spirit of modernity. The catwalks become a canvas on which diverse cultures paint their stories through fabrics, colours, and designs, held by Fanshawe College fashion marketing and management events called “UNBOUND,” a unique and vibrant fashion show.

CULTURAL SENSITIVITY AND RESPECT

While embracing cultural fashion is a beautiful way to celebrate diversity, it’s also crucial to approach it with sensitivity and respect. Students at Fanshawe College understand the importance of this balance, ensuring that their fashion choices reflect their pride in their heritage rather than cultural appropriation.

Speaking with Jillian Stuart, a second-year student studying community integration through co-operative education and a Canadian with roots in China, shared that she dresses Atlantic because she grew up with people dressing that way. That was how she was groomed to dress and wasn’t trained to dress the Canadian way, which also on the other hand informs people about her cultural heritage and builds her confidence daily.

Stuart added, “I would also like to be educated how to dress the Canadian way.”

Vishal Madupuri, an international student from India studying Network and Security Studies said, “When I first came into Canada, I was putting on my cultural attires from my country, thinking I came to Canada with some pretty cool clothes, but I often feel uncomfortable in them because of how people around and on campus stares at them so I stop since it was making me feel out of place.”

Furthermore, Madupuri said, “I only begin to feel comfortable when people begin to appreciate the outfit that way my confidence is built.”

Madupuri shared that a fellow classmate fell in love with his cultural heritage apparel on a very special occasion day in his country in India, where everyone must dress in their cultural gear. He wore his cultural attire to attend his lecture alongside with his friends who were taking same classes with him, and this classmate was overblown alongside others from other cultural backgrounds, staring at the amazing piece of cultural fashion wore by himself and friends, which he instantly requested to be dressed in that apparel and asked for an order to be placed for him from India. He took some photoshoots with the clothing and refusing to refund the cultural gear.

In the colourful tapestry of Fanshawe College, cultural fashion emerges as a powerful thread that binds diverse individuals together. Through their sartorial choices, students bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, showcasing not just their personal style, but also their respect for cultural heritage.