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Sisters on the Runway Holds Annual Fashion Show

Club Raises $3,500 For Domestic Violence Survivors

Jonathan Matsko, Contributing Writer

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Every year, Sisters on the Runway, a CRLS club dedicated to raising awareness around domestic violence, holds a fashion show fundraiser. The fundraiser is for Transition House, a domestic violence shelter in Cambridge, and is the largest of the many fundraisers SOTR puts on throughout the school year. On Saturday, June 2nd, the club held the annual fashion show, and even before the actual show began, there were opportunities for audience members to donate to the good cause. Attendees could purchase raffle tickets for an assortment of prizes, including yoga classes and gift cards for JP Licks, Ben & Jerry’s, and Broadway Marketplace, to name a few.

As the show kicked off, the audience heard speeches from those who helped make the fundraiser a reality, followed by three performances from CRLS seniors Marney O’Connor, Mikayla Duncan, and Lila Lifton. As these student performances came to an end, Sisters on the Runway President Kiva McElhiney ’18, was welcomed onstage to deliver a speech before the fashion show began.

When we speak out we take the power away from the perpetrator and place it on the victim.”

— Kiva McElhiney

This year’s theme for the fashion show, from the music to the clothing, was “Break the Silence.” The theme was inspired by the #MeToo and “Time’s Up” movements which have empowered women and worked to end sexual assault and harassment in all aspects of public life. “It is about the power of speaking out and giving people a voice,” Kiva McElhiney told the audience, adding that “when we speak out we take the power away from the perpetrator and place it on the victim.”

The show began with Tracy Chapman singing “Behind the Wall,” a song about the reality of domestic abuse. Shortly after, a few models walked onto the runway wearing all black, each holding a sign that displayed a different statistic about domestic violence. Slower music began as new models started walking out wearing oversized white t-shirts with thick red lettering which spelled out derogatory words like “Princess,” “Bimbo,” and “Honey.” As the runway was circled, a few models emerged with newer, more colorful outfits until all the models disappeared and the music transitioned to become more upbeat and empowering. Each model then came onto the runway in the clothing they found most empowering, including half strapped denim overalls, long dresses, short dresses, clothing made out of recycled materials, and even a soccer uniform. More importantly, though, the t-shirts were nowhere to be found until the final walk-through when they reappeared as each the model defiantly tossed their label onto the floor.

CRLS junior Rayna McElhiney, the younger sister of the club’s president, was also involved in the event by modeling in the show. She admitted that she was initially scared to model, but the crowd made her “feel so comfortable” and she described her experience as “really fun.” For audience member and CRLS senior Caroline Workman, this was the first Sisters on the Runway show that she had attended. Workman said she was “so incredibly moved” by the event and expressed regret for not attending these shows in the past.

Overall, the night was very successful for Sisters on the Runway. The club raised over $3,500 for Transition House and the audience couldn’t stop talking about the event. “I’m thrilled with how the show went and I’m very happy with the turnout,” said Kiva McElhiney. If you missed the show and would like to become more involved, donations to Transition House can be made at transitionhouse.org.

About the Contributors
Jonathan Matsko, Contributing Writer

What elementary school did you go to?

Baldwin

What other activities are you involved in at CRLS and/or in the community?

ASL Club, CRLS Theater

If...

Sakib Asraf, Photography Editor

What elementary school did you go to?

Baldwin

What other activities are you involved in at CRLS and/or in the community?

I'm an active member...

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Sisters on the Runway Holds Annual Fashion Show