Mills College hosted the Underground Runway, a fashion expose, which presented the collection: “For the Town.”
Three Mills business graduate students, Hazel Wheeler, Janice Ma, and Alisa Rodriguez put the event together along with Tiffany Stewart, a San Francisco City College alumna.
The event was from 7:00-9:00 p.m on Friday Nov. 9. First in the Littlefield Music Hall’s lobby for a quick reception, then at the Greek Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. where the rest of the event was held.
Stewart wanted the collection to be made up of Oakland artists who could truly depict the urban lifestyle of Oakland. She wanted to show Oakland in a positive light. Using Mills, particularly the Greek Theatre, something hardly used by the campus and external performers, was a great medium for this offbeat fashion show. This aspect was also shown in the slide show of the artwork shown behind the models of Oakland.
The models all had basic make-up on, thick eyeliner and eyeshadow along with foundation for the women, and just basic powder on the men’s faces. The urban clothing was fit mostly for the cold weather of the night including blazers, sweaters, long pants and skirts and long sleeved shirts.
On the Facebook event page, an email was posted asking for artists to send in their artwork to the show. Wheeler, the liaison between Stewart and Mills, posted a similar request to Mills students via the student news emails. One student, Angelica Addison, volunteered her artwork to be used at the show. Addison’s featured artwork were pencil character sketches of women of color as portrayed in the media.
When Addison first saw the notice on student news about sending in artwork, she was unsure her artwork would fit in. But Stewart quickly made Addison’s artwork belong.
“It’s not about the doubt, it’s about the platform,” Stewart said. Stewart wanted her show to be inclusive, and if someone came to her with a piece they wanted her to include, she found a way to make it fit.
The event was worked on by volunteers from the Martin Luther King Freedom Center, which provides middle and high school students with socially justice events to participate in. Photographer Mark Elzey Jr. of CMYK Photography was another volunteer, models, makeup artists and hair dressers most of whom had worked with Stewart before on other projects.
“Most of us have worked with Tiffany before, but a lot of us are meeting for the first time,” said make-up artist Blake Karamazod.