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Preview: annual WICSA fashion showcases South Asian culture | Culture

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2023 WICSA Fashion Show 2.jpg

WICSA Fashion Show, Feb. 11, 2023




The Western Indo-Canadian Students’ Association will present its fourth annual South Asian fashion show in the Mustang Lounge on March 9 at 6 p.m.. 

The theme for this year’s show is “Anvaya,” which means positive in Sanskrit. The show offers an immersive look at the spectrum of South Asian culture by embracing cultural traditions and combining them with contemporary ideas on fashion. 

More than just a fashion display, “Anvaya” integrates the vibrancy of the South Asian community through song, dance and storytelling, creating an inclusive space that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of fashion shows.

The program will explore six seemingly contrasting motifs: Shanti and Ahankaar, which means peace and pride, Prema and Kaam, meaning love and lust and finally Santosha and Lobha, which is contentment and greed.

“This year’s show is going to be a bit more of a narration between the two contrasting scenes,”  says Abi Pannerthasan, a fourth-year management and organizational studies student as well as WICSA co-president. “It’s not going to be so much of an individual scene, it’s going to be the contrast between two.” 

Instead of building from previous eras of fashion, the show attempts to give viewers a more engaging experience by combining multiple perspectives of South Asian fashion.

“The show means so much to us,” says Pannerthasan. “It is showcasing our culture, showcasing the identity of what WICSA is, the identity of what the South Asian community is, and bringing their culture and identity to life.”

The preparations for the show began in June with executive members exploring potential themes. Since September, a group of 40 students have worked together in various roles such as event management, photography and choreography to bring their ideas to the stage. 

According to Pannerthasan, 67 models were hired this year. 

“If you see us in the UCC basement, we’ve pretty much taken over Monday to Friday, from 5 p.m. onwards,” says Pannerthasan. “It’s our scenes that are practicing their dances, their walks, their sort of transitions and all that type of stuff.” 

Since the show is non-profit and charity-based, obtaining sponsorships is crucial for the show to come to fruition. 

Pannerthasan says the team doesn’t spend any money on acquiring the clothes or jewelry for the show, relying solely on sponsorships. 

“It takes a lot,” says Pannerthasan.  “It takes a lot of cold calling, emailing, and practices.”

The sponsors have a big impact on the club’s charity work, allowing WICSA the opportunity to run dance competitions and basketball tournaments along with many other community-focused networking events.

Tickets for “Anvaya” are $20 for members and $25 for non-members and can be purchased on the USC Storefront. Attendees are advised to wear upscale attire and traditional clothing.

 “I think that it’s so important, especially to the Western community to come and see that and be a part of it,” says Pannerthasan. 

With files from Adshayah Sathiaseelan

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