Forget Coachella. Students hoping for a fashionable, music-filled Saturday night were all in for the Eleganza show on April 22. The student event featured fashion design brands that included upcycled, reworked, and thrifted threads.
This year’s show, dubbed Rebirth, was inspired by the imagery of the phoenix rising from the ashes, explained finance executive producer Ashley Zhuang ’23. “It’s really been the ethos for us this year, coming out more fully of the pandemic, especially as the arts have been pretty badly hit,” she said. “It’s important that we bring everything that we have to this show, but also use what we’ve learned from the pandemic and those really difficult times to create something that’s a new version of ’Ganza.”
The popular fashion and dance production made its debut 29 years ago under Harvard’s undergraduate cultural production organization, Black C.A.S.T. “The event began as a small fashion show with a mission rooted in redefining beauty and aesthetic style on campus,” scene, said production executive producer Alana Young ’24. “Since then, it’s grown from that small fashion show to one of Harvard’s biggest events of the year.”
The sold-out show at the Bright-Landry Hockey Center continued its mission to redefine different beauty and aesthetic styles on campus. Student organizers, led by fashion and publicity executive producer Amy Ojeaburu ’25, reached out to fashion brands to solicit loans and donations for the show. The looks were showcased in a series of dance numbers sprinkled with guest performances. Harvard Black Men’s Forum appeared in black pants and white dress shirts to deliver a rhythmic step performance that mesmerized the audience. Crowd favorites Omo Naija x The Wahala Boys and Harvard College Bhangra did not disappoint with their well-choreographed dances.
All Eleganza profits are donated to local and global charities, Zhuang said. Eleganza donated $15,000 to charity from last year’s show proceeds and will be donating this year’s to the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Advancement Project, and AgitArte.