On Saturday, March 4, SFU’s co-ed pre-medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon hosted their second annual Anatomy Fashion Show at Harbour Centre. Instead of designer clothes and shows, the models of this fashion show were strutting their organs.
Inspired by medical fraternities from the United States, the Anatomy Fashion Show featured a different body system painted on each model – from digestive to reproductive, muscular to skeletal. All money generated through the event was raised for BC Children’s Hospital and the local Children’s Miracle Network, the organization with which SFU’s pre-medical fraternity is affiliated.
Each system was introduced by a fun fact by the night’s master of ceremonies and committee chair, Monique Sekhon. Consequently, attendees not only got to examine the intricately painted muscle structures and veins on the models as they walked, danced, and cartwheeled down the runway; but they also learned that the right kidney sits lower in your body than the left kidney and that the uterus can expand up to 500 times during pregnancy.
To properly showcase their painted organs, models had to bare quite a bit — walking the runway in little more than briefs and sports bras. While Monique noted that the revealing nature of the show led to some volunteers cancelling their commitments, it was an enticing prospect for other models, such as fourth-year molecular biology and biochemistry major Nathan Chatron.
Covered head to toe in paint showcasing the muscular system, he responded to the question of what led him to model for the show with a laugh: “To be honest and frank, I just work out a lot and it’d be kind of a shame not to model for the fashion show.”
The unconventional nature of the fashion show proved to be an interesting opportunity for the makeup artists, who were recruited from local beauty schools. “Painting for this event is definitely different [than] for a fashion show,” noted makeup artist, Raven.
The show also promoted other local forms of art through performances by contemporary ballet dancers from Pro Arté and contemporary dancer Alexandra Fontaine, as well as a set by local singer Argel Monte de Ramos during intermission.
Before and after the event, as well as during intermission, the venue was lively and warm. Huddles of event organizers in purple shirts could often be seen throughout the evening, especially in the back left of the room where the new fraternity recruits were stationed to help inform attendees on the Children’s Miracle Network.
Tiffany, Crystal, Kirat, Bob, and Mary were all recently initiated into Phi Delta Epsilon in January, and spoke about what being a part of the organizing fraternity meant to them: “When you enter university, you feel really lonely and it’s hard to find your niche or people who are passionate about what you’re passionate about. So this is what Phi Delta Epsilon is about — we’re all passionate about being pre-med students and giving back,” they commented.
Similar sentiments were echoed by the organizers backstage. After discussing some of the challenges about organizing such an extensive event with so many volunteers, Monique spoke about how the “team is pretty go-with-the-flow, able to take things, build resilience, and run with them.”
While the first annual fashion show hosted in 2016 was a definite success — it was a sold out event — this year’s show was noted by organizers to be significantly smaller. The change in location from SFU Burnaby to a smaller space in Harbor Center, along with the fact that early March had a full event calendar, including Phi Delta Epsilon’s Dance Marathon, meant that this year’s event had to be a more close-knit affair. With the combination of tickets, raffle prizes, and donations, Phi Delta Epsilon aimed to raise a total of $2,000 for the event for BC Children’s Hospital.
By the end of the show, event chair Monique seemed pleased with the event’s turnout: “It’s gonna be a long takedown,” she laughed, “but I’m pretty pleased with how it went and how many people showed up.”