LGBTQ+ Lookbook Event Kicks Off Rainbow Week

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Model Fosse Lin-Bianco dons a monochromatic look for the LGBTQ+ Lookbook event where queer students explore fashion and means of expression. (via Gabby Kaatz)

LGBTQ+ Lookbook Event Kicks Off Rainbow Week
By Kellie Toyama

Last Monday, LMU’s LGBT Student Services (LGBTSS) kicked off Rainbow Week with their first-ever LGBTQ+ Lookbook event.

Senior Fatima Beck proudly waves
 the pansexual and gay pride 
Rainbow Week is an annual celebration, usually held during the first week of March, where LGBTSS hosts daily functions that invite LMU’s queer community into spaces of celebration and education. 

The LGBTQ+ Lookbook event was held at the Ethnic Intercultural Suite (Malone 201), home to the LGBTSS office, and each guest was met with a complimentary pride flag of their choosing. They were then invited to step into the role of a designer for the night, tasked with dressing a handful of models however they choose. 

The center of the room housed racks of colorful clothing sized “A” through “DD.” Six models were lined along the perimeter of the room near tables of makeup and accessories. Each model had a personalized poster board with a short biography. 

First-year student Mackenzie Talbado
waits as she's made up. (via Gabby Kaatz)
According to promotional materials, the goal of the event was to “celebrate LGBT+ people of all body types, people of color in all shades, and people with different abilities” by letting guests dress up the models in the style of their choosing. 

The coordinator of the event, first-year student Raymond CangKimVo, noted that he “wanted to make all of [his] models feel celebrated and loved and worshipped” with the event.

CangKimVo explained that, prior to the event, each model was told to write down “body constitutions,” or how people were allowed to interact with their mind, body, and spirit. 

Senior Fatima Beck's body constitution
and posterboard, like their fellow models',
are vibrant with photos and decor.
(via Fatima Beck)
Each biography included phrases like: “Please: ask me about x, y, and z!” and “Please do not: x, y, and x without asking.” Put on display were not only the model’s bodies but also how they self-identify. The model’s pronouns and clothing sizes were also included in their bios.

“When you are a queer person of color,” CangKimVo emphasized, “your boundaries are often violated.” and this event was meant to counteract the trend of violation with celebration.

Throughout the night, clothes of varying textiles, colors and aesthetics were cycled on and off of each model, but not before being photographed. Each photo was then added to each of their poster boards. There was no moment of stillness or minute that went by without laughter among people who had possibly just met. 

One of the models, senior Fatima Beck, got to gush over their recent obsession with earrings as a stylistic tool with our co-editor Robyn de León, later stating that the significance of fashion in their life is because “expression for queer people is a lot about testing limits and going outside of the societal norm.” 

First-year student Cobe Alvares
dons striking white makeup proudly
as one of six models for the event.
(via Gabby Kaatz)

Other models were excited to be given an outlet to express themselves through fashion as the center of their own lookbook.

“This is my first event with LGBTSS, and so far I’m loving it. It’s such an exciting new experience,” said model and first-year student Cobe Alvares, as he noted the brand new makeup palettes on his station.

“I’m just now getting into experimenting with fashion and makeup… and I love how you can customize it with your mood for the day.” 

As colorful garments were returned to their racks and makeup palettes back to their tables, the event concluded with smiles all around.

“Everyone looked like they were making friends with other people and that’s really all I wanted,” CangKimVo said, to cap off the night.

Check out our photo gallery below to see the different looks and models of the night.

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