Impulse 2.0 had students strutting for Nepal earthquake relief at West Island School

By Aminah Nihal, 16, West Island School

A charity fashion show at the local school raised HK$50,000, and it was all possible thanks to the students

By Aminah Nihal, 16, West Island School |

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Student organisers (from left) Bhakti Sambwani, Ashika Idnani, Kudrat Gill and Caitlin Neuville.

Impulse, the charity fashion show put on by West Island School (WIS), made its debut six years ago. It was a huge success, raising HK$40,000 from ticket sales alone, which was donated to Pakistani flood victims. On January 29, after a long break, WIS hosted their second professional fashion show, Impulse 2.0, to raise money for the Nepal earthquake relief fund.

The Impulse 2.0 team, headed by Year 12 student organisers Bhakti Sambwani, Ashika Idnani, Kudrat Gill, and Caitlin Neuville, chose an oriental theme for this year's show, because it was to take place just before Lunar New Year and they thought it was a great way to combine the culture of Hong Kong with fashion. The organisers made creativity a core focus of the show, not only by showcasing beautiful clothes and accessories, but also by incorporating song and dance performances by IB dance students.

The student models for Impulse 2.0 were very excited to be part of the show. For some, it was about having fun and getting to walk down a professional catwalk, while others were more interested in the event management aspect of the show.

"It was interesting to learn how these events are carried out and how much work goes into them," said Raag Kapur, 16.

Ashika Rohira, also 16, who played a vital role in the show as a student designer, was excited to showcase her work.

"I wanted to be part of Impulse 2.0 to be able to promote my clothing line for the first time."

She was also given the mighty task of designing the principal's dress. She said: "It's stressful knowing you're designing a dress for someone who has been such a big influence on this school. Luckily, she loved the dress."

Alongside the student designers, high-end labels including Reiss, Naoko Tsuruta, Melissa Bui and Dorian Ho appeared on the runway.

"I think it's important to incorporate high-end fashion labels and try to use that to hype up the event, but it's good to support small businesses in the community, too," said event coordinator and WIS teacher, Amy Lee.

But a fashion show isn't just about the clothes. There's a lot of work behind the scenes, too. The lighting and sound looked professional thanks to students Leonardo Costa and brothers Oliver and Edward Lewis.

"We were also able to source sponsors from outside of the fashion industry such as Venture Studios photography and Jean Louis David hairdressers, who really helped give the show a professional edge," added Lee.

When asked what made this year's fashion show different from last time, Lee said the first show was more of a learning curve and it had helped them immensely because this time around, the team knew what to expect, making it more structured, and more efficient. It is safe to say that Impulse 2.0 wouldn't have been possible without the students.

Through the event, WIS not only managed to boost students' confidence and put on a spectacular show, they also managed to raise HK$50,000, which will be donated to the Nepal earthquake relief fund via ShelterBox, an international disaster charity relief.