Fashion literacy

Gloria Cheung, Winnie Tong, Hollie Chung, Monique Wan, Kathy Yiu, Elise Choi
Gloria Cheung, Winnie Tong, Hollie Chung, Monique Wan, Kathy Yiu, Elise Choi |

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The Reporters' Club team at the Style 4 Schools fashion show, a charity event to raise funds to help children read. Photo: Felix Wong

The Young Post Reporters’ Club visits a charity catwalk event that aims to raise funds to teach children to read

By YP Reporters’ Club members Gloria Cheung, Winnie Tong, Hollie Chung, Monique Wan, Kathy Yiu and Elise Choi

The Style 4 Schools show was held last Friday at the W Hotel by the Quintessentially Foundation, which aims to raise money for charity group Room to Read.

The event kicked off with a dazzling reception followed by a fashion show featuring dresses donated by some of the world's top fashion houses, including Chloe, Armani and Ferragamo, just to name a few.

One of the highlights of the show was five dresses designed by 17-year-old Hong Kong Island School student Orange Chan, under the guidance of fashion designer Kanchan Panjabi and inspired by countries that Room to Read works with, such as India and others in Africa.

Panjabi said the hardest part was finding the right fabrics.

'Some Indian fabrics are hard to find in Hong Kong and they are expensive', she said, adding that this was particularly a problem with a design by Chan based on an Indian sari, a traditional dress worn by Indian women. She said the fabric needed for the design was very difficult to buy.

Panjabi said she was delighted to mentor the young designer and become involved in the charity event, in which everybody involved was a volunteer, including the professional models. She said it conveyed the message that fashion shows need not be for the rich alone, but could benefit the needy too.

Carmen, a volunteer model who was born in Hong Kong but grew up in the UK, said she was excited to be part of the event because funds raised would go towards helping girls in poor countries learn to read. Another model, Natalie, said she had heard about the event from a friend by e-mail and had immediately decided to join for the same reason as Carmen.

All 350 guests had the satisfaction of knowing that children in the developing world would benefit from any proceeds raised at the fashion show, making the night out far more meaningful than an average catwalk event.

Room to Read was established in 1998 by John Wood with the aim of breaking the cycle of poverty and eliminating illiteracy in the developing world, where many children do not have the "privilege" of an education.

At the end of the show, all the featured designs were auctioned on stage, raising an estimated HK$500,000. All proceeds will go to the education of girls in the developing world.

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Go to YP forum to watch a slideshow of the dresses presented that night and vote for the one you prefer.