Attendees crowded around vendor tables and pushed toward experts for their advice in the conference room of a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.
However, this packed room was not full of middle-aged individuals in suits looking to expand their businesses.
It was full of fashionably dressed college women (and a few men) wearing chunky sweaters, faux fur vests and patterned pants in the rich colors of fall fashion, looking for makeup and nail samples, getting advice on proper eyebrow maintenance.
This was the context of College Fashion Week, which came to Washington, D.C., for the first time Oct. 17. Held at The W Hotel, this fashion show was one for the masses. Complete with its own Snapchat geotag and multiple hashtags, it showcased real fashion, as opposed to high fashion.
Before the fashion show began, there were opportunities for women to try different makeup products, take pictures and get their nails and eyebrows done. During the actual fashion show, a fashionable woman strutted down the runway with a stoic expression until the song symbolically changed to Hailee Steinfield’s “Love Myself” and a smile crept across her face.
The fashion week was split into four scenes and a grand finale. It demonstrated some of the best looks for fall, from feminine minimalism to a 70s throwback, to menswear inspired looks and a 90s grunge look. It had a diversity of both looks and models.
Earlier in the evening, the hosts announced they would be giving random women VIP access to the show based on their outfits. Bri’Anna Horne, a junior biology major at UMBC, was incredibly excited to receive the VIP treatment.
Horne came to College Fashion week because she wanted something fun to do, she said.
“It was just a really different opportunity for a fun girls night,” Horne said. Getting VIP access while in the bathroom was “super cute and really really nice.”
The best part was the inclusivity, she said. “Being granted access just makes everyone feel like they’re important and like they’re actually a part of something.”
Later in the night, Horne was called onto the stage and given a gift for being the Best Dressed of the Night. It was yet another example of the inclusivity of the night.
To close the show, Windsor, founder of HerCampus and host for the evening, took the stage, hoping that all attendees had received their “awesome dose of girl power.”
She also brought her eight-week-old baby, Eleanor, on stage to thank HerCampus for giving her the opportunity to have a career and be a mother, a right she believed all companies should provide for its employees.
It appeared the audience viewed Windsor’s daughter as a symbol of the future of women, where she was greeted by a sea of welcoming faces and applause, women showing support for other women.
Featured Photo Credit: An attendee has her eyebrows touched up. European Wax Center had a number of brow artists at the event, giving out makeup advice and cards for free eyebrow and bikini waxes. (Julia Lerner/Bloc Reporter)
Courtney Steininger is a sophomore English major and may be reached at Courtneysteininger@gmail.com.