Club Spotlight: Fashion for Philanthropy and Rainbow Alliance

Katz+Fantulin%2C+President+of+Rainbow+Alliance%2C+said+that+%22drag+is+about+style%2C%22+so+working+with+Fashion+for+Philanthropy+simply+just+%22makes+sense.%22
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Club Spotlight: Fashion for Philanthropy and Rainbow Alliance

Katz Fantulin, President of Rainbow Alliance, said that

Katz Fantulin, President of Rainbow Alliance, said that "drag is about style," so working with Fashion for Philanthropy simply just "makes sense."

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

Katz Fantulin, President of Rainbow Alliance, said that "drag is about style," so working with Fashion for Philanthropy simply just "makes sense."

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

GILLIAN RUSSO/THE OBSERVER

Katz Fantulin, President of Rainbow Alliance, said that "drag is about style," so working with Fashion for Philanthropy simply just "makes sense."

By JACQUELINE PIERCE

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Those who attended the campus Drag Show might have questioned how one club could have pulled off such a well-coordinated event — that’s because the show marked a special collaboration between two Fordham Lincoln Center (FLC) clubs: Fashion For Philanthropy (FFP) and Rainbow Alliance. 

The two clubs worked together closely leading up to the event; on the Wednesday before the event, members of FFP and Rainbow Alliance could both be found working hard to create decorations for the drag show. With the guidance of the FFP President Ellie Kim, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21 and Rainbow Alliance President Katz Fantulin, FCLC ’22, FFP members created banners, posters and donation collection boxes, which were decked out in rainbow colors and with quotes of queer icons like Lady Gaga and Todrick Hall. One poster even read, “Don’t be a drag; just be a queen.”

FFP member Kaela Hohn, FCLC ’22, helped with the creation of a big thermometer that was  used to track donations collected during the show. As a second-year member of the club, she described her work helping put on the show as “a great opportunity to talk to new people and to give back.” 

Because of the success of last year’s show, FFP and Rainbow Alliance collaborated for a second year to create this year’s drag show. This year, though, club leaders had to work around a change in venue from Pope Auditorium to McNally Amphitheatre. The small circular stage allowed less space for performers and decorations onstage, so club members focused on decorating around the stage and along the aisles in the audience. 

One could feel the energy and excitement surrounding the event even while preparing on Wednesday night. The E-Board members of both clubs were working hard to ensure the success of the show, an event that aligns with the two clubs’ goal of advocacy. 

FFP has been a club at Lincoln Center since the spring of 2017, and they have worked to increase student interest in both fashion studies and philanthropy. Treasurer Bawila Idris, FCLC ’21, described the club as “a space for people to talk about issues in fashion that are prevalent, but not spoken about often.” 

FFP reflects the student population of FLC’s widespread interest in fashion, despite the lack of a fashion studies major. Vice President Chloe Felopulos, FCLC ’21, described the club as a way to “meet other people with the same interests” while the fashion studies minor is still developing. 

The club works to promote sustainability in addition to philanthropy. Last year’s Garbage Gala encouraged students to reduce, reuse and recycle in terms of their fashion choices while also helping those interested in fashion to learn how to think creatively. Kim described other FFP events like resume workshops and panels with fashion professionals that allow members to learn more about working in the fashion industry. 

Similarly, Rainbow Alliance, FLC’s LGBTQ and ally club, serves as a safe space for all, with focuses on creating a sense of community and promoting advocacy. Fantulin described the importance of the club as a “physical space to meet and see each other concretely.” 

The executive board of Rainbow Alliance explained how the club uniquely serves LGBTQ freshmen and transfer students who might be worried about attending a Jesuit Catholic university. Marian Winget, secretary and public relations representative, FCLC ’21, stated that students can learn from each other about “how to Fordham while being queer.” 

Vice President Ky Hayward, FCLC ’21, explained how Rainbow Alliance’s collaboration with FFP came to be; last year, Hayward asked the then-president Jack Bugbee, FCLC ’19, “What if we did a drag show and FFP helped us raise money?” 

Hayward stated that fashion and style often serve as the “best tools for expressing yourself,” something that is crucial for people exploring their identity. Fantulin continued by explaining that working with FFP “just makes sense. Drag is about style.”

The show allowed people of varying identities to express themselves in whatever manner they wanted; performances ranged from lip-syncing to magic tricks. The audience could see how the event allowed performers to express their personal style in a variety of ways, from their choreography to makeup to clothes. 

While fashion and style clearly played an important role for the performers, FFP’s most crucial role was facilitating the fundraising aspect of the show. “We are going to donate all money raised to a local LGBTQ center (the LGBT Community Center of NY),” Kim explained.

This event epitomizes the important work of both FFP and Rainbow Alliance, ensuring that a safe and loving environment exists as part of the Lincoln Center campus, while also working as part of the larger New York City community that Fordham reflects.