Fashion is sometimes associated with several negative and superficial connotations. For members of the LaCouture troupe, fashion is about dismissing those shallow implications by promoting individuality and confidence.
LaCouture is a student-run fashion organization that puts up a fashion show each semester and participates in other fundraising and community service activities throughout the year.
“We usually just show off our own individuality through style and clothing,” said Jasmine Newell, a junior multimedia journalism major from Oxford and president of LaCouture.
According to Newell, the group organizes a fashion show twice a year where students model different clothing based on a theme selected by the event coordinators.
“Some people choose to buy the clothing and then style it themselves according to their individual style,” she said. “Some people choose to make their own clothes.”
Newell added that the group also has stylists who assist in putting a certain look together for the models. Different scenes are selected that go toward the overall theme, and models stylize their outfits correspondingly.
For instance, in the past, the group chose Africa as a theme and modeled apparels with tribal prints. “But we put our own spin on them,” Newell said. “It was modernized. It was how we would dress.”
William Jackson, a sophomore political science major from Auburn and stylist for the troupe, said that he joined LaCouture because he liked to dress himself and dress others, so it was a perfect fit.
“I think the most important thing about LaCouture is to allow people to stay true to who they are,” he said. “I think clothes are a very powerful expression of who a person is.”
Jackson said that although people may differ in their opinions, it is essential to stay true to their beliefs and find different avenues to express themselves. Clothing can thus provide that platform for expression and also commonality to bring people together.
“It is very important to learn to accept people and work through our differences,” he said.
For Carliesha Terrell, a senior criminal justice major from Mobile and treasurer of the organization, the best part about being a part of LaCouture has been the bonding aspect of it.
“Being an only child, this was a good way to open me up, break my shell,” she said. “People have different personalities, so it humbled me a little bit. But I enjoy it, I love it to death.”
According to members, the group tends to receive more female participation than male participation each year, but there is not a specific criterion, especially regarding physique.
“We have plus sizes, short, tall — everyone,” Jackson said. He said that he encourages people to join the troupe because they need not camouflage who they are, as the group prides on being different and adding diversity.
“We don’t want the same pattern on a quilt,” he said. “The quilt is more eccentric when there are different personalities incorporated.”
Newell said that she credits LaCouture for the better fashion sense that she has now acquired. She is also grateful for the bonding experience that she got interacting with other members. “Lot of females, you know, they don’t get along in group settings,” she said. “But it’s a family; you have to get along. You make a lot of friends, and you meet a lot of new people.”
LaCouture is currently holding tryouts to recruit new models for its spring show. Each candidate is required to bring a transcript, a 5-by-7 picture, 3-inch heels for a woman, and a $5 audition fee.
“You are basically walking, and we see your potential in your walk and your own style,” Terrell said about the tryouts. “Also, the clothes that you come in, we critique on that.”
Newell said that the group hopes it increases its membership this semester and will be able to incorporate the different ideas that members generate for their organization in the best possible way.
“I hope that people see it (LaCouture) as a fashion organization on campus that makes an impact,” she said.
LaCouture tryouts will be held on Jan. 22, Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the arboretum.