KO Community Struts the Catwalk for Thread Fashion Show - Kingswood Oxford

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April 24, 2023

KO Community Struts the Catwalk for Thread Fashion Show

Editor-in-chief of the student-created and run thread magazine, Ava Cashman ‘24, organized a fashion show, “a common thread,” in the Roberts Theater on April 21st to benefit The Village for Families and Children. The Village provides resources and opportunities for families in the Greater Hartford area to feel supported, empowered, and set up for success. Approximately 150 people attended the event, which raised $3,223 in ticket sales and silent auction items, far exceeding the thread committee’s goal of $1,000.

“I was so happy with how the fashion show came off,” Cashman said. “It was a very in-depth and detailed process to plan all of it, but seeing it come together was gratifying.”


The genesis for the fashion show was a natural segue from an event Cashman and Alyssa Temkin ‘23 ran last year, a clothing drive for Rainy Day Clothing Collection for Jewish Family Services. The two organizers received a strong community response, so they wanted to expand that to a more significant event that incorporated fashion and built community.


In the first half of the year, the thread team of students concentrated on publishing the magazine, and in the second semester, the team organized the fashion show. Some preliminary work began in the fall when Temkin and Cashman assigned roles to the thread committee members and reached out to various donors. “We wanted to connect with brands that had a strong presence in West Hartford and would be highly sought after in the KO community,” Cashman said. The silent auction sponsors for the local area included Daswani Clothiers, Kimberly Boutique, Restaurant Bricco, Playa Bowls West Hartford, Gypset Salon, Doro Restaurant Group, Success Prep Partners, Black Bamboo, Melanie da Costa, Second Chance Shop West Hartford.


Students, teachers, their children, and pets walked the runway in their fashion-forward best. Before each model strutted the catwalk, Cashman and Lily Temkin ’25 offered a glimpse of the personal sartorial style of each from the laid-back, quirky, creative, and preppy. Cashman received a positive response to her call for runway models, a testament to how the magazine rallies diverse people from the KO community together. “The thing I love most about thread,” she said, “is that it’s something on campus that brings together so many people from many groups, activities, grades, and experiences.” She said there’s always one lynchpin from a group that agrees to join the magazine or fashion show that brings other people along to support the project. For Cashman, the highlight of the fashion show was not only the funds raised but the energy and positivity from the models backstage, who cheered for one another as they strutted the catwalk.


Upper School history teacher Peter Jones donned his ever-present suspenders and immediately signed up to be part of the show. Once Upper School English teacher David Hild’s advisee group spotted him in a photo with a seersucker suit, the group convinced him to walk the runway in that suit with everyone’s favorite campus doggo, Calie. thread faculty advisor Caitlyn Moriarity sporting an au courant two-piece ensemble, took the stage confidently, as did Upper School English teacher Bill Martino’s triplets and daughter.

Cashman is a rising senior and plans to continue the magazine and fashion show next year. She hopes with the wide range of grades represented on the thread staff, her brainchild will continue once she graduates, understanding that someone else might have a different vision than her own. “I don’t expect it to be how I run it. It’s just the concept of bringing people together and showcasing individuality, creativity, and personal style. That will carry through no matter who is running it. I never viewed thread as just my project. I organize it, but it’s so much the people who make it up. “


Carolyn McKee helped run the charity fashion show in 2008-2009, so she was helpful in her insights and put Cashman in touch with alumni who conceived and planned the original fashion show.  Melanie DiCosta and Cashman connected through Instagram, and DiCosta advised on event planning. She even attended the event and donated an item. Leah Gilbert, head of the original KO Fashion Club, chatted on the phone with Cashman, shared tips, and sent her flowers on the day of the show. 


“One of my favorite things about KO is the mentorship and leadership,” Cashman said. “It was an honor to be a recipient of that.”


The Models:

Jillian Alexander, Riley Anderson,  Jada Asapokhai, Joella Asapokhai, Kayla Buttaro, Kate Dempsey-Weiner,  Chayse Fountain, Mr. David Hild and Cali, Mr. Peter Jones, Leo Kollen, Ally LaCroix, Alexandra Lenarchyk, Anissa Lewis, Mac Lewis, Frankie, Mac, Will, and Lizzie Martino, Ms. Caitlyn Moriarty, Lola Peck, Faith Potter, Zaire Ramiz, Elijah Wells, Lucy Ybarra.


Thread Committee members:

Ava Cashman, Alyssa Temkin, Lily Temkin, Avi Lohr, Bella Deurloo, Allie Arcaro, Macey Kotowitz, Abby Baier, Matt Belo, Illiana Brett, Yzzy Albert, Alexandra Lenarchyk, Jada Asapokhai, Riley Anderson and Emma St. Clair. 

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