Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fashion show to benefit water charity


The typical UA student rarely has to worry about whether he or she will have clean drinking water. Chances are all one has to do is walk over to Publix and grab a 24-pack of Dasani for about $5, but this is not the case for everyone.

According to, nearly 1.1 billion people worldwide do not have the luxury of clean drinking water. Many are forced to trek for miles just to pump about 20 liters of clean water to haul back to their homes.

But there is something you can do about it.

Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Bryant Conference Center, Fashion Inc. will host the fourth annual Rock the Runway fashion show. The event is free and open to the public, but donations of any amount are highly encouraged. All benefits will go directly to Charity: Water.

“Our goal is to raise $5,000,” said Liz Lane, a senior majoring in apparel and textiles design and the president of Fashion Inc. “We’ve already raised over $2,100. We will be donating to build a well in Central Africa.”

Lane said one of the main focuses for the fashion show is the jerrycan. These containers, similar to those used to carry extra fuel for your car, are used for lugging water to areas with no access to a well or other clean drinking sources.

“All of our advertising and décor for the show revolves around water,” Lane said. “We also have one Charity: Water collection.”

Maryalice Lazarus is the designer of the Charity: Water collection. She is also a senior majoring in apparel and textiles design and is the treasurer for Fashion Inc. Lazarus said she changed the idea for her fashion line only a couple months ago and decided to create a collection of 11 pieces inspired by Charity: Water instead.

“[My collection] is all about extremes and overcoming issues,” she said. “There are a lot of exposed zippers and combat boots, as well as some see-through, sort of edgy pieces.”

The goal of Rock the Runway is to give exposure to student designers and show the Tuscaloosa community what students at the University can do, Lane said. She and Lazarus agreed that the show is about allowing the designers to seize inspiration and create whatever they want.

“We don’t want to hinder the designers’ visions at all,” Lane said.

“We have all levels designing for us,” Lazarus said. “So there are freshmen to seniors, and designs anywhere from one piece to an entire collection. It’s more an individual project and we all come together in the end.”

Clothes are not the only thing the designers have to coordinate. They are each in charge of creating the hair, make-up, music, lighting and timing of everything to make sure their models are strutting the catwalk and looking exactly as they need to look.

This will be achieved with the help of some community sponsors, Lane said.

“It’s been a community effort,” she said. “It’s a fun process, but it takes someone who likes planning events and keeping up with people.”

Of course, you can’t have a fashion show without models, and with 27 designers presenting their work, more than 150 models will be performing, making this year’s Rock the Runway the biggest one yet.

Katie Parker, a senior majoring in musical theater and Italian, is one of those models.

“It’s difficult for me to feel comfortable as an extremely petite model,” Parker said. “I’m only 5-foot-1.”

Parker is modeling a dress designed by senior Alison Tucker.

“It’s going to be a fantastic show,” Parker said. “It’s a great opportunity to support our peers as they step out of their comfort zones to show the world what they are capable of.”

“The best part would have to be the final result,” Lane said, “seeing everyone’s designs come down the runway. It’s hours and hours of hard work in just a couple minutes, but it’s totally worth it.”

For more information about Charity: Water and how to donate, visit

If You Go:

WHAT: Rock the Runway fashion show

WHEN: Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Bryant Conference Center

HOW MUCH: Free; donations encouraged

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