Maura Leardi ’25, Staff Writer

Immaculata University’s annual fashion show fundraiser is on Saturday April 1, 2023 in the Great Hall at 6:30pm. This year’s theme is Hollywood SweetHearts. This fundraiser is held each year in order to raise money and provide prom dresses for struggling high school students who can not afford a dress for prom.

“While creating this show the first thing we wanted to do was figure out how to align it with Immaculata’s beliefs and mission,” says Lina Castro, director of the Fashion Merchandising Program. The models and backstage crew members are either volunteers from local high schools or Immaculata’s own students.

“Walking in the show helped me gain confidence and make connections I would never have made otherwise,” says Maggie McFadden, one of the many volunteer models who helped with the show these past years.

While showcasing a variety of beautiful dresses provided by David’s Bridal and Elizabeth Johns Bridal Boutique, the show also features authentic African style dresses provided by Dr. Francien Richardson, a graduate psychology faculty member. The African American Cultural Society assists in modeling these dresses. “Being in the show helped promote the diversity in the school and in the African American community as a whole,” states Mariah Williams, a past student model. “I felt empowered as a minority woman, and ever since then, I have realized my full potential.”

Castro and her students strive to make this show inclusive of all bodies, races, and sexualities. “The fashion industry hasn’t been very inclusive. Everyone thinks you have to have a specific body type to be a model. That was the first thing that we wanted to improve when deciding on having a fashion show,” says Castro.

Photo credit: Immaculata Fashion Department

Students from Immaculata’s Fashion Merchandising Program and Fashion Group plan, organize, and run the show. This year’s Masters of Ceremony will be two fashion students, Allison Furman ‘24 and Maureen Leardi ‘25. Additionally the guests will enjoy light refreshments and music from a local band. “The atmosphere at the previous shows were energetic and lively,” McFadden explains, “while feeling professional and authentic.”

You may purchase tickets at For more information, please contact or