Penn's medical all-gender fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon organized its first-ever Anatomy Fashion Show.
The show — the biggest event of their annual week of philanthropy, Stand For The Kids — took place last Saturday in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall and featured members of the fraternity as the models, who wore bodysuits painted with different parts of the human body. Tickets for raffle baskets were available to buy during the show, and all proceeds will go to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The Anatomy Fashion Show originally started in 2012 at the Florida International University PhiDE chapter. Since then, the idea has spread to over 45 other colleges, including UCLA and Ohio State University.
For College junior and head of the event Christine Kong, the show was a creative way to fundraise, get people involved, and display lots of talent. PhiDE chapters in the US and Canada each have a specific hospital they partner with as part of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, according to Kong. In this case, Penn PhiDE works with CHOP.
Fourteen models wore bodysuits, and roughly fifteen painters had the task to paint them head-to-toe starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday. College sophomore Stacy Liang, a model in the show, said that each model displayed a body system such as the skeletal system, the immune system, and the cardiovascular system.
Fraternity members also gave speeches about each body system as educational facts during the runway. The goal of the event, according to the organizers, was to bring awareness to some of the diseases that are attached to the body's different systems.
Engineering junior and attendee Kalen Truong said that he recognized the confidence that it takes for models to wear the bodysuits and walk down the aisle, “I hope they feel proud,” he added. The fraternity’s goal is to improve the event and make it bigger, Liang said.
The process for planning the event began during the summer when Kong had the idea to start the fashion show at Penn.
Kong, who is also the vice president of finance in the fraternity, explained that since the fraternity doesn’t make any profit from the event, it had to apply for funding and grants to put on the show. Last year, the proceeds of the annual week of philanthropy went to the social services of CHOP.
PhiDE is a pre-professional medical fraternity that originally started at Cornell in 1904. Penn's chapter was founded in 2017. Its goals include providing support, a sense of community, and the resources to succeed, Kong said.
“Everyone knows the struggle, everyone knows everyone’s goal, it’s a good place to be in,” she added.
While philanthropy events are a main focus for the group, members also organize professional development in areas like interview preparation, resume and work editing, as well as social events with other fraternities.
“It is a good balance between pre-professionalism versus fun,” Kong added.
PhiDE’s week of philanthropy called Stand For The Kids continues this week with a succulent sale. A blood drive will be organized on Tuesday, Nov. 8.