By Cecilia Woodard, TREnDS Summer Intern

The 2015 TREnDS Fashion Forum, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the organization, was an event that clearly reflected the grassroots mission set forth by the founding teens.

The forum sought to reinforce and spread the reality that each individual is inherently beautiful. While practical and theoretical workshops were hand-crafted to feed the body, soul, and mind of the person, the message was wholly exemplified in the crowning event of the mother-daughter fashion show that closed off the evening. Each diverse group of mothers and daughters donned their own styles that reflected their unique personalities; while nobody looked the same, every single one radiated beauty.

The event was more than just a superficial modeling of clothing and started much before the models walked the runway. Each outfit was hand picked with the TREnDS stylists who took into consideration the personality preferences and body types of each model, making a unique set of outfits for unique individual. Most importantly, the fashion show provided an opportunity for these mothers and daughters to get to know each other a little better.

The day was kicked-off, bright and early, with a welcoming speech given by TREnDS president Shannon Joseph. From there the participants explored the variety of workshops offered in several breakout rooms. These workshops were aimed at developing the person as a whole. While some speakers hoped to create an awareness of one’s soul, like Shannon Joseph in her workshop on True Beauty, others were more practical and gave technical advice regarding makeup and hair. These workshops complimented the body and soul while other workshops, such as Barbara Kay’s workshop on the Niqab, fostered thought provoking dialogue. Many of the facilitators urged the participants to personally reflect and make goals moving forward.

Many of the speakers reinforced the fact that we each have an interior soul that needs to be communicated properly. Nurturing our exterior appearance can help us realize the profound reality that we are truly lovable, not for what we do, but for who we are. Each person chooses certain articles of clothing over others and this, in a mysterious way, reflects our inner life and unique personality.

The workshops and the Forum as a whole, provided an opportunity to look inward and examine how we can use fashion as a way to reflect the best version of ourselves. Everyone was sent out with the prevailing message that fashion is a language; And we must decide what we want to communicate.