WorldWideWomen’s Girls’ Festival / The Fashion Show / October 15th

“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” – Amelia Earhart


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…and we all in fact, did do it ~ as in, everyone ~ behind the scenes, on the floor, runway, stages, booths. and it was a site to see ~ magical and transformative, and so beyond what we all imagined.

I can’t even recall the precise point of entry into WorldWideWomen’s CEO Maureen Broderick’s life ~ except a lunch a little over 2 years ago at Hotel Mac in Point Richmond. We talked WorldWideWomen, her vision for the platform and many conversations, lunches and conjuring followed. For me, the designer, writer and salonniere that I am ~ I needed a thing that I could see, had a date, and was quite literally tangible. So when she came to me a year or even more later with the Girls’ Festival idea, I knew that that might be the perfect connection into her vision because of my primary interest and focus as a mother of a 13 year old daughter who is very much trying to find her way in the world, emotionally, intellectually, and especially creatively. I came on to the Leadership Council to help with two things. First, to help with the Maker Space where the awesome Carrie Motamedi and I brought together a bunch of different ideas around makers which manifested itself in part of the left hand side of Fort Mason as you entered ~ with Autodesk/3-D printing, FIDM’s denim rosette’s led by Janice Paredes, June Grant of blink!LAB’s interactive Geometry Pavilion, Genentech, Techshop, and Cyant; and my dear friend Karima Cammell came on board and brought her beautiful aesthetic and amazing translation of Castle in the Air ~ to life through crepe paper flowers, calligraphy and integrating our friend Grant Faulkner’s National Novel Writing Month into the mix. I wanted hands on beauty, and we got it. So many thanks!

My other duty and function at the Festival was to produce the fashion show which I think when Maureen asked me if I could in fact do it (i had suggested it as a way of getting a demographic like my daughter to come and be involved), I asked myself ~ can i do it?! and literally I didn’t know and wasn’t sure ~ until the day of ~ when I knew it had to be done, and what I did which I seem to always do ~ is pull in meaning and inspiration into the mix, along with those many trusted people in my life who I can count on and who I know will come through. There were moments of not knowing (the 11 FIDM interns ~ who in the end, killed it! ~ sent to me by Ruth Ritchie), along with the possibility of rain, which would have seriously hindered our one hour rehearsal outside the Firehouse. But, what was pure exhilaration ~ was seeing it all come together so beautifully, fluidly, and seemingly effortlessly. And the looks on the girls’ faces, their moms and dads’ happiness and gratefulness, the audience excited and entranced to truly see the arc of all the possibilities of girls, their bodies, their styles, their personalities gracing the stage in such elegance ~ it was a true wonder…

Below is an edited down (as much as I could) visual essay of the day, through mostly my eyes (little iPhone moments), but with some fabulous photography by Mark Serr and FIDM intern and photographer Emilio Ruiz-Vega… it’s long, I know ~ but with the close to 100 designers and models, I wanted to capture a little bit of everything!

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above / Bizworlds’s Girlpreneur competition with Sue Siegel, Tim Draper and Mark Cuban; Young Women Leading Change panel with Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Global Girls’ Voices with novelist Shobhaa Rao and Rise Up’s Denise Dunning

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above / maker space with Berkeley’s Castle in the Air, National Novel Writing Month and Autodesk; Karima and her daughter Francesca teaching papier mache flower making; denim rosette making at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising boots, with June Grant’s Geometry Portal in the background…


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above / my FIDM intern team doing hair, make-up, styling; models modeling, charleston choreographing. photos: emilio ruiz-vega.


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above / my iPhone snapshots of prep, practice, and pre-show…


“If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.” – Oprah.

Produced by / cari borja
Choreographed by / charleston pierce

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Racheal Matthews ~  “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake 
Models / Shekinah, Hunter, Sadie, Kristen, WrenCP Models / Rebecca, Tamara, Angeline

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The Sewing Room, Alameda / Jennifer Serr ~ “Firework” by Katy Perry
Designers / Lily Abrons, Ty Ozoy. Models / Emma, Izzy, Peri, Hannah, Juliet
Designers-As-Models / Presley Liu, Tenshi Vilchis, Radiate Lathon, Katia Bernstein
Jasmine Sanders, Emma Serr, Penelope Griffin, Isabelle Brown Lyden

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Royal Borja Bernberg ~ “Stole the Show” by Kygo 
LOOK Models / Charlize, Lily, Leilani, Bryte, Chloe J., Chloe Y., KateCP models / Kennedy, Anderson, Emily

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cari borja / mommy & me / “stamina” election-inspired collection ~ “The Greatest” by Sia 
* Styled by / Mara Kolesas, GoodFitStyle
Models / Cornelia & Olivia, Aparna & Riya, Jennifer & AveryBecky & Naya, Mara & Lina
CP Models / Hannah Rose, April, Hannah, Sarah, Alyssa, Ashley (in designer Stephanie Bodnar

Mary Mozzetti (designer/model)

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Emily Payne / Devon Rose ~ “Stripe Rhythm” by Two Fingers 
Models / Ella, Lily, Claudia, Violet, Katarina, Devon, Miya, Katiana

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Athleta Girl ~ “Stand by You” by Rachel Platten 
* Styled by / Betina Baumgarten, Founder of Best Foot Forward Personal Styling
Models / Gaby, Savannah, Ella, Julia, Phoebe, Lucy, Ruby, Amelia, Skylar
Harper, Alessia, Azriel, Brooklyn, Samantha, Elsa

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Finale“We Are Family” by Sister Sledge


* above / long shot images by Mark Serr, and side angle images by Emilio Ruiz-Vega



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above / collaborator and project runway designer Jake Wall, with partner Nathan Johnson, of JAKE ~ doing a meet and greet; interns and Royal; Charleston Pierce models at the step and repeat; saying thank you to the amazing team of interns from FIDM; and to DJ Amy


FIDM interns (back of the house, hair & make-up, styling, photography) ~
Shayne Nicole, Rachel Maleh, Rachel Sullivan , Hysik Bushilla
Kausher Patel, Cindy Voong, Emilio Ruiz-Vega, Chelly Joy Guzman
Taylor Afshar, Ashley Doherty, Emily Wilmore

hair & make-up for Emily Payne’s Devon Rose ~ anysia (devon rose)

Janice Paredes and Ruth Ritchie, FIDM. Jake Wall of JAKE
Alyx Conneau and Stephanie Phelan, ATHLETA
Ingrid Olivas of Look Model Agency, Anna Kauffman
Charleston Pierce, Model Coach/School. Sarah O’Rourke of Autodesk
Gabe Garcia and G-Eazy, DJ Amy Robbins
Emily Randall, Emily Tatad, David Gill, Lorie Murphy
Maureen Broderick


* other related pieces on the fashion show ~  Q&A with Project Runway Designer Emily Payne / THE SEWING ROOM, Alameda

AND / if you know of a girl designer/fashion writer, just found out about this awesome local start-up EPIC SKY / SF Chron article 


“Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say,
more important offices than to merely keep us warm.
They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.” ~
virginia woolf, orlando



“There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” – Edith Wharton

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