HerCampus UOttawa Steps into The Wild at Capital Catwalk

HerCampus UOttawa Steps into The Wild at Capital Catwalk

Photos courtesy of HerCampus Uottawa


It was truly a jungle in Lansdowne’s Horticulture Building on the evening of February 10th, when HerCampus UOttawa hosted their 6th annual Capital Catwalk. Models prowled down the runway in original and unique fashions designed by Zarucci, Zargara, Alexandra Guraliuc, Kristie Lance, Rowes Fashion and Narcisse Palace.

The Ottawa chapter of the North American online magazine targeted towards college women organizes a fashion show every year to showcase local fashion talent while raising money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. The chapter’s goal for this year? To up the ante and surpass last year’s total money raised - $6,000. All proceeds from the event benefit the cause and even those who cannot attend could lend a hand, showing support through the event’s virtual lemonade sale.

We stepped “into the wild” and chatted with Jocelyn Hislip, one of the organizers from the brilliant team of HerCampus Uottawa, about the catwalk, capital fashion and coordinating a show to remember.

Ottawa Life: Tell us a little bit about the Capital Catwalk and HerCampus Uottawa.

Jocelyn Hislip: Her Campus is the #1 new-media brand for the empowered college woman. We are an online magazine and create content about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle for women on campus. The Her Campus uOttawa chapter has large community involvement both on and off campus. Our events and marketing team host events to promote the magazine and provide fun, philanthropic activities for students. Our website gets over 1200 hits on a weekly basis and many of our articles have been re-posted to the national website this year.

How does the designer selection process take place to be featured at the event?

We reach out to our veteran designers who have showed collects for our show in previous years. We give them priority since they have been loyal and amazing support to our cause. After we look for local designers on Instagram or other social media platforms. In most cases, some designers ask to be in the show as well. Unfortunately, we have had to turn down quite a few this years, since the spaces were filled quickly. However, they are placed on a list to be contacted for next year’s show.

Why the Capital Catwalk? Why do you choose a fashion show as one of your biggest events of the year?

We believe it’s important to give back to our community. The show not only allows people to help support a great cause, but also helps showcase Ottawa’s artistic side. Ottawa has a lot to offer in the creative nature such as fashion designs, performers, and models.   

Tell us a little bit about the theme of this year’s show, “Into the Wild.”

The venue inspired our theme this year. The show was held at the horticulture building which, to us, looks similar to a classic greenhouse. The building is mostly made of glass with brass metal frames. We thought we would use the building’s architecture as one of our décor pieces. Along with the building, we are having a white flower wall and plants donated by local florists to help create our urban jungle environment.     

What is the most challenging issue when it comes to organizing a fashion show?

There are so many aspects in creating a successful fashion show. The most challenging is getting all the pieces to fit together by organizing the people and volunteers for the show.

This your 6th annual fashion show. How does the team organize and plan every detail and choose the theme for each year’s show?

We split up our team into smaller groups to delegate different roles and responsibilities. Each team plays a crucial role in having a successful show. For example, we have a team dedicated to social media, small scale event to raise money for the show, large scale events who are in charge of the overall show and sponsorship team that looks for organizations to help support our events.

How does the model casting process take place and who can audition for the show?

We host a modeling casting in early fall, usually on the Uottawa Campus. We welcome students of all shapes and sizes, both male and female, to audition for the show.

Why did you choose to donate proceeds to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation?

The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation provides great support for our community, so we wanted to help support them and their great work they do. 

Which local designer do you hope to feature one day?

I hope that one day, we can have student designers who are just starting out to help support their dream and showcase their work.

How do you think local designers are changing the game of fashion in Ottawa?

I believe that our local designers are bringing light to the fact that Ottawa has a lot to offer in the artistic nature. As many of our designers’ work is influenced by Ottawa and what the city has to offer, I believe that their collections help to inspire the citizens of Ottawa and even across Canada.