Fighting domestic violence with fashion

By Madison Duddy
BU News Service

BOSTON — While Boston Fashion Week’s “Oh La La… Voila!!” fashion show was full of glamour, for organizer and fashion designer Luna Joachim, fashion means more than the designs– it’s about lifting people up, giving back to worthy causes and making a woman’s dream come true on the runway.

“For my shows, it’s not only about fashion. It means more to me than that. Whenever I make a show, it’s a show for a mission,” Joachim said.

The event brought local designers together Saturday night in Brookline to celebrate a night of beauty, while supporting victims of domestic violence. 

Joachim, who also owns L’Accent Women’s Fashion boutique in Brookline, showcased five designers with styles ranging from Joachim’s 1950’s-1960’s retro dresses and accessories, to Renu Gupta’s middle eastern collection of saris.  

Joachim said she has traveled the world showcasing her designs at fashion weeks in New York, Paris and Boston, often putting on fashion shows to benefit different charities. Last year, her show supported people struggling with cancer, a fight she said she knows well after surviving a brain tumor. Some of the models she chose were women fighting cancer. 

“Whatever I do, I always pray about it, and this year, domestic violence came to my mind,” Joachim said. “It’s something that’s always in my heart.”

The Waltham-based organization, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, became Joachim’s chosen charity, and she said she was able to meet with women who endured tragic relationships but found refuge in REACH. 

“I am going to be working with these people who broke my heart,” Joachim said. “Battered women who had their husbands hurt them. Each of them were telling me their stories. I was heartbroken. For me, I use fashion to lift people up. That’s what I do.”

Regardless of size, color or emotional and physical scars, Joachim chose three women from REACH to be models in her show, making them custom garments they could take home after the event as a memento of the special night. 

“A lot of designers criticize me for putting everyone on the runway. But for me, putting somebody on the runway is not about how you look or your size,” Joachim said. “One of them is a size 20 and I don’t care. I made something beautiful for her. You lift them up. That’s all you have to do.”

The final runway for Luna Joachim’s collection at the Boston Fashion Week’s “Oh La La… Voila!!” show, Brookline, Boston, Mass., Oct. 5, 2019. Video produced by Madison Duddy/ BU News Service

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