The art deco doors normally used for embellishment in Kendall Hall were transformed into stages for a series of couture still-lifes for models Amber Douglas and Diamond Singletary during the “Look at Her” scene in the 10th annual Black Student Union (BSU) fashion show. Called “Eye Candy,” the show took place at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
The show was a tightly stitched combination of rap music, hip-hop dance and innovative takes on urbanwear. The show’s energy matched that of the crowd, which had a personality just as lively as the designs. It was a well done exploration of black culture and its influence on fashion sponsored by BSU.
Guilange Fabien, senior criminology major and co-chair of the “Eye Candy” fashion show, said, “I believe that fashion and the hip-hop culture are intertwined. In fact, almost all of the songs that we picked for each scene were closely connected to hip-hop in some way or another.”
She continued, “In hip-hop culture, fashion and style go hand in hand. This is how BSU’s show was this year, attempting to incorporate a taste of fashion, style and hip-hop all in one show.”
With the music selections, orchestrated by DJ Wes Will, it was impossible for anyone not to get the hip-hop vibe. Crowd favorites included: “Tambourine” by Eve, “Hot in Herre” by Nelly and “Candy Rain” by Soul For Real.
Bola Okoya, sophomore criminology major, of “Primo Designs,” had an entire scene committed to his literally off-the-wall creations, inspired by the city graffiti of Okoya’s native Brooklyn. Models sported a series of elaborately designed hoodies, jeans and summer dresses, all alluding to graffiti, hip-hop’s iconic form of expression, where bricks, trains and all infrastructure become canvases.
Other mainstream designers often use classic art for their inspirations, but New York-bred Okoya chose the only art that engulfed him on an everyday basis.
He decided on graffiti as an inspiration because, “It surrounded me and I fell in love with it.”
Along with Okoya, other designers whose creations graced the runway were Nicole Glaspie, Terrell Mason, Donna Byrd, Kyjuan Westry, Brandon Jones of “Miskeen Originals” and many others from Two Stone Production company, although Okoya was the only College designer.
“I plan to take my business as far as possible. It has and is getting a lot of attention,” he said.
Hosts Annie Raczko, senior elementary education/English major, and Malcolm Owens, a transfer student who will be attending the College next year, kept the show fluid and fun. Their humor contrasted with the intense faces on the runway and kept the air in Kendall Hall light and entertaining.
Their cross-cultural conflicts provoked much laughter, from Raczko’s elaborate explanation of the huckleberry fruit, from its roots to discovery, to her love for her homemade “Apple Bottom Jeans,” which were nothing more than blue jeans with a first-grade cut-out of an apple taped to her butt.
During a brief introduction to the “Sweet Kisses” scene, Raczko asked, unaware of the possibility of innuendo, “Malcolm, what are your favorite kisses?” After a few mischievous chuckles he responded with every “kiss” known to man, besides the kind manufactured by Hershey, which she was referring to. The chemistry between them could not have been more entertaining.
From the laceless Adidas shoes that ironically hugged the feet of the members of Run DMC to the explosion of Michael Jordan’s basketball career and subsequent Nike shoe contract that took the sneaker world by storm, hip-hop culture and fashion have coexisted for decades. The “Eye Candy” fashion show was yet another step in the evolution of modern fashion.