A Super Bowl champion, winner of America’s Next Top Model and DJ from BET all headlined “Fashion Fever,” the Black Student Union’s (BSU) fashion show this year. But on Saturday night, Darrell Reid, Saleisha Stowers and DJ Wallah played a supporting role to an ensemble of College students who kept all eyes on the stage throughout the evening.
Sophomores Aneka Williams, nursing major, and Keesean Moore, international business administration major and Signal staff writer, were the driving forces behind this year’s fashion show – the 11th presented by BSU. Williams and Moore blended equal parts fashion and music, incorporating dance and vocal performances by guests and students accompanied by Wallah’s professional talent.
Williams was the one responsible for bringing Stowers and Wallah, along with Reid, who is Williams’ older brother, to this year’s event. The event planner’s dedication to the evening was not lost on those she worked with.
“She’s just awesome,” senior model Joetta Jackson, Spanish and international business major, said. “She’s definitely very passionate . She just balanced everything quite well.”
Her coordinating counterpart was no exception. In addition to running and organizing the show, Moore found time to include his own apparel, with his ensembles featured in “Lost Ones,” the eighth and final scene. The look he described as “Armageddon prom princess” was put together with clothes from “Another Man’s Treasure” vintage boutique. Top-Model Stowers said she particularly enjoyed Moore’s work. A few other scenes featured student-designed clothing as well.
Models came out in a vast assortment of outfits, accompanied by an equally varied collection of music. Wallah kept in mind the makeup of the audience as well as the themes of each division, or scene, that the show was broken up into. He cited the diversity of the crowd and the fact that they were mostly “’80s babies.”
The show began with three women silhouetted against a red-lit background. They were joined by the rest of the Fashion Show Executive Board and danced to Beyonce’s version of the classic “Fever” – also the name of this “opening mini scene.”
After much anticipation, Scene I, the “Club Scene” featured the evening’s first set of models strutting across stage. The rest of the night was scheduled similarly, with dances and other student performances intermingled with fashion displays.
In one scene deemed “Seduction,” the audience felt the heat as models seduced two lucky men seated onstage. Music by Usher set the tone as models made their way across the stage, stopping at the male model to give their personal twist on seduction before moving on. The clothing, or lack there of, was an alluring collection from Lite Fantasies Designs, managed by Aisha Billups.
All of the performances in addition to the modeling added even more to the dynamic show. Singer and spoken word artist Ja-Tun, a local performer from Trenton, had the most creative entrance of the night, standing up from her second row seat and singing as she made her way onstage.
The iTunes performed several songs a cappella, which elicited a spirited response from the audience. The crowd snapped and sang along to Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly,” filling in touches of Lauryn Hill’s version where appropriate, particularly the part where Wyclef Jean echoes “One time, time.” With a beat boxer in addition to the harmony of the singers, the iTunes also performed “I’m Sprung” by T-Pain and “Apologize” by One Republic.
When the models were offstage, Reid, Stowers and Wallah kept the crowd into the show. The charismatic hosts were an easy fit together, keeping their onstage banter balanced with the crowd’s involvement. Reid’s lively humor and Stowers charm meshed well.
Wallah proved he was very adept at keeping up the audience’s energy. During intermission, he even encouraged audience members to show off their style onstage if they thought they looked good enough. Enough of the crowd obliged to keep the impromptu fashion show running nearly the whole break. Jackson, particpating for the fourth year in a row, said Wallah was great with his timing, adjusting or looping a song if the models had gone too fast or lagged behind.
While BSU continued its tradition of an annual fashion show, this year’s event was most impressive. By the end of the night, the whole audience was overwhelmingly afflicted with Fashion Fever.