UT students strut their stuff
BSU presents “Coming To America: The 47th-Annual Fashion Show”
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Roll out the red carpet and put on your fancy pants. Cameras flashed as UT students showed off the latest fashions during the 47th-annual Black Student Union fashion show on March 24 in the Student Union Auditorium.
“The BSU Fashion Show is an annual scholarship fashion show that’s held every year,” said Desmond Dunn, director of this year’s show. “We [BSU] give out two $1,000 scholarships to deserving students; upon filling out the application they also write an essay and this year’s question was: what would you do to improve the black student experience here at the University of Toledo?”
The doors opened at 5 p.m. with a red-carpet event from another UT organization, StyleList. The introductory event showcased the students’ outfit ensembles as they walked the carpet to be seated.
According to Melaney Goosby, assistant director of the show, BSU expected to sell over 400 tickets and, for the first time, additional seats were sold at the door for those who were unable to purchase tickets ahead of time.
“It’s amazing being a part of the 47th-annual BSU fashion show,” Goosby said. “As vice president of BSU, as well this is a tradition at UT, and I feel like everyone should experience the fashion show whether that means coming, being a model or helping out backstage. This isn’t just a BSU thing; it’s a UT thing.”
The show opened at 8 p.m. with host KC Clark, a comedian from Detroit, Michigan. Other acts included a performance by dance team Fire Squad, a ballet solo by UT student Jayla Satterfield and UT student KeLee Smith sung a song while playing her guitar.
The “Coming to America” theme centered around the idea of an Egyptian king on an unusual quest. Rashad Irvin, a fourth-year student majoring in business, acted as the king during the fashion show.
“I’m a king looking for my queen and through the progression of the show I finally find my queen,” Irvin said. “The fashion show is actually based off of the movie ‘Coming to America.’”
Savannah Joslin / IC
Beginning in Africa, the fashion show incorporates traditional African clothing and colorful prints and transitions into today’s urban fashion and typical New York style.
This year’s show also exhibits the personal style of the scene directors in the outfits displayed. Darrea Ragland, a third-year student majoring in public health and one of the scene directors of this year’s show, says her fashion sense follows more into the urban fashion and edgy looks of New York streetwear.
“I’m trying to incorporate the urban pop to it, the edgy rock star style and then I wanted to do a contemporary business casual for the third look,” Ragland said.
Unlike Ragland, Miylie Yarbough, another of the BSU fashion show scene directors, says her scene is influenced by a current style icon.
“My scene is the Egyptian scene; it has a lot of African wear, but more of what you can wear now,” Yarbrough, third-year majoring in majoring in marketing and one of BSU fashion show scene directors, said. “There’s a lot of Kanye-inspired clothing, but more green, beige and black colors.”
Forever 21 sponsored this year’s fashion show by donating clothes for the models to wear. Some UT students also displayed their talents by designing clothes for the models to wear on the runway. George Lokko, a fourth-year majoring in bioengineering, provided his African-print handmade bags and backpacks for the models to carry while on the runway.
During intermission, the audience was invited up on stage by host KC Clark, as well as other fraternities and sororities, to flaunt their own outfits.
“This is my third college fashion show and I will say this is probably the best one so far,” Clark said. “It’s very organized and it’s just turnt. It was so dope and I really enjoyed it.”
Also during the event, BSU announced this year’s recipients of their scholarship. Sydney Jones, a second-year majoring in political science, and Alonia Lewis, a second-year double majoring in Africana studies and women’s and gender studies, were each granted a $1,000 scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year.
The show concluded with a rap performance from T’Shawn Russell, a local artist and Toledo resident.
“I loved it. Everyone had mad energy and everyone is so genuinely nice and made me even more happy to be here,” Clark said.