The Black Students’ Association’s second-ever fashion show brought a sold-out crowd back to the early 2000s' hip hop era with do-rags, denim, cargo pants and hits from Nelly and Soulja Boy.
This year’s “millenium” theme attracted approximately 180 attendees. They filled up the atrium of Western University’s Physics and Astronomy Building with loud cheering, singing and dancing, which enhanced the community vibe throughout the show Friday night.
“We decided to do early 2000s because we thought that it was the epitome of black culture. We believed that we could really get across the message of blackness, beauty, excitement and fun through the 2000s,” said Tomachi Onyewuchi, BSA’s vice-president of events.
The show was split into three distinct fashion styles: streetwear, semi-casual and glam. Most of the clothing featured was from thrift stores and sponsors, including local businesses NU4U Closet and Filthy Rebena Vintage. Meeka Francis, the BSA’s events coordinator, also pitched in clothing from her own closet. The clothes were auctioned off during the intermission and after the show at their merchandise booth.
In the show’s opening messages, they make special acknowledgement to the fast-approaching Black History Month. Francis also highlighted the importance of making the fashion show as diverse as possible by including different skin tones and body shapes.
Streetwear set the night in motion with hoodies, jerseys and fanny packs as a representation of black street culture. Models danced their way down the stairs to contemporary R&B classics before striking a unique pose or dance move at the start of the red runway. A trio of male models wearing basketball jerseys gathered attention as they struck a collective free throw pose.
The semi-casual section also showcased a special fusion of streetwear and glam, with tie-up crop tops and colourful windbreaker jackets before the intermission.
Following the intermission, BSA members took the stage to perform popular tunes from the 2000s. Keren Annor played a five-minute piano medley of songs, including Mario’s “Let Me Love You,” Nelly’s “Dilemma” and Destiny’s Child’s “Survivor.” A trio comprised of Kat Moscone, Chinua Ofulue and Chris Odetoyinbo also impressed the crowd. Odetoyinbo played the guitar while Moscone and Ofulue sang.
The final fashion style of the night, glam, featured short and long dresses in a variety of colours with unique detailed patterns, emblematic of black creativity.
Many of the audience members did not want the night to end and praised the whole production and confidence of the models.
“That was the most phenomenal thing I have ever experienced. The energy was so great, so high,” said Jennifer Hill, a first-year health sciences student. “There were looks that I didn’t think could be looks, and I don’t even have a favourite part, because it was so good. The fact that they had musical acts in the middle was kind of brilliant.”
Throughout the show, the BSA team acknowledged how appreciative they were of the audience for joining them in their celebration of black beauty, culture and fashion.
“Something like this is so important for the black community. We don’t get a chance a lot of the time to show how beautiful we are, how strong we are and how powerful we can be,” said Onyewuchi in her closing message. “It is exactly what this fashion show is supposed to be.”