SVSU students hit the runway
Women of Elegance partners with Greek organizations to put on fashion show
April 16, 2007 —
"I'm not a fashionable person," claimed Criminal Justice sophomore Andre Rutherford. The cheering crowd at the Classy Girlz Entertainment fashion show obviously disagreed.
One of 12 runway models that featured the latest fashions for SVSU students last Friday night in the Multi-Purpose Room, Rutherford enjoyed the chance to show off his fashion sense. "It was a lot of fun. Normally, I'm not a fashionable person, but I stepped it up for the show."
Sponsored by SVSU's Women of Elegance club in conjunction with Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta, the "This Is Why It's Hot" fashion show brought the glitz and glamour of a professional runway fashion show to campus. For five dollars, SVSU students were able to get the complete fashion show experience, including catwalk and DJ, without a high price tag or dress code.
According to Dominique Brown from Women of Elegance, the evening of fashion was made possible by sponsors secured by the club. The sponsors included Wilson's Leather, Dots, David's Bridal, Vanity, and Hip Hop Clothing Wear. The models were free to pick from anything in the store they saw fit to complete their outfit. All of the outfits were returned at the end of the show. Brown said that thanks to the generous sponsor donations, Women of Elegance will be able to use the entrance fee to save for an event.
"The money will help pay for an educational speaker later in the year. [Our club] provides social and educational events for the SVSU community," Brown said. "We try to pick something that everyone can relate to. But we haven't selected a speaker yet, because we need to see how much money we have first."
Brown, along with Shavo Williams and Tiffany Trotman, helped plan the evening. But the real stars of the evening were the runway models.
One of the 12 models, Andre Rutherford became part of the fashion show by chance.
"I was just walking through, and I saw a sign for open tryouts. I tried out, and made it. I think there were seven guys there, and only three of them were accepted for the show."
Since making the cut, the team of three men and nine women worked to create a show with a variety of fashion styles. Each model was responsible for creating their own outfits to fit within the seven styles of the fashion show.
"The show had a section for club, summer, leather, everyday, mini, or 'freak 'em' dress, and formal," Rutherford said. "A 'freak 'em' dress is a dress that a girl can wear in the workplace and go right to happy hour without changing - it's all-purpose." Without hesitation, Rutherford said that his favorite part of the show was the summer section. "During the last part of summer, I get to take my shirt off."
He also said that this was not his first time on the runway, as Rutherford occasionally walked the catwalk for fun when he was in high school. SVSU's show, however, took the fashion show to an entirely new level.
"We've been rehearsing since February, and we've been practicing every day for the last three weeks," Rutherford said.
The hours of practice gave the audience a nearly seamless show. The audience, however, was not able to see some of the less polished parts of the evening.
"Chaos." That's how Rutherford described the situation backstage during the show. "There are clothes everywhere," he said. "We never practiced changing during the show before."
Despite the disorder, reactions from the audience were positive. Models received applause and cheers from the large crowd throughout the evening. Audience members especially enjoyed the 'freak 'em' and formal dress sections of the show, as well as the music that filled the evening.
Music kept the night flowing by bridging the gap between sections of the show. This gave the models just enough time to quickly change outfits backstage. In addition to the musical stylings of the show's DJ, Jasmine Rogers and the group Born Justice performed popular rap songs, while emcees from Phi Beta Sigma kept the crowd entertained. At the end of the show, the models hung up their outfits to be returned to the sponsors. For Rutherford, there were few regrets.
"I've had fun working with everyone here, but I'm glad it's over. But if they have another show, I'm there."