On Saturday, the African Student Organization hosted their second-ever International Fashion Show in the Great Room in Seegers Union. This semester’s fashion show was presented following the success of the same event that the organization held last semester. As Sephora Delice ’21, one of the models in the fashion show, explained, the fashion show was “a representation of the African culture all together,” but in terms of specifics, Delice thinks that the countries that were represented were “Nigeria, Rwanda, and Ghana.” The fashion show was presented as a celebration of all of these different cultures, and it truly was just that – a celebration. The excitement and enthusiasm in the room was contagious; everyone in the audience consistently cheered loudly for each model in the fashion show, showing all of their excitement and support. The enthusiasm in the audience was also reflected in the models in the show. Each model was clearly enjoying themselves, and their joy made the fashion show even more fun for the people in the audience.
The International Fashion Show had three different parts. The first part of the show included the modelling of articles of clothing that were dressy yet casual. For the second part of the show, the style of clothing switched to more laidback streetwear. The third and final part of the show included more formal articles of clothing. For each of these three parts of the fashion show, apart from a few articles of clothing in the streetwear section, all of the clothes that were modelled were in the style of traditional African cultures. All were very brightly colored, covering the models in red, blue, yellow and more. Another notable aspect of the clothing modelled was its many different patterns. Many of the patterns were geometric, but others had patterns with images of flowers or animals. Frequently, the outfits came from companies, but on a few occasions, students wore their own outfits. For each model that went down the runway during the fashion show, the model’s name was announced, and the item of clothing they would be modelling was described, which allowed the audience to get a better idea of what they would be seeing when the model walked down the runway.
Delice described her hopes that “after the fashion show, people were able to know more about the kinds of clothes that are worn in Africa,” and judging by the clothing modelled and the reaction from members of the audience, her hopes were realized. The International Fashion Show included clothing of all different styles, and they seemed to be a great representation of traditional African clothing. Traditional African clothing was also represented in the dance between the first and second parts of the fashion show. During the dance, several of the female students, a few of whom also modelled in the fashion show itself, performed a dance to music in the style of African culture. All of the dancers wore African robes over their clothes.
The fashion show clearly benefited its audience members, but it also had an impact on those participating in it. Delice describes being part of the fashion show as “an amazing experience.” She said, “before coming out [on the runway], I was extremely nervous, but when I did go out, it felt so great.” Delice added that for her, “the best part of the fashion show was being able to show off all the different types of clothing in my own way,” and that “it was also really fun to entertain the audience.”
The African Student Association put together a wonderful event in their International Fashion Show, displaying and honoring African culture in an enjoyable way for the Muhlenberg community.