This past Thursday, April 14, Afrisa put on their first annual fashion show in the Sykes Ballroom. The place was all done up in beautiful lights and set up like a runway, welcoming students and family to view the show. The theme for their first show was “Coming to America” and set quite a precedent for the years to come.
The event started off with a dance performance by the Wahala Dance Team and was a beautiful way to start off the show. Afterward, the audience was showed a short video to introduce everybody to the context of the event: A girl wanted to go to school in the United States, specifically to West Chester University.
This set off the first round of fashion, which was comprised of more traditional African pieces. Everything was gorgeous: bright, vibrant and bold; there were a lot of vivid yellows, greens, reds and oranges. Models also carried out different cultural items, including carrying baskets on their heads, instruments and walking sticks.
Everybody who walked out for this round stood on the runway holding a pose in pairs; it was quite a beautiful collection of clothing. Once everybody was out, they walked forward and retreated, pair by pair. The DJ then walked the runway himself, showcasing his slick long white shirt and suit jacket.
Following the traditional round of clothing came some of the entertainment for the night: Ghee, an up-and-coming rapper. He gave an impressive performance, getting the audience ready for round two.
There was some time to kill in-between, so the DJ filled it with good music, sometimes encouraging the audience to sing along.
After some waiting, the second short video was played. This time, the daughter was accepted to West Chester, and the family needed to celebrate – and so came the formalwear.
As the next round ensued, just as many beautiful clothes as the first. For the men, there were a lot of black pants and colorful, vibrant tops in an array of designs. For the women, the round consisted of a lot of chunky black heels with many different designs of dresses, from shorter two-piece works to longer form-fitting ones.
One of the most beautiful pieces had to be a knee-length dress with a lace hoop skirt, accompanied by a matching lace parasol. Another noteworthy piece was a wonderfully plain form fitted black dress worn under a long, flowery, flowing purple cape.
After this section came a little intermission. Once everybody returned, the final series to be modeled was revealed: modern wear. Another little video contextualizing the modern wear was played wherein the girl finally traveled to the U.S. and was given a makeover.
This line was no less beautiful than the previous two, consisting of a myriad of different colored dashikis and beautiful colors and patterns. It closed off the fashion show and was directly followed by Afrisa’s executive board coming out to thank the audience for attending.
The clothing for the event were provided by two different designers: Lavie by CK for the traditional and formalwear, and Perade for the modern wear.
Lauren Detweiler is a second-year student majoring in English. Contact her at LD838069@wcupa.edu