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BCAC Fashion Show more than just models, clothes

Cassie Belek | Monday, April 3, 2006

Hopscotch, football, cheating lovers and weddings aren’t something one usually expects from a fashion show, but the BCAC proved this stereotype wrong. Saturday’s BCAC Fashion Show was more than just strutting around in high heels – it was a high-energy display of this season’s best fashions presented with music, choreography and a background story.

The production took place at the South Bend Century Center, and it marked the Black Cultural Arts Council’s 28th year putting on the fashion show. The BCAC, along with backing from clothing sponsors such as Buckle, Charlotte Russe, DEB, Fashion Bug, Noelle’s and the Hammes Bookstore, all contributed to the show’s success.

The emcees of the evening – Lawrence Denson, Anne Marie Desir, and Justin Gray – guided the audience through the journey of a young woman named Kodi (Ukachi Okoronkwo) as she transitions from childhood in an all-black community to life under the Dome.

Taped segments with dialogue filled the gaps of the silent story put to music. While the pre-recorded parts rounded out the plot, the true entertainment came from the live segments set to energetic music and featuring the male and female models showcasing their fashions all while telling their stories of life and love at Notre Dame. The choreography added to the fun and energy of the segments and matched the music perfectly. The models themselves never missed a beat as they strutted and danced all over the stage.

Highlights included “Jammin’ for Jesus,” “First Football Game” and “Freshman Puppy Love.” In “Jammin’ for Jesus” the models wore clothes by Noelle’s and Fashion Bug as they re-enacted Sunday church at home filled with gospel music and witnesses.

In “First Football Game,” the models were dressed in Hammes Bookstore apparel and portrayed the excitement of a home game, from the cheers to the marshmallow fight to Officer Tim McCarthy.

“Freshman Puppy Love” featured clothes by DEB and Buckle and followed Kodi, after her breakup with a cheating high school sweetheart, and several of her classmates as they find or reject love. Other characters in the segment and in the rest of the show included football players, gold diggers and posses of friends.

If anyone could be said to have stolen the show, it’s the emcees who introduced each segment with their own bits. Denson and Gray weren’t afraid to dress in drag or as Chippendale’s dancers, and Desir tested the limits of her vocal cords before “Midterms: Library Time.”

The trio remembered the fond days of third grade crushes and dancing “The Electric Slide” at family barbecues, even going so far as to pull members of the audience to dance with them. They also proved their improvisational skills when they were asked to kill time for clothing changes.

The most humorous moment of the evening came when the three warned Spring Visitation prospects in the audience of the danger of facebook.com pictures and then proceeded to display their favorites of Notre Dame students with faces whited-out, followed by demands for the people in the embarrassing pictures to show themselves.

The show culminated in “Ring by Spring,” in which two of the characters got married, giving the models a chance to show off suits as well as formal and semi-formal gowns. This finale also allowed them to tie up the story’s loose ends.

Despite a late start and long wardrobe changes, the BCAC Fashion Show was a unique and entertaining show that engaged the audience, told a story and displayed the hottest fashions of the seasons. The models were clearly having as much fun as the audience, and they brought that to the stage while they showed off what’s hot and what’s not.