Before last night, I had been to one fashion show, at a bar in Northern Michigan where the models wore repurposed cardboard boxes. But the Creative Arts Club’s fashion show on Saturday night was far from make-shift. If anything, it was glamorous.
I didn’t know what to expect from the event. It was only the second annual fashion show staged by the Creative Arts Club, and, as far as I’m aware, the group hasn’t hosted many big productions on campus. In her opening remarks, one of the announcers — junior Alma Petras — touched on the fact that they struggled to fill even a few rows of chairs during their show last year.
But walking into the May Room was like entering a totally transformed space, and one that was completely full. A girl in a glittering red dress stood at the doors and welcomed me. Inside was a small gallery to the left, with paintings and drawings by the club members. Long mirrors were here and there and I weaved through attendees posing and looking at others’ reflections.
The music was popping, gentle techno remixes of familiar songs, and colored lights swept over the crowd. The more I stood around, the more people that started to appear next to me, until I pushed my way towards a seat in the front row the club had reserved for me.
Petras and her cohost, sophomore Sophie Cleff, walked on stage in tall heels and all black. By this time, the entire room was packed. The audience filled all of the chairs and stood around in the back, cheering and clapping.
The catwalk was a platform raised from the ground with fake grass and twinkle lights strung around the edges, plus potted flowers present to “mark the transition into spring,” as Sophie said. She also said the show was decorated similarly to how it looked last year, when the theme was springtime. This year, though, they wanted to choose a more exciting theme.
And it was exciting. A giant sign made of black and white checkered paper hung on the brick wall, reading, “Fashion and Technology.” All of the models wore designs inspired by this theme, but, as the announcers assured us, the designers didn’t have to adhere to the idea. Inspired by the 2016 “Manus x Machina” Met Gala theme, our own designers of UR dressed their models in sleek and sheen.
Some of the designs were outwardly on-theme. While runway music pounded, the first model walked out in a black ensemble with a wire skirt, pouting for the photographers that bobbed throughout the crowd. Another model wore a black and white romper with a Billy Porter-esque chain hat. Yet another flaunted a giant floral headpiece with metal spikes, reminiscent of many headpieces from the 2018 “Heavenly Bodies” Met Gala theme.
Other designers opted for a more subtle implication of the technological theme. Petras’ designs aimed to accentuate the feminine figure. “As we move towards a more progressive society,” she said as her final model stood at the edge of the stage in a paper tutu, “I hope the female body will be more accepted.”
The most warming part of the show was the reaction the models received from the audience. Everyone seemed to know each other, and the people who didn’t know each other still clapped like crazy. “Everyone applaud for this model,” Petras said for a particularly shy model. “She’s very nervous.”
The energy was crazy supportive. “Look,” a girl behind me said to her friends, passing out Laffy Taffy. “All of our friends are here!”
“I brought my glasses,” her friend said. “It’s lit. I’m about to see everything.”
In their announcements, the club members alluded to the fact that there had been last minute hiccups in their presentation. Sihir Bellydance Ensemble had performed during intermission, but with only two of their members, as the rest of them had some sort of emergency that the hosts referenced. Still, the two dancers were incredible, wearing sheer red blouses under the red stage lights.
The Creative Arts Club brought it to their fashion show. There was so much color, so much movement, and everyone was cheering for the models that flashed their looks at the peak of the runway. Never have I seen so many fashionable people in one place at this school. It felt like I wasn’t even at UR.