A fashionably charitable show

The beautiful people of the Vogue Charity Fashion Show performing last weekend at Grant Hall.
The beautiful people of the Vogue Charity Fashion Show performing last weekend at Grant Hall.
Photo by Maxwell Summerlee

An excited buzz filled the air outside of Grant Hall this past weekend as people began to line up for this year’s thirteenth annual Vogue Charity Fashion Show. The show brought a full house, and some of those waiting in line were aptly wearing their most fashionable attire, while others seemed to have come straight from studying.

Inside of Grant Hall, the energetic atmosphere increased as hip-hop music pumped and moving spotlights roamed the ceiling and stage. A short, T-shaped runway was set up in front of the stage, and immediately the show delivered a professional vibe.

Before the show got underway, students and friends in the audience began to catcall and cheer for the people they had come to see. Despite being a touch annoying, this added to the increasing buzz.

The show began with a huge dance number that filled the stage with “I heart Vogue” T-shirts.

The chosen charity—-P.R.O. (Positive Recreational Opportunities) Kids Kingston—-was introduced on two giant screens. Unfortunately, the technical team ran into some difficulty with the sound, and most of the information was inaudible. As a result, the packed house began to stir and get distracted, but before their attention was completely lost, the fashion show got underway.

First up was the vintage scene, with a mixture of fifties, sixties and seventies fashion. The choreography was cute and playful, but seemed to drag on after too many laps of the runway.

Next, as the dancers filled the stage in full Gap attire, it felt as though a television commercial for the clothing company had come to life onstage. The “mellow-yellow” song, forever linked to the Gap ads, played as this spring’s in-store collection was flaunted about the runway. The busy and high-energy choreography made the whole thing twice as much fun. The first independent designer to present her line was Erin Fitzpatrick. Her collection was full of flowing, elegant material with soft colours and prints. Catering to the girly-girl with attitude, this small but talent-filled line certainly impressed.

Jenn Valberg’s highly anticipated “Ghetto Couture” collection began with a selection of her popular T-shirts, labelled with campus slogans like “Wally” or “B is for Brock,” all of which are sold on campus. However, the whole line went a step further as she introduced new and innovative pieces. Valberg’s use of colourful scarves as dresses and shirts really made her collection stand out.

Malcolm Smith’s collection of casual attire was certainly “wearable,” but it was less than thrilling. The simple sweaters and T-shirts appeared to have been decorated with paint or bleach splatters and were accented with bold comments across the back, such as “Look at me” or “Even virgins have standards.” Despite the attention-grabbing comments, the entire line missed out on showcasing the designer’s skill. Tara Downs was the final independent designer to present her fashions. Of all of the lines presented over the course of the evening, her black and white collection was certainly the most “haute-couture.” The pieces in her collection were altered vintage bridal dresses, such as a long-sleeved bridal gown that had been cut and made into a trendy cropped jacket.

Both the bathing suit and lingerie collections spurred heightened excitement from the audience, as the models strutted with confidence across the stage and down the runway. Perky bottoms were the theme of the evening, as both male and female models alike showed off their rears. In a provocative finale to the lingerie scene, a male model came out in a black g-string and angel wings, which left nothing to the imagination.

The dance numbers, which were interspersed between the independent collections, captured the audience and proved to be very entertaining. The men’s dance number, as well as the hip-hop and military numbers, were obvious crowd favourites. Each choreography was packed with high-energy moves and looked to have been well rehearsed. In addition to the fashion show and dance numbers, Christina Gonzales serenaded the audience, with accompaniment by JinGGo at the piano. Together they wowed the crowd with Gonzales’ powerhouse voice and JinGGo’s instrumental and beat-boxing skills.

The show, which raised more than over $15,000 for P.R.O. Kids, turned out to be a success for co-presidents Erin Schachter and Daina Astwood-George. The amount of time and effort that went into the production was apparent throughout the entire show. Although it ran a little long, the evening was worth seeing.

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