Boston College’s African Student Organization presented its “African Fresh Prints” fashion show in Lyon’s dining hall on Friday. With a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, members of the African Student Organization recreated the iconic cast, with Sadiq Ervin, MCAS ’19, as Carlton Banks, Beylul Nagassi, MCAS ’16, as Ashley Banks, Alyssa Savery, LSOE ’17, as Hilary Violet Banks, and Titi Odedele, MCAS ’18, as Aunt Viv—just to name a few. Fresh Prince was used as a loose storyline to string together beautiful creative works from talented designers as well as performances from some of the major student-run dance groups.
The show kicked off by introducing the Fresh Prince cast and putting a little twist on the sitcom. To connect the show to its African prints theme, “Will” had come from Africa to see his family. After the brief introduction, the first set of looks came down the runway. The styled featured had interesting bright patterns that added to the overall shape and cut of each garment. Some of the crowd favorites included one of the dresses with an interesting triangular pattern; a full-length, skirt dress tied with a bow in the back in grey and green; and a knee-length dress with armor like shoulders in a blue, red, and orange mix of colors.
After the styles had gone down the runway, Carlton came back on the stage troubled he wasn’t able to find a girl. Will then suggested that he needed to learn how to dance. From here, BC hip-hop dance company Phaymus came onstage and danced to hit songs from artists including Nicki Minaj and Rihanna.
From here, outfits with separate pieces were featured. These styles also continued the theme of bright, vivacious design. Following the scene, Carlton and Will took a dance break, which introduced the next set of designs.
It was at this point during the night that the first men were showcased in the performance. One of the most appealing looks of the night was a white tunic with gold embellishments across the neckline.
Before the intermission, members of the audience were called up onto the stage to participate in a dance off. A variety of songs were played and the audience selected a winner from the group.
The introduction to one of the final groups of looks was, “The way we dressed in the old days made us look like kings and queens.” These pieces definitely achieved the majestic, regal goal. The models did, as well. Throughout the night, but especially in this set, the models strutted down the runway with confidence, ease and strength. A few even danced and spun, gliding down in their confident ensembles.
Hilary Banks told Carlton that the way to get a girl was to buy her nice things like bags. From here the show transitioned to show the work of Chioma Ngwudo’s collection of bags and headpieces.
Following this collection Carlton disclosed that he needed inspiration from his friends to dance. Members of the student- dance group Sexual Chocolate came onstage and performed.
The president of the organization, Toluwase Oladapo, A&S ’16, commented that this tradition of the fashion show has been present even before she came to the University. The theme of this year’s fashion show centered on African tradition and the beauty and power that comes from it. She also shed some light on why the group chose to use The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire as a transition between acts and pieces of clothing during the fashion show. The show has used movies and television shows in years past to connect the theme to a modern day audience.
The designer Chioma Ngwudo’s collection was made up of beautiful bags and headpieces. It was inspired by breathtaking Nigerian textiles. The makeup of Jason Adu’s collection was included a variety of pieces, such as a jumper, blazer, a variety of shirts and pants just to name a few. This designer had come from Africa and wanted to combine his African background with a European style.
“Africa Fresh Prints” was exotic style, with a pinch of pop culture, done right.
Featured Image by Ali Rae Hunt