By: LaToya Dove
The 23rd Annual “Twese Fashion Show” held Saturday March 8, 2014 at Rutgers University’s Student Center attracted large crowds as students modeled lines from professional designers and showed off their modeling skills.
Twese, the Rutgers University student organization that represents itself as “the organization for African students and friends of Africa,” titled this year’s show “Black Excellence.”
Attendees came dressed to impress following the all black theme, as the lit runway lined the middle of the multi-purpose room and VIP members took their seats along the perimeter of the catwalk.
Up-and-coming host and entrepreneur Rodney Rikai Thomas hosted the show alongside Rutgers University alum Sasha Starr.
“I love the fact that you guys have real fashion at your fashion shows….real couture pieces,” said Thomas. “It’s very similar to a New York fashion show in terms of the layout and where the VIP seating is.”
The show featured a dozen designers with styles ranging from casual to formal wear for both male and female models.
However, it was not just the layout and designer’s styles that proved to be authentic and diverse.
The fierce energy of the models immediately set a high bar for the show and continued throughout the night.
Although some of the models had years of experience, for others it was only their first or second time.
Thus, to prepare for the show, the models rehearsed several times a week.
“It was hectic at times but it turned out smooth,” said model, Ovie Enaohwo.
Lisa Green, also a model, found the rehearsal process to be “intense.” “We make it look good out there but behind the scenes it’s a lot of running around, pulling clothes off, and craziness… but it’s all about what we look like on stage.”
Of the 12 designers in the show, the crowd favorite was Marco Hall.
“I love him, I follow him on Instagram,” said audience member Tiyana Prince. “I really enjoy all of his work.”
Hall, based out of New York and New Jersey, has been a designer for over 20 years. “Being able to create and show people my growth,” is the favorite aspect of his profession.
His self-entitled line of elegant dresses and gowns visually challenged the audience yet remained crisp and classy.
Other highlights from the show included a performance by the Twese Dance Troupe, and a modeling competition for audience members.
An overall success, Twese extends their tradition of “Black Excellence” in extraordinary fashion. (literally)