It was rather strange walking into the Rat last Friday night. The high-school lunch tables were cleared in favor of a massive runway, and a band was setting up near the entrances. Rows of chairs were set up on both sides of the runway, each seat with one of those goofy foam Vineyard Vines whale hats and other miscellaneous gifts. The stage was set for a fashion show, complete with live music and mood lighting, in The Rat.
While admittedly it's not the most glamorous spot on campus, the mood in the dining hall was intimate while still remaining exciting and fun. The annual show was being put on for the second time by The Fashion Club of Boston College and featured clothing from smaller vendors like Daisy Spade, Duchess and Clear Classics as well as the big guys like Vineyard Vines. The show even incorporated an amazing make-up and costume exhibition from BC's own Cindy Chen.
First to walk was Daisy Spade, whose line of women's clothing and accessories seemed to find that sweet spot in between formal and casual for some very good looks. Their models were in sleek, colorful dresses and outfits that would have looked very at home on this campus back in August before we all had to bundle up like the kid from A Christmas Story to even make it to the dining hall.
Second up was Clear Classics, an EDM-inspired clothing brand that specializes in minimalist printed T-shirts, tank-tops and sweatshirts that look like something the models stole from Drake's closet, in a good way. The designs were classy, versatile, looked rather comfy and were for a good cause.
8% of the proceeds are sent to the Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Bangalore, India that works to fight hunger and malnutrition by providing food for students all over the country. Their shirts carried sayings inspired by their mission like "YOLO, wait I'm Indian," as well as clean-looking designs featuring their CC logo.
Despite the seats in the Rat being only about half-filled, the audience did a fantastic job of interacting with the models and everyone seemed to be having a fantastic time, with hoots and hollers coming from the crowd as each new model strutted their stuff. Seconds after the last CC models took their turns walking, four women decked out in bright pink skirts came stomping onto the stage. They were BC's all-female step group F.I.S.T.S and they brought the noise.
Now this author is by no means an expert in step dancing, having only seen my first show a few weeks ago when Sexual Chocolate packed Robsham, however it was clear that these women were no joke. I had never seen them perform before that Friday, but it was clear they were the real deal. Their stomps filled the entire Rat, and their rhythm was incredibly in sync; I clearly wasn't the only one in the crowd who thought they were awesome as the hall was filled again with whoops and cheers as Body Language by Kid Ink exploded out of the speakers.
It is fantastic to see that new and unique passions are being represented here at BC and as a community we should continue to take pride in our student body's new endeavors because it will ultimately lead to a more fun campus-an idea that was clearly on display in the Rat on Friday.
After the ladies of F.I.S.T.S danced off the runway, it was occupied by a group of models sporting T-shirts emblazoned with the designs of elementary and middle schoolers.
From cute blue elephants eating pizza to cupcake mountains, the drawings from these children were cute, colorful and for a great cause. These printed T's looked perfect to inject some color into your wardrobe and up your casual fashion game on campus this spring, and I mean look at that cupcake? It looks too good not to wear.
Second to last up was a local boutique named Duchess, whose collection was a chic selection of spring fabrics and prints that looked somewhere in between Anthropologie and Free People but with a more modern feel.
Even as a guy, these printed cotton pants had me feeling a little jealous because they honestly looked like some of the most comfortable things in the world.
And while the night was about fashion, the audience in the Rat was about to be treated to a performance that would have made the freezing trek across campus worth it on its own. A singular member of the BC band Juice stood at the other end of the hall, holding his electric violin and politely asking the audience to be patient as he tried to wrangle up his band mates who were MIA in search of a late night snack.
Five minutes later when everyone was present and accounted for except the keyboardist, the band asked for some mood lighting. The lights in the hall went dark, the electric violin and jazzy guitar echoed through the building as the band laid down their unique brand of R&B/rap/rock that had the entire audience dancing in their seats.
After the band said their goodbyes, it was time for the final clothing line of the night to walk, the sponsor and beloved BC basic, Vineyard Vines. The preppy superpower decked out BC models (including the Gavel's own Mike Kotsopoulos) in a nautical inspired collection that had some of the most fun models of the night, with the first walking out and teeing off on an imaginary golf course. The models rocked both formal and casual looks and came out for a very nice bow with each other at the end.
Right before we said goodbye, one more designer was set to show off on the runway that night. An independent makeup, body paint and costume artist, BC's own Cindy Chen, was set to unveil a collection of Greek goddess and mythology inspired characters, decked out in full body paint and with handmade costumes.
These were truly incredible, and the amount of work that was necessary to create these beautiful outfits was obvious. Her work brought an independent and artistic flavor to the show and the audience respected and applauded her for it.