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Fanshawe fashion goes to the circus

Darius Mirshahi and Kirsten Sartz | Interrobang | Lifestyles | April 7th, 2008

Lights, camera, fashion.

Tigers, lions, ringmasters, and magicians; no this was not your average circus, this was a night of enchantment, magic and most of all; fashion.

The London Music Hall was packed with up-and-coming designers, models, and fashionistas this past Thursday, March 27 for ‘Couture Carnivale' a wearable art fashion show put on by this year's graduating Fashion Merchandising students.

The Victorian circus-themed fashion show was put on to raise funds for the Chron's and Colitis Foundation, an organization that raises funds to cure inflammatory bowel disease. Thousands of dollars were raised through ticket sales, raffles, specialty ‘ringmaster' drinks, sponsors and advertising.

The show began with spotlights swirling, a circus-inspired drum and bass beat, and a booming introduction from ringmaster Devin O'Haire. Then, two tiger-like models crawled fiercely across the stage and returned to their cages, clearing the stage for the first of the wearable art sets.

The first set consisted of 21 different models wearing over-the-top hair, make-up and custom-made designer outfits, including popcorn-bag dresses, garbage bag tutus, playing card tops, drinking-straw dresses, and even a wedding dress made of packing foam.

Although, an intermission was scheduled, there was a smooth transition from the first set to a magic show put on by the illusionist, Mr. Eman (say his name a few times and you'll get it). During his show, which relied heavily on audience participation, balloon tricks involving cards and pins wowed the audience. Couples who participated in the trick found that they and their partners were soulmates. Sadly, I have it on good authority that one of these couples has since broken up.

But the show must go on.

After a brief opportunity to get drinks, the second set commenced. Although the first set was tough to compete with, the second was equally entertaining, impressive and creative. Outfits in this set included colourful dresses made of ‘Popsicle sticks' skirts made of neckties, Beanie Baby bathing suits, tarot card tops, duct tape cheerleaders uniforms, a wacky tie-die patched-up pompom sweater for men (I'd wear it), and a metal corset overtop of a tutu-styled dress with the bust covered by politically-charged buttons.

Judges from the fashion industry were on-hand to pick their favourites, and at the end of the show prizes were awarded to three lucky students. Many in the audience also left with prizes from the raffles including hair products, hand-made bags, three bras made by first-year fashion students, two Maple Leafs tickets and other prizes donated by sponsors of the event.

Judging by the professionalism, creativity, and hard-work that was put into this production, we see great things on the horizon for the graduating fashion merchandising class of 2008. Good luck to you all!
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