Purple is the new Black

It was that time of year again. If you hadn’t seen the posters, read the emails, been invited to the Facebook group, been bombarded by the Inbox messages, given the flyers, or heard the clicking of heels from within the Gait on a Sunday afternoon. Then, you definitely listened to the exhausted complaints of someone involved in the Bishop’s University annual fashion show, but hey, what are friends for? Only three years old, the buzz of this event has grown into a popular term synonymous with second semester and of course the great after party.

Well worth the wait, hype and twenty dollar ticket, I was anxiously awaiting the opening of the curtains once I was settled into my seat, amongst the rowdy yet well dressed crowd of students, staff and parents alike in Centennial theatre. Then it happened, in a blur of lights, fast music, flailing limbs and teased hair, I watched unblinkingly as people whom I vaguely recognized as my schoolmates paraded down the runway with exuberant confidence. Ms. Tyra Banks herself would agree the models were more than just hangers this year, they were fierce; statuesque and energetic. They killed the catwalk, with exaggerated pompadours, airbrushed makeup and legs for days. How these perfect specimens prepared for this event, I have no idea, were they channeling Gisele? Watching Zoolander on repeat? Atkins diet? Tans like that in February? Hmm, well the Plex has been extra busy lately. Regardless, the hard work paid off big, in swathes of vibrant color, cinched waistlines, popped collars and short hems, the clothes didn’t stand a chance at outshining the models wearing them; but no one deserved the boisterous rounds of applause and ear-piercing whistles, more than the brave souls from the Calvin Klein scene.

If anyone ever had that bad dream you were standing in front of your entire school in just your underwear? Nightmares realized, the models tore up the stage in nothing but their skivvies with nothing more than pure self confidence, a brilliant smile, thousands of crunches, and literally a minute piece of cloth beneath their belts. But, there are many compliments to be passed around, the sharp, wonderfully executed dance numbers, quick wit of the emcees, fluency of music and light transitions and the planning of the entire event. Although they weren’t front and center, under the heat of the stage lights, it is the hardworking people behind this event that deserve the waves of applause. In a much shorter version of previous shows, the soiree wrapped up on a high note, but the spirit of haute couture and high fashion continued into the campus bar, the Gait, where I must admit it’s hard to remember a night when everyone looked so dang good. In a night of pure narcissism, extravagance, and self centeredness in a true celebration of beauty, there was no reason to feel guilty, as there was an underlying good cause. The proceeds of the entire event go straight to Camp Maple Leaf, a deserving summer camp foundation based in Ontario that helps children with disabilities, and of families affiliated with the military. It was a great night had by all, well at least until the end, when I realized unlike the models from the show, I do not possess the skills for high heels, and being a few inches taller is not worth the struggle I had walking home. But alas, beauty is pain.

To all the models, coordinators, dancers, backstage help and people involved in this years spring 2009 show- I take my hat, or should I say, feather headband off to you all. It was a well deserved standing O.

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