ASA showcases ‘Emerald City’ in an African fashion show


Kevin Hall

Models in the African Student Association’s annual fashion show pose after modeling their outfits at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Fri. April 15 in the Grand Ballroom. The fashion show consisted of several scenes, all displaying clothes that are significant in African culture.

Kristen Lewis, Staff Reporter

Bright colors, entertainment and a taste of African culture were showcased in the seventh annual African Students Association fashion show in the Grand Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union Friday.

The theme of the show was from the 1978 movie “The Wiz” starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

Julianne Adegoriolu, the wardrobe coordinator, played the main character Dorothy and guided the audience from scene to scene during the show. She wore a dress that showcased her African heritage as well.

The stage was set up with a painting with different representations of the African culture. In the beginning, people in the show modeled flags from places like Ghana, Nigeria, Gambia and more across the stage with music from the African culture playing in the background.

Adegoriolu wore a multicolored shirt with purples, blues, greens and oranges, while her skirt resembled a peacock eye feather with colors like orange and blue and green patterns all over it.

The show consisted of three scenes: Ankara Village, Robot Central and the Lion’s Den. Each scene Dorothy picked up a new character to go with her to Emerald City. Each character was shown on stage when the curtains opened and certain lines from the movie were played, but with a twist from the models playing the role.

The Tin Man, played Aaron Carr, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, wore black pants with suspenders without a shirt and a kufi cap, which is a traditional hat worn by men in Western Africa.

Adegoriolu came to save him by giving him oil so Carr can accompany her on the journey because he only came to life when one of the models approached him. The models wore all white with headscarves using the same material with colorful patterns representing the African culture.

“I participated in the fashion show to support ASA in their efforts of paying homage to our African origins,” Carr said.

Jalen Washington, a sophomore accounting major, played the scarecrow and his scene consisted of some models wearing shorts or a skirt made from the Ankara material. In his scene, he sat while models strutted down to the front of the stage to show their outfit then posed next to Washington.

Stephanie Jenkins, the African Student Association president, said this year the fashion show was geared toward cultural and traditional non-African people in hopes they will obtain a better pride in show casing student designers and entrepreneurs.

Andrea Jenkins, the event coordinator, said the Emerald City was her favorite scene of the show.

Emerald City is the last destination Dorothy goes to meet The Wiz and that scene consisted of flashing lights and high fashion from the people who stayed in the city.

“I thought it would be a cool idea to put it in the show,” Jenkins said.

The registered student organization Merchandising Apparel and Design association, designed the clothes for the first scene of the show and Jenkins sketched out all of the designs for the show.

Jenkins said the patterns Michael Jackson wore in the movie made her think of Ankara fabric that has a lot of bold colors and patterns from the African culture.

Kaffy Kouture, a clothes and accessory designer who showcased her work in the show, also used the Ankara fabric to make the accessories used for the show in the second scene.

“It took me three sleepless nights to make them because I actually have to make them,” Kaffy said.

Jenkins said some people questioned how she was able to relate the theme of the movie back to Africa, which she said was a difficult task.

“It’s not easy putting a show on like this that’s different,” Jenkins said.

In 2011, Cindy Owusu, the past coordinator inspired Jenkins to make her show interactive with the audience so it could be engaging.

“She had a theater twist which definitely drawn me to like her show,” Jenkins said.


Kristen Lewis can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]