Arts & Life

Variety of garments, body types at Rags II Rhythms

    Nothing says “high fashion” like the paparazzi waiting at the end of the runway to catch a photo of models strutting through the gates of the Embassy Hotel, in custom-fitted clothes and five-inch stilettos.
    The 12th Annual Rags II Rhythms fashion show, “Checked Into Timeless Fashion,” held at Cal State Long Beach last Thursday, lived up to its name with a variety of styles ranging from ‘80s-inspired womenswear; to men’s sportswear; to Afro-centric designs; and ocean and origami-inspired headpieces.
    The show transformed the University Student Union Ballrooms into a replica of the lobby of the Embassy Suites, with a pianist outside and a stage set extravagantly with vintage accessories, suitcases and lounge chairs.
    The doorman also added a nice touch to the show, sliding open the gate as models walked onto the runway.
    The designers featured in the show were Buffalo Exchange, Ana Rosales, Vanguardia Inovativa Moda, FreshJive, Fresh Apparel, Pooka Queen, Ezekiel, London Lux and Downtown Darling. Each designer showcased about eight-to-15 garments.
    Some of the crowd favorites were Pooka Queen’s unique headpieces, Rosstein’s casual menswear and Downtown Darling’s vintage womenswear.
    “I like seeing this season’s trend and the trends for next season,” said Jacqlene Corbin, sixth year fashion design student. “I like that [the garments are] really marketable. People would literally go out and buy these kinds of clothes.”
    As models of all shapes and sizes walked down the runway, whispers of “I want that dress!” and “I can see myself in that” were heard among the audience.
    The reason the show did not use models that were 5’9” and 125 lb. is so the audience can relate to models of “normal” size, said Alana Janay Johnson, executive director and producer of the show, during a previous interview.
    Some of the shortest and larger models were among the most enthusiastic on the catwalk. It went to show that with self-confidence, anyone can be a model.
    The entire two-and-a-half hours of the show was full of energy with loud pop music, colorful lights and models with a fierce attitude.
    Around 350 to 400 people arrived at the show.
    Unlike previous years, there was no concert in this year’s fashion show.
    Vendors sold chocolate treats, unique garments and hand-made jewelry outside the USU Ballrooms during intermission to keep the audience’s attention for the second half of the show. The free gift boxes didn’t hurt either.
    A “model walk-off” contest was also held to give the audience a chance to walk the runway and win free prizes.
    The show ended with the doorman receiving the most applause and Johnson taking a bow for another success Rags II Rhythms fashion show.

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