‘A Storybook Expo’ fashion show will benefit SU’s Relay for Life

Posted: April 11, 2013

The Winchester Star

DeShawna Kyle rehearses for the Shenandoah University Black Student Union Fashion Show. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

Winchester — A group of Shenandoah University students will create a storybook fashion experience at this year’s Black Student Union Fashion Show.

If people imagine taking a real life walk on the board game Candyland, they will understand the atmosphere organizers Monet Gooch and Lauren Smith, both 21 and senior political science majors, are going for with the annual event.

This year’s show will be at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the grand ballroom of the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St. Tickets are $5 at the door and will benefit Relay for Life.

Last year’s fashion show raised about $400 for the cause, she said.

“A Storybook Expo” is meant to be more of an experience rather than just a straight fashion show, said Gooch, of Washington, D.C.

“The show itself is its own story, and each scene is it own chapter of the grand story,” she said.

The show will feature 23 student and eight faculty models showing a mix of clothing from their own wardrobes or borrowed from several local stores, said Smith, of Washington, D.C.

This year’s show will feature fashions from J.C. Penney, Deb, and Classic Tuxedos.

Between the opening and closing narration, there are nine distinct chapters, each with its own music and fashions, she said.

The show starts with “Land of Precious Stones,” a Caribbean-infused chapter, Smith said. “A lot of the girls are wearing maxi dresses and the boys are wearing corals, teals and yellows.”

In “Winter Wonderland,” the models will wear all white outfits ranging from streetwear to formal attire, she said. “The Land of Hearts” will feature red and black, leather, and a punk vibe, while in “Candyland” the models will wear brightly colored clothes that represent different popular candies — Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Skittles and Starburst.

Other sections include “The Playland” (retro fashions), “Dreamland” (sleepwear), “Sealand” (bathing suits) and “Hollywood” (formal wear).

In the section where faculty members model the fashion, they have been asked to wear teal and white to represent cervical cancer, Gooch said. The Black Student Union will represent cervical cancer at SU’s Relay for Life event April 19.

The models will walk the runway on a stage built for the event, Smith said. The university’s Office of Student Engagement partnered with the student organization to cover costs such as the stage, lighting and advertising.

Natalie McGee and Chris Lewis will emcee the event, which will be choreographed to popular songs that tie in to each section of the show, Smith said. Another SU student, Adam Tibbs, will rap during part of the show.

The Half Note Lounge in the hotel will sell refreshments for people wanting something to snack on during the show, she said.

Although this is Gooch and Smith’s second year organizing the event, the Black Student Union has been holding it for at least eight or nine years, Gooch said.

The campus organization represents the interests of minority students at the university, she said. The majority of the student models and some of the faculty models are African American.

But the show is not about isolation, Smith said. It actually has become a great opportunity for students focused on different areas of the university — nursing, sports, music — to not only meet but come together for the common cause of fighting cancer.


Shenandoah University’s Black Student Union will have its annual fashion show to benefit Relay for Life at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the ballroom of the George Washington Hotel, 103 E. Piccadilly St. Tickets are $5 at the door. Contact Monet Gooch at mgooch08@su.edu.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com.