Arts, On Campus

ASO Exhibits Dance and Extravagant Fashion at Annual Show

The Robsham Theater stage transformed into a runway for the Boston College African Student Organization’s (ASO) annual fashion show on Friday night. Students flaunted a variety of flowing gowns, colorful formalwear, and glimmering dresses in the masquerade ball–themed event.

Invigorating beats of songs like “Karolina” by Awilo Longomba filled the air as audience members took their seats, setting the energetic tone of the evening from the moment people entered the theater. 

Despite a few technical difficulties with the microphone, Kwasi Opoku, a model and actor and the night’s emcee, took the stage and warmed up the crowd before introducing Edil Mohamed, Lynch ’22, and Bilguissa Barry, MCAS ’22, the co-presidents of ASO. 

Mohamed and Barry thanked the crowd for showing up in formal attire despite the night’s snowy weather. When the pair left the stage, the show got underway.

The masquerade theme carried throughout the show both in the fashion on display and in the form of a pre-recorded short film. The video told the story of the annual masquerade ball in the fictional Kingdom of Serenity.

In this present-day, Cinderella-esque story, Princess Angel, heir to the throne of the kingdom, was to find a suitable husband at the ball. Despite Angel’s many suitors, she wanted more to be a dancer or influencer than a princess. 

Meanwhile, Amina, a peasant who worked in the kingdom, wanted to be beautiful and go to the ball dressed in a nice gown. The tailor, who functioned as the story’s version of the fairy godmother, placed a spell on Amina that turned her rags into a beautiful gown until midnight, when they would promptly turn back into rags. 

The narrative played in short episodes throughout the night, interspersed with live segments. The live components included the fashion show and a dance performance by the group Presenting Africa To You. During one segment, guest performer Vartsy commanded the crowd with a performance of “Hrs and Hrs” by Muni Long.

The crowd reacted enthusiastically when members of ASO came out for the fashion show. Initially walking solo and later in pairs, the models walked confidently across the stage displaying a wide variety of styles from flowing gowns to two-piece suits.

The simple lighting on stage allowed for the eye-catching patterns and colors on the clothing to come alive. Every piece told a different story with unique, intricate designs. 

At the end of the show, a final video segment gave the audience a happily-ever-after ending to the immersive storyline ASO created. Amina found love and became a princess, while Angel went viral on Instagram Live for her dancing. 

Members of ASO took the stage one last time. With stage lights framing their silhouettes, each member walked out and struck a different pose onstage. The lights came up one final time to reveal the models, who all took one final walk.

The night came to a close after Opoku recognized each member of ASO’s executive board. Mohamed and Barry thanked the crowd one last time for their continued support before inviting those in attendance to the Heights Room for a special performance by afrobeats singer-songwriter King Promise, capping off a night of fabulous fashion. 

Featured Image by Aditya Rao / Heights Staff

February 27, 2022