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Models of the Mecca Present: Ascension in Black

Photo Credits: Tionne Thornton  @visuals_by.tee. Models: Chloe Adkins, Jaquan Anderson.

The room went pitch black, then, seemingly out of nowhere, a tall, skateboarding man welcomed the audience down the aisle to send the audience a message: the renaissance was coming. Models of the Mecca welcomed their sixth class to the organization by hosting a fashion show named Ascension in Black. 

Ascension means rising to an important position or higher level, which the class demonstrated at the showcase. Amber Nunnery, the Models of the Mecca president, believes class six is the most diverse class yet. 

“Class six is definitely one of the most diverse classes and it is the largest class since being founded,” Nunnery said. “I think what makes them different is they are very outspoken and passionate about their craft, but they really lean on each other to get stuff done.”

Photo credits: Brianna Bryson @bm.archivess Models: Samira El-Amin.

The showcase was divided into themes: Rebirth, Down in the Valley, and Zone VI. Nunnery went on to explain the meanings of each theme. 

“Our first scene highlights punk and our second scene is down in the valley, which encourages female empowerment and feminism overall,” Nunnery said. “Our third scene is Afrofuturism, so going into the future and what it looks like for Black people.”

Sophomore advertising major Jada Lewis is one of the creative directors for this year’s class. She said that the creative direction team wanted to show that there is more to Black people than suffering. 

“We wanted to make it to where we are presenting Black culture in a way that has not been seen before,” Lewis said. “We made sure we were not duplicating anything that has been done before while also showcasing a different side of Black people instead of suffering, revolution, and having to protest.” 

The first scene was all Black mafia inspired with hints of metallic. The rager scene reminded the audience of the Mugler Campaign that was just shot two weeks ago. The difference between the two stood out because of the unusual items the clothing was made out of. One outfit that stood out during this set was made out of metallic plastic hands covering her breast area and a handmade skirt made of cotton gray gloves pinned together by silver safety pins. 

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Class six stylist Asaad Martin was one of the masterminds behind the wardrobe for scene one. He gave insights into what the vision was. 

“It’s a futuristic look on the actual Zone six. Think of what the ghetto would be like if it was futuristic so a lot of Black, a lot of chrome, and a bunch of oversized looks,” Martin said. “We ended up sewing a lot of things that look like silhouettes but larger.” 

Sophomore BFA Musical Theatre major, Nia Potter, says that her alter ego comes out when she models. 

“I get adrenaline the moment I step on the stage and just that transformation into your alter ego,” Potter said excitedly. “My alter ego’s name is Nia Imani and she’s just everything I want to be in a person. She’s fearless and she just has this presence when she walks into a room.”

From the dark rage theme to the metallic bikini outfit with stripper heels and the angelic ending, the Models of the Mecca did not disappoint. The show ended with the popular song “Alien Superstar” by Beyoncé and received a standing ovation.

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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