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REVIEW: ‘Appetence,’ Howard’s Annual Springfest Show, Pushes the Boundary Within the Fashion Community

Hilltop staff reporter details Howard’s 2024 Springfest fashion show.

Fashion show model on Springfest stage. (Darius Osborne/The Hilltop)

Innocence, fraudulence and appetence, the three stages of emotion and raw creativity, were displayed in Cramton Auditorium this past weekend.

On April 18, Howard University celebrated this year’s Springfest, themed “Timeless,” with its annual fashion show. The show, sponsored by Mielle, Kaleidoscope and modeling agency Strut, premiered talent from across the university. 

From classical and elegant to more experimental and new-age, Howard did not disappoint in this showcase of original looks.

The show, which was put on by the Howard University Undergraduate Student Assembly (UGSA), was hosted by junior civil engineering major Daniel Miller. 

Miller got the crowd, the backstage crew, the models and the hosts going. 

The showcase kicked off with a narrated introduction, setting the stage for a deeper exploration of the theme “Appetence.” The show began when the music filled Cramton with energy.

Fashion show model poses during the Springfest fashion show. (Darius Osborne/The Hilltop)

Starting with “Innocence,” the models approached the front of the stage in light and flowy garments that, in appearance and color, were presented in a very airy and classic manner.

Staying true to the name, this segment featured soft shades of white/cream and gold, evoking a sense of purity. 

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The fabrics used were delicate and soft, adding to the overall feminine and innocent vibe of the collection. The silhouettes were romantic and whimsical, with ruffles, lace and sheer detailing adding a touch of sophistication to the looks.

With the added use of head scarves mixed in with accessories and the bright yellow-ish gold color that filled the stage, this segment was filled with upbeat and youthful energy.

Fashion show model walking the Springfest runway. (Darius Osborne/The Hilltop)

Following with “Fraudulence,” the models strutted with a dominant and dark look that cascaded the auditorium with purple, red and black. The designers took a heavier approach in this segment, using an array of jackets, layering, long dresses and masks to convey their emotionality. 

The designs were sharp, brooding and sleek, reflecting the deceitful and sneaky nature of the theme. Most looks had more of a formal appeal with a distressed or opposing twist that gave the outfit its finishing touches. 

Mateo Lombard, a graphic design major from Los Angeles said the designers did a great job capturing the mood of the fashion show. 

Lombard also noted the distressing and opposing elements of the outfits, pointing out the designers’ attention to detail.

Springfest model representing “Fraudulence.” (Darius Osborne/The Hilltop)

In “Appetence,” the show had an elegant ending, with shimmering gold accents and experimental but tasteful pieces. 

This segment showed a bit more skin, focusing on the accessories and usage of color as a conjoining moment for the previous segments. “Appetence” served as a product of “Innocence” and “Fraudulence,” mixing light with dark to achieve balance.

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Lauryn Mwara, a sophomore advertising major from Seattle, worked as a stylist and designer for the show. Her model walked in an all-black suit fitted with clusters of paper airplanes tagged around his suit and a pink wrap-around tie to finish the look. 

Mwara detailed her experience creating the mood board for the event.

“When I was putting the mood board together, it was hard for me to be experimental without pushing the boundaries too harshly. I wanted to go for something more postmodern and binary, so I thought the planes would be an interesting touch clashing against the suit,” Mwara said. 

Lauryn Mwara’s model. (Darius Osborne/The Hilltop)

At the end of the production, Strut awarded a surprise contract to student Bailey Flowers, who won the inaugural Strut the Yard competition, an annual tradition hoping to be continued at next year’s Springfest. 

Copy edited by Jalyn Lovelady

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