Last Thursday night, student designers and models dared their audience to “rethink all definitions of sin and fashion” during “A Night of Fashionable Sin,” the annual Wesleyan fashion show. Held in Freeman, where a catwalk was set up on the hockey rink and Chrome Punch provided music, the show was fun, sexy, sinful and definitely fashionable. 

Katherine Bascom’s ‘10 collection, an assortment of Sherlock Holmes-inspired lingerie-style pieces, kicked things off with a sultry red-lit “mystery”—her female models, strutting in black, “killed” their male counterparts and were then followed by Sherlock herself (I can only imagine what any small-town pre-frosh were thinking at this point). The next three collections, “Electric Avenue” (by Aku Odunton ‘10), “The Fun” (by Lizzie Collector ‘09, Jessie Samuelson ‘09 and Emily Dine ‘09), and “Happiness” (by Priya Ghosh ‘09) brought some bright, colorful pop to the runway, with neon bows and patterns, tailored dresses and fashionably excessive designs. Jenny Hsiao ’12’s collection, “Bird on a Twig,” was, in the designer’s own words, created to “find beauty in both the ordinary and the extravagant.”

Amani Sampson ‘12 won the “creative use of materials” award with her inspired collection, “Hazardous Earth.” All of Sampson’s pieces were crafted from caution tape and bright orange duct tape, modeled by fearless models who owned the runway effortlessly. As a collection, “Hazardous Earth” ended the first half of the night with a bang. 

Kiri White ‘12 and Michelle Kae ‘12 opened the second “act” with a very different collection, entitled “Sinfully Klimtastic,” which grafted the aesthetic of Austrain Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt over the concept of capital vices. Each of their seven models represented one of the seven deadly sins, wearing intricate fitted dresses that mimicked Klimt’s use of color and shape (the “lust” design, a scarlet and gold minidress, was a particular standout). 

The second half was interesting for the very different viewpoints the designers brought to the runways—Maya Barros Odim ‘10, for example, represented “the African Diaspora” by mixing richly patterned cloth from Abai and Nigeria with all-American cotton and denim. “Gendermix,” an audience favorite conceived by Anthony Portillo ‘12, highlighted “the lovely practice of bending stereotypical gender appearances.” Models strutted onto the runway two at a time, each pair decked out in similar outfits that made them look simultaneously androgynous and distinct. The collection proved to be an interesting and entertaining concept and a well executed one at that. 

Between Odim and Portillo’s collections, Sheryl Sinclair’s ‘09 lush designs took over the runway in “Go TEAM!” Sinclair’s were perhaps the best example of sexy, flattering, wearable fashion—her models looked incredible, and the different designs were tailored to their body types (frankly, I wanted some of those dresses). 


In “The Dry Decade,” Jade Scott ’09 and Tatyana Moss ’09 outfitted their models in a green and gold color scheme (a nod to the 1920s) that was subtler than other collections but was effective nonetheless. And Jamil Alexis ‘10’s “A Piece from the Middle East…Sorta,” played with a mash-up of traditional Middle Eastern styles and a more modern fashion sense. 

“A Night of Fashionable Sin” focused attention not only on the creativity of this campus, but also on all of Wesleyan’s sexy girls and guys. Anybody who missed the show missed Wes at its hottest. 

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