A show beyond belief: QU’s Black Student Union to host Euphoria Fashion Show

Toyloy Brown III, Staff Writer

The Black Student Union’s fashion show will happen on April 22, and it is the first show since 2019 due to COVID-19. Photo by (Crandall Yopp/ For the QUlture magazine)

“Euphoria” is more than an HBO show, and the word itself is more than just the textbook definition of elation.

It is happiness exuded intensely, felt beyond belief. It is jubilation heightened to the utmost degree.

For Quinnipiac University’s Black Student Union, euphoria represents the imminent crossing of the threshold of what the organization anticipates as not a restoration of “normalcy” but a revival to pre-pandemic levels of joy.

“Now when we come out of that (quarantine) stage, and everybody’s going back, (but) not to normalcy,” said Marley Marston, a senior psychology major and BSU’s event coordinator. “We’re just going back to a familiar time and that familiarity is what’s giving us this euphoric stage. So right now everybody’s happy, everyone’s content, feeling great coming out of quarantine.”

The BSU’s Euphoria Fashion Show will open to the Quinnipiac community on April 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Burt Kahn Court.

The enjoyment that the show will symbolize also comes from the organization’s yearning to expose people to its signature event which was canceled for two consecutive years due to the pandemic.

“We were really disappointed when it had to be canceled because of COVID,” said Kyasha Ambroise, a sophomore psychology major in the 4+1 MAT program and BSU treasurer. “So we’re all coming back with so much more drive and passion to make it happen.”

The promise of making this fashion show special also comes with immense anticipation since most members of the community were not on campus in 2019 when the last show happened.

“We’re setting the expectation for the freshmen and sophomores that never were able to see one and now that I think about it, the juniors as well,” said Ja’Vielle Foy, a senior political science major and BSU president. “It’s a lot of pressure, in the sense that we are now essentially have the opportunity to set a standard for what the show will look like going forward for all people who hadn’t been able to see the literally amazing 2019 show.”

Marstson said spectators should expect to be impressed by the artistry of the clothing created by the designers. Flight Vintage, one of the designers for the show, created a new clothing line just for the event.

The energy that it takes to organize an elaborate show also should be appreciated. While rehearsals and detailed planning started in February, Marston said the first booking happened as early as December 2021 and ideas were brewing even before then.

Just as instrumental to the allure of the show are the models who have put in copious amounts of time to prepare and deliver.

“It’s definitely not easy,” Marston said. “A lot of them are really putting themselves outside of their comfort zones and doing something that they never thought they would before.”

One of the models taking this leap is first-year health science major Don Pressley. He decided to get involved because he wanted to do something that pushed him out of his comfort zone. He said he wants people to witness the effort he and his fellow models have to display.

Photo by (Crandall yopp/For the QUlture magazine )

“There’s a lot of hard work put into this,” Pressley said. “This is something different that you’re not going to get to see every day. So it’s a new experience for everyone to try.”

Hosting the show will be Ja’sean Johnson-Henry, a 2021 Quinnipiac graduate and a former BSU model. He explained that something that may seem straightforward such as walking a runway is not as easy as it appears.

“There’s a lot that goes into it with foot placements … showing focus,” Johnson-Henry said. “So a lot of people don’t do it well, and I’m really excited to see how hard that they’ve practiced. I’m really excited to see their hard work come to fruition.”

Johnson-Henry said he was honored to be selected as host because of his experience with the show as well as his reputation for being a fashionable member of the Quinnipiac community.

“I just love to support the Black community on campus, because, as a small community, I feel like it’s important for all of us to not only be connected but to do things together, whether big or small,” Johnson-Henry said.

At the fashion show, outside of the modeling, there will be majorette dancers and a performance from the band Malado! Music and audience participation segments.

“I think for the people who didn’t get to see it, (they) are going to finally feel what it feels like to be a part of that BSU kind of atmosphere at school,” Marston said. “It’s going to bring a whole new vibe to the campus.”

While the event’s “vibrant” and “dream-like” aesthetic, as Johnson-Henry put it, will be one to marvel as well as the animated experience it will create, the show is also representative of the Black creativity that exists at Quinnipiac and in the world.

“It’s not a secret that Black people, especially in America, are kind of the hub for all things, culture, creativity, that we’ve seen across many different spans, whether it’s fashion, music, and art,” Foy said. “So by us having a fashion show, it kind of helps us at Quinnipiac promote that same sort of idea … the fact that Black people are extremely creative.”

This event will be a doozy and has something to offer for everyone, regardless of if you are a member or not.

“For people who are part of the club, I think it’s important to just support your Quinnipiac BSU family,” Johnson-Henry said. “For outside of BSU, I think it’s important to experience another culture and to experience the different creators that we have and the intelligent minds behind these designs, and I think that their hard work needs to be showcased.”