Once upon a time, there stood a tree in the Garden of Eden from which God forbade Adam. Tempted by a serpent, Eve ate from the tree and soon followed Adam. They were banished from their paradise forever ….
MILRSO’s (Minority and Industrial Labor Relations Student Organization) 2008 fashion show themed “Forbidden Fruit” featured t-shirts bearing the rhetorical slogan “Can you resist the temptation?” I’m not entirely sure whether the threatening allure was supposed to be the clothing, MILRSO itself or the scantily clad and finely sculpted Cornellians. But, I would say there was something irresistibly tempting about the show (scrumptious men with washboard abs), given that even after three hours of runway strutting and occasional dance performances, the crowd never seemed to thin. (Okay, so at least we know why the women stayed).
While my heterosexuality clearly seems to have distracted me, I will do my best to convey the themes of MILRSO’s “Forbidden Fruit.”
While the DJ elected intense tracks, that, in conjunction with the sound system, were perfectly capable of making your heart beat for you, our very own Cornell models ran wild on the catwalk.
Scene I featured the fashions of a student designer and an alumna, Antoinette King ’08 and Fritswa Baffour, respectively. Also shown in the first scene were fashions from Reynoir Clothing and the Some Girls boutique in Collegetown. Both King / Baffour and Reynoir Clothing consistently displayed hoodies with fresh designs. Unbelievably sculpted male models wearing jeans and unzipped hoodies with hoods over fitted baseball caps largely represented King / Baffour’s creations. There was undoubtedly a tough and sexy urban vibe to this line, indicated by one audience member’s comment, “That guy could pull a gun out, and I’d like it.” It seems that at Cornell, scrumptiously sculpted gangster is how we like our men.
Scene II featured another student designer, Christen Weaver ’08 featured with Dice City. Weaver showed elegantly sexy bathing suits, transforming the concept of the little black dress into a little black bathing suit adorned and draped with pearl strands. Men’s trunks were black and detailed with colorful metallic paint splatter patterns. I’d be happy to place an order for one of those little black bikinis and … one of those men. One friend commented, “Dude, how come I never see these guys on campus?” The answer is simple my dear: Ithaca weather is not conducive to the flaunting of washboard abs. The men are there, they are just buried in parkas.
Scene III showcased the work of student designer Ariane Raymondo ’09, along with Dumb Fresh. Both designers played with bold colors and zebra print, which seemed to be a consistent trend in the show. Most salient in the Dumb Fresh line were oversized kangaroo pockets and playful t-shirts, one of which read, “I make Black history everyday, I don’t need a month.” Raymondo’s themes were brightly colored tutus for the ladies and funky vests and ties for the gentlemen.
Most confusing about the show was its general purpose. After asking a couple ILRies “Why a fashion show?” and getting answers like “Straight up sex-appeal?” and “Just for fun?” I realized that I was not the only one distracted by my hormones. Shoot, I’m probably still blushing.
MILRSO’s infamous fashion show is held during Diversity Hosting Weekend when the pre-frosh come to inspect our Big Red lives and, according to the program, “Are first introduced to Cornell and its diverse student population.” MILRSO e-board vice president of external relations, Eric Velez ’10 commented that the show is not so much an advertising device for the organization as an emphasis of Cornell’s diversity, and to show pre-frosh that “there are people here who look like them.” All money from the tickets went to funding the show (which must’ve been obscenely expensive for $12-$15 tickets).
Expensive tickets aside, it is easy to say that MILRSO gave the crowd their money’s worth with three hours of fashion punctuated by performances by Cornell Caribbean Student Association Dance Ensemble (CCSADE), Teszia Belly Dance Troupe, Phenomenon Step Team and Sabor Latino. Oh to make the decisions of a pre-frosh again! Based on the high-energy dancing and the sexy people: Cornell, I’d choose you! Because that’s just scrumptious.