It’s pretty rare that I attend an event I dislike so much there’s hardly anything positive for me to write about it, but alas, here we are.
Style and Profyle has been on campus for the past 13 years as a non-profit organization that raises money and awareness for a different charity each year by selling tickets to their annual charity fashion and talent show for students. It seemed like it was mostly the clothing, not the entertainment, that had style this time around.
This year, they hosted an event called “Stardust” that spanned three nights and showcased work from several student designers, musicians, and dancers. Tickets were $10 in advance or $15 at the door and all proceeds went to One Prosper, a charity that helps farmers in third-world countries by giving them drip irrigation systems for better crops.
I went on Thursday, their first night. Emcee Vinay Thapliyal kicked it off and got a few laughs from a small, unenthusiastic crowd. He then invited SAP’s executives to say a few words about how excited they were for the event and express their pride in the society’s growth.
The first performance was a Latin dance routine. Despite being pretty coordinated, all the dancers were very noticeably uninterested in what they were doing. Some of the dancers were also much better at executing the moves than others, which threw off the entire thing.
Next were singers Arlind Kadiri and Victor Akinwande, who sang “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. They differed in key several times, but they had an adorable energy.
Following them was a disappointing hip-hop dance routine. There was one standout dancer who moved really well and followed the choreography, but the others didn’t flow very well together and because there were six of them, the choppy moves really stood out.
Next was June Rose, the first designer of the night. The clothing consisted mostly of crop-tops, short shorts, and other articles of clothing that looked like summer wear.
Following them was UTM’s Dance Club. After struggling with some technical difficulties, they came out and performed. They weren’t bad as a group, but there was one particular dancer who didn’t move well with the others. There were many high-energy moves that called for hip-shaking and an upbeat attitude to match the music, but she wasn’t delivering. She looked uncomfortable the whole time she was on stage and it was really off-putting.
Next up was singer Victoria Trotman with guitarist Jason Selvanayagam. Trotman was a great singer, but Selvanayagam fell short on a lot of the notes.
Lesley Hampton made an appearance to show off her designs next. A lot of them had been shown at the successful Rock on Runway, but some seemed to be exclusive to this event.
Leading into intermission was Chris, a One Prosper representative. He came out and explained that their charity provides drip irrigation systems for farmers that improve crop quality and harvest amounts so they can consistently feed their families. He informed the crowd that he would be available for questions or comments during the intermission, and with that, we were off.
After what felt like too short a time, Akinwande came back on stage, this time with Selvanayagam to perform an acoustic version of “Latch” by Disclosure. Akinwande was one of the only breaths of fresh air the entire night; he sounded a lot like Sam Smith (who’s featured in the original song), especially in his higher register. Both men had a great energy on stage, which really brought the performance together.
Designer Diallo came up next to showcase their work. The majority of it consisted of semiformal wear and many of the pieces were very classy. My personal favourite was a dress with a slit that went all the way up the leg, which elicited hollering from the crowd as the model strode the catwalk.
Next was one of the most disappointing acts of the evening: the belly-dancing routine. Though they started strong, none of the dancers nailed the more intricate moves properly executed in professional belly dancing. A few dancers kept looking to the others for direction like they had thrown the routine together last minute and were trying to remember it.
Following was designer Zoff. Two of the best pieces were right in the beginning, which were two red fitted gowns. The rest of the collection consisted of eveningwear and all the articles were very well done.
Megha Manvi came next to sing “Make You Feel My Love”. She was easily one of the best performers of the night. I’ve heard her before and got really excited when I saw her come on stage after all the subpar performances leading up to it.
Next was Venket, the last designer of the night and the first to showcase menswear. The clothes were pretty unremarkable, mostly jeans and dress shirts with white stripes sewn into them.
Soliloquy, a singing duet, came after. They performed a song that unsuccessfully mixed rap and guitar.
The last performance of the night shouldn’t have been. It was a jazz routine to Christina Aguilera’s “Candy Man”. A bunch of us have seen the video before; it’s filled with a lot of great dance moves and Aguilera’s fantastic vibe. These are the things that this dance routine lacked. Once again, the dancers were completely lacklustre and some were better than others, which made the group look like a mere pack of dancing friends. At the end, they grabbed little confetti shooters and blew confetti into the crowd.
To end the event the performers and models came out two by two. The executives came back out on stage to thank everyone for coming.
I went again on Friday night, only sticking around until intermission. I had the unfortunate opportunity to watch Thapliyal rehash the same jokes as the night before, such as the claim that women call him “Tandoori Spice”, which got zero laughs from the crowd. The crowd was even smaller and more unenthusiastic that night.
I got to watch Manvi come out again, this time singing “Not the Only One” by Sam Smith, and the UTM Dance team perform another routine, which was pretty much on par with their last one, maybe a little better.
Overall, the event wasn’t as good as the cause it supported. To be fair, I did miss Saturday night, so it could very well have improved, but judging by the two nights I was there, I wouldn’t have recommended it to anyone.