Editor’s Note: Olivia Malito was an executive member of the Vaudeville Design Show society last season. She is no longer affiliated with the society.
It’s that time of year again. After a successful five years of student-run fashion shows, the members of the Vaudeville Design Show Society are gearing up for their sixth walk down the runway.
Change is good
Each year, the society finds a different source of inspiration to fuel the overall vision for the show.
“I’d say that the biggest difference that we’ve changed from last year to this year is trying to really be in contact with all the designers, with things like weekly check-ups and just making sure they have the support that they need,” says Vaudeville Co-President Emily Keay.
On the artistic front, the design of the show echoes the professional vibe of previous year’s, with designers using more monochromatic tones to give a sleeker look to the scenes.
This year’s show features seven scenes, with six designers incorporating around four to five outfits for each.
For some designers, the change of their creative inspiration for their designs emphasizes just how powerful fashion can be in addressing important issues.
“One of the things I’m passionate about is making the most of the resources we have from the earth and doing what we can to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on [the] Earth in general,” says Vaudeville Co-President and designer, Ashley Osa-Peters.
Osa-Peter’s scene, “Re-Use, Reduce, Re-Fashion,” uses recycled fabrics repurposed from second-hand stores in order to start a conversation about the consequences of climate change and how fashion can influence that.
“My scene last year was inspired by my Nigerian culture and featured Nigerian prints with lots of bold colours,” she says. “However, this year, my scene is a lot more neutral but it still represents a huge part of me.”
With every year’s performance taking on a new creative outlook, so does the charity of choice for proceeds from the show. Over the years, Vaudeville has worked with charities such as Dress to Impress Halifax and Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, amongst many other organizations.
For their sixth annual show, all proceeds will be going to Brigadoon Village, a camp for kids who are living with chronic illness or other life challenges.
To gain a better understanding of what Brigadoon does for their campers, several members on the executive team spent a weekend at the camp to meet the children. Several of vaudeville’s members have worked at the camp in the past, it was an obvious choice for this year’s organization.
There will be a scene in the show that features models wearing shirts that were designed by children who attend the camp.
“I think it will be a really nice way to tie in the charity and really let the audience see what it is we’re supporting,” says Keay. “We have testimonials and pictures from when the kids were designing, so hopefully, they’ll get a little piece of what Brigadoon does.”
A sense of community
With ingrained values such as inclusivity and body-positivity, Vaudeville has gained an impressive membership across Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College over the years.
“I love everyone involved with it,” says model Anastasia Cook, who has been in the show for two years. “They’ve been super understanding, compassionate, and super open to people of all diversity, body shapes, and sizes.”
Vaudeville tries to challenge stereotypes of what a model should look like, the executive team has always promoted the idea that anyone should feel welcome to audition and they love to have new faces.
“Although I had no model experience or anything, it’s been super easy to integrate into this experience,” says new model Bethany Delve.
The show will be held on Sunday, March 3 in the McInnis Room of the Student Union Building. Doors will open at 7 p.m. (This date has changed due to a double booking of the space).
Tickets will be available for $10 at the door; buy in advance on the Eventbrite page.