CSA hosts throwback event for annual fashion show


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Charlotte Bassett.

Part of the line from ByTiannaOsbourne; CSA Fashion Show, West Haven, April 20, 2023.

A myriad of students took to the runway to display clothing lines by select designers while the Charger Gymnasium was filled with music to send the audience back in time. These models represented the university’s Caribbean Student Association (CSA) this past Friday in their annual fashion show with this year’s theme being “‘90s vs. 2000s.”

DJ Prestige provided the tunes for the event while Andres Martin, a University of New Haven alumnus, hosted. Martin sported a vintage New York Giants jersey with khaki cargo pants and “straight out the box” Nike Air Force 1s with a Puerto Rican flag hanging from his pocket.

Kicking off the evening was the Monsoon Dance Crew, the university’s only hip-hop dance troupe, who took to the stage in simple yet stunning costumes of various denim styles with white tops. They danced to a variety of throwbacks including “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe, “Closer” by Ne-Yo and “Temperature” by Sean Paul.

After Monsoon brought the energy up in the audience, the first designer’s line took to the catwalk. Tempor Essence’s clothing had a casual vibe with different outfits consisting of jeans, zip-up hoodies, shorts and graphic tees. Each piece had a hint of the brand, including phrases like “Time is Limitless. Fashion Last Forever” and “Tempor.”

Representing the line was the designer’s sister who claimed “it was always a dream for him to start his own clothing brand” and that she was “very proud” of him. You can find Tempor Essence on Instagram and on their website.

Designer ByTiannaOsbourne followed another casual line. The models wore various styles, ranging from denim pants and skirts with white graphic tees to matching sweatsuits with “BourneStar” written down the leg. One model repped the New York Mets, showcasing the brand’s home state.

Osbourne started this brand during the COVID-19 pandemic under the name “Teenage Evolution.” She decided to continue as the brand gained traction and changed the name to ByTiannaOsbourne for a more “classic” feel.

ByTiannaOsbourne can be found on TikTok, Instagram and on her website.

The third designer of the night was a newer brand based out of New York labeled as Quantum. The name Quantum came from the idea of “protecting your energy,” which was a phrase she put on her early pieces. The designer is a University of New Haven alumna who started out making clothes for herself and attended the fashion show last year.

“I was sitting somewhere [in the audience] last year, and I was like ‘Bro, I’m ‘bout to try this,” she said.

Quantum’s designs included streetwear, casualwear and even an overalls look. One model wore a long-sleeved top, and as she reached the end of the runway it revealed, “New Haven Chargers,” across the back.

The last clothing line before intermission was Jada LeBour, a size-inclusive brand with pieces ranging from XXS to 3XL from New York. The models displayed LeBour’s dresses from simple to sparkly to cheetah print. Her final piece was a puffer-coat-like yellow skirt with leg warmers to match. Although it seemed to resemble a honeycomb, LeBour said she was going for a Harajuku vibe to showcase her love for anime.

When creating her brand, LeBour wanted to make unique pieces with vibrant colors and patterns that “shouldn’t be together.”

“I just want to see people have fun,” LeBour said. “I just put anything together and see what sticks. People like it, so I love it.”

More of Jada LeBour’s designs can be found on Instagram and her website.

After the first four designers of the night, there was a brief intermission, but the entertainment did not take a break. The first act during the intermission was a performance by the Miss Majorettes to songs like “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent, “Milkshake” by Kelis, “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake and “Ride” by Ciara.

Following the Miss Majorettes was a crowd favorite from previous years: Spliffany, also known as “Shae,” who lip-synced to a variety of songs. Shae’s act included “Promise” by Ciara, “I Got Your Man” by Lady Shaw and “Check On It” by Beyonce. They concluded the performance with a death drop-esque ending as the audience went wild.

Martin kicked off the second half of the night with runway walks from seven members picked from the audience to show off their ‘90s and 2000s attire. Students could vote for their favorites through the CSA Instagram story.

The next set of models to walk wore various lingerie pieces in a color palette of black, vibrant red and pale pink, each with a robe to match. Some models wore slip dresses or bralettes with matching shorts while the others wore silk shorts and button-down pajama shirts.

Organic Garmentz was the first designer of the second half, displaying a line of neutral tones with mint green and pale lavender accents. A couple of pieces incorporated some sort of button-down shirt with a scarf-like collar layered under another top, while others had more of a hippy vibe. One outfit even had jeans with “Hood Hippy” written across the back pockets. Three of the tops were paired with knee-length black shorts that had flaps coming out from the sides.

“I knew I could make clothes, and I knew I could do it good, so I just did it,” said designer Dr. Garmentz.

Following Organic Garmentz was the penultimate line of the fashion show, a brand composed of a trio of designers: Hood-Visonarye. This line was a streetwear set complete with sweatsuits, hoodies and ankle-length skirts resembling sweatpants with a drawstring waistband. Throughout the collection, pieces bore the slogan “Pvid In Full.”

The brand grew from one of the designer’s ideas that fashion is “a way of expressing yourself” and another “wanted to find freedom within our imagination.”

The finale of the event was a designer from previous years, Mario and Lee. This line was one of the most diverse of the night, including both casual wear and elegant designs. While one outfit was a matching baby blue set consisting of a hoodie and sweatpants, other models wore more of a “night-on-the-town” feel with mini skirts and cropped tops.

One model showed the newest project of the line: the “M” bag. This bag can be a crossbody, clutch or handbag with the use of detachable straps. The bag is available in five different colors on the website.

As the designer came out after the models were finished, he told everyone to follow his Instagram and one lucky follower won a “Comeback Season” graphic tee that was shown on the runway.

“Last year, I made a transition from working on collections to working with celebrities,” he said. “What I realized was that it is not what it’s cracked up to be… So this is my comeback season.”

Ending off the night, Martin introduced the executive board of the CSA including the president and graduate business administration student, Grace Oriana-Andre, who expressed her gratitude to everyone involved. After working diligently since September, CSA pulled off their annual fashion show with the help of a variety of cosponsors.

The event ended in great satisfaction from the organizing party. “[CSA’s] hopes were not only met, but exceeded by far,” said Kaya Francis, the CSA historian and a junior business management major.

To find out about more events the CSA will be hosting, as well as meeting times and other general information, check out their Instagram and Charger Connection pages.