Black Explosion 3067 embodies earth’s elements

Black Explosion 3067 showcases a ‘thriving’ post-apocalyptic world

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A few hours before the Black Student Union’s Black Explosion fashion show, one designer missed their flight due to airport complications and another could only bring three pieces of clothing after a baggage issue.

But that didn’t stop members of BSU and local designers from curating their own clothing lines last second by thrift shopping and “pulling pieces” from their personal wardrobes.

The 51st annual event, Black Explosion 3067, took place at the Conference and Event Center in Niagara Falls on Saturday night and gave independent designers from UB an opportunity to showcase their work. This year’s theme was BSU’s “take on what a thriving post-apocalyptic world would look like.” Models grouped together to form “territories,” where their clothing represented ice and fire, along with two of Earth’s habitats: the swamp and desert. BSU President Ayenoumou Barry said each territory was distinct in “culture, demeanor and lifestyle.” The club’s goal was to showcase this through fashion and performances, according to Barry.
Barry said the club chose “3067” as homage to BSU’s founding year, 1967. BSU spent roughly $29,000 on the event, according to the Student Association General Ledger. BSU spent roughly $34,000 on the event in 2018.

Barry, who assisted in backstage production for the event, said she thought the event was still a success even after designers’ last second travel issues.

“Despite all the complications we faced before the show, we were able to pull together and provide for our audience with a layered experience of year 3067,” Barry said.

 Independent designers showed their style at the venue prior to the show. Clothing on display ranged from crocheted garments to streetwear and hoodies. Models who wore “ice territory” garments displayed glittering white dresses, bow ties and fur sleeves. A violinist wearing a sparkling white dress –– representing ice –– played various hip-hop songs like “Rockstar” by Post Malone and “God’s Plan” by Drake as the models walked across the stage.

Models wearing green camouflage jackets and black skirts repped the “swamp territory,” while the “desert territory” walked across the stage with brown cargo pants and coats. Both swamp and desert models had dancers hype the crowd up. The “fire territory” ended the show with an acrobatic performance and a confident line of models wearing red dresses and orange two-pieces shimmering in the light.

“This is actually my first fashion show, so this [is] great stuff for me,” said Jashon Miller, an independent designer at the venue. “I plan on going to another fashion show soon.”

Miller’s fashion line, Outlandish Provokator Clothing, is marketed toward self-expression. Models showcasing the brand wore hoodies with an image of a panda riding a skateboard. Another model showed off an imitation of a bulletproof vest over his hoodie. Miller said his brand is aimed toward helping people show their “true colors” and making people comfortable with who they are.

One of his favorite pieces was the mock bulletproof vest, which he said evokes what the clothing brand is all about.

“It actually has a meaning behind it, and it’s to protect [the] inner you,” Miller said. “So it goes along with what I do.”

Jessica Ajayi, a freshman math major, modeled at the show and wore one of the Outlandish Provokator hoodies. She said wearing the clothes felt “cool” and made her feel as if she was the “center of attention.”

Temitope Adesina, a freshman computer science major, displayed her yarn-based clothing line “Temtris.” Adesina started crocheting in seventh grade before looking up different patterns to hone her skills. Now she markets herself as an independent business woman.

“The next step is definitely to work on my skill … and also really get myself out there so people know about who I am and what I do,” Adesina said.

Enitan Bankole and Steven Dare are both UB students who share a clothing brand named Faceless New York. Bankole, a junior finance major, has attended Black Explosion shows since his freshman year. He and Dare are now using it as a platform to show off their style.

“I never would have thought [my] freshman year that I would be a designer at this point,” Bankole said. “It’s just amazing that we’re here.”

Faceless New York already has an Instagram, but the pair plans on launching a website and a new fashion line for the spring.

Both Bankole and Dare are of Nigerian descent and draw inspiration from African culture and streetwear into their design. Dare’s favorite piece of clothing is a shirt that embodies Fela Kuti, a musician from Nigeria who is considered to be the “godfather” of afro beats, according to Dare. He says that Kuti is important to their culture and is grateful to show their culture through their fashion.

“We appreciate BSU for the opportunity to help us display our clothing and give ourselves a big outreach to Buffalo,” Dare said. 

Thomas Zafonte contributed reporting to this story.

Email: arts@ubspectrum.com