After a long semester wait, Caribbean students from the University of Miami finally received the opportunity to represent their island in style with the opening of their annual OJU fashion show. The Organization for Jamaican Unity presented their cultural fashion show as part of Jamaica Awareness Week 2010 last Friday night, April16. Entitled “Port Royal: The Fashion Destination-Passport to Paradise,” the fashion show hosted by Kingston native Donisha Prendergrast, featured some of south Miami’s trendy Caribbean inspired fashions with all proceeds donated to the Haiti Relief Fund.
Promptly at 9 p.m. sharp, as the spectators began to crowd the School of Communications courtyard, the spotlight illuminated the stage as the island rhythms and beats harmonized throughout the catwalk. The student-models surfaced, moving along to the Caribbean melodies, strutting the signature motions of the distinct boldness and attitude often represented in Jamaican culture. As one of the last events of the international students’ awareness events and functions, this year’s OJU fashion show presented an array of fashion tastes and styles ranging from bright, flamboyant summer-wear when attending a picnic or pool party to more casual nightlife clothing for the south beach dance bars/lounges.
Not only did the OJU fashion show offer a taste of some of the hottest island fashion styles, music and models in Miami, but the showcase spoke about more than the cultural entertainment. All raffle proceeds were donated to the local tragedy of the Haiti Hurricane Relief fundraiser.
“I really just came in expecting to have fun as well as to help gain as many donations as we could for the Haiti Relief Fundraiser,” said sophomore Jazzmyne Williams, a business law major who modeled in the show. “I think runway is a good way to show off my personality in my walk and that’s ultimately why I’m really drawn to fashion. Overall, my experience was enjoyable even with the chaos of it all but that’s expected with any fashion show”.
A catwalk novice but veteran in the University of Miami student limelight, senior Les A. Bradley II, a former UM collegiate track star participated in the 2010 OJU fashion show as well, in hopes of leaving his institution of four years with a bang.
“It’s my last semester here at the University of Miami and I just wanted to meet new people, have fun and represent my fraternity Omega Psi Phi (Bradley recently pledged this semester),” said Bradley, an exercise physiology major. “I wanted to leave UM with a bigger hand in being involved with my community and peers.”