A junior studying fashion design saw red Saturday night.

By Gus Bode

Along with other students in his college, Brandon Bains was asked by his professor, Laura Kidd, to make an outfit that had to be entirely red, which would be modeled at the Red Extravaganza’s fashion show.

The event took place in a red-lit room, with ceiling to floor red banners lining the stage. The Red Extravaganza raised funds for Delta Sigma Theta’s annual scholarship fund and to promote heart disease awareness among women of the Carbondale community with a special emphasis on black women. The SIUC Athletics and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Carbondale Alumnae sponsored the event.

Bains, a native of Chicago, said he centered his design off his model’s personality. His garment was reminiscent of a nurse’s uniform and patched with hearts.

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“I thought she would be a great nurse,” Bains said. “This is also a throwback to the American Heart Association. It’s paying homage.”

Trinisia Nolden, a senior studying social work, modeled Bains’ creation. Slightly nervous before the show, Nolden admitted this was the first time she would be strutting herself down the catwalk in front of hundreds of people. Nolden made sure to do several pre-runs on the catwalk to perfect her moves. Bains observed his model and handiwork, adding additional comments like, “Remember the dip,” and giving his encouragement.

Kidd, an associate professor of architecture and interior design, said she had asked both her junior and senior classes to participate in the event.

“I turned to my senior designers, and they were so excited that they all decided to take independent studies to make a garment,” Kidd said. “I think they also liked the challenge that everything had to be red.”

Each student model walked gracefully down the catwalk, with the spotlight trailing them. The garments ranged from club wear to evening gowns. Amanda Lazzell, a sophomore in fashion design from Danville, said she was excited to display her work, gaucho pants and a tube top.

“This is for such a good cause,” Lazzell said. “I’m in a sorority too, so we’re glad to be able to help this one out.”

Ed Jones, director of University Housing, attended the event with his wife Gloria, a Delta Sigma Theta alumna, and his mother-in-law Gloria Banks, who is also an alumna. Jones said he was glad to attend an event with such an important cause.

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“Something obviously needs to be done about it [heart disease],” Jones said. “It’s good its being recognized, but the next thing is being able to lower the statistics.”

Tequia Hicks, Undergraduate Student Government president, was also present at the event. Hicks, a Delta Sigma Theta member, modeled a red pantsuit for the show.

“I’m glad that people came out and understood the importance of heart disease,” Hicks said.

The African Student Council, Pan-Hellenic Council and Vanity Fashion Fair Models also modeled their own outfits for the fashion show. Some models brought a sassy attitude to the runway, coaxing smiles and laughs from the crowd.

Jaime Fluker, a co-chair of the Red Extravaganza, said the mixture of organizations at the event was something special.

“We wanted to reach out not only to the SIU campus but also to the community,” Fluker said.

Reporter Nicky Jacobs can be reached at [email protected]

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