FADS ‘Neptune’s Ball’ fashion show transforms quad into haute-r space

FADS Neptune’s Ball transforms quad into haute-r space

The organization’s spring showcase was a celebration of creativity and a bittersweet farewell for senior members.

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Surya Vaidy
Model Penda Diop wears student Jada Williams’ design as she makes her way down the runway on Sunday, April 28.

The Crouse College bell tower chimes eerily in the distance Sunday at approximately 7:22 p.m. Did a Chimemaster play the bells too early? No, it’s just D.J. Nathaniel LeBoeuf, a senior studying TV and film, executing a transition into “Space Song” by Beach House. And thus, Neptune’s Ball, the Fashion and Design Society’s (FADS) latest fashion show, commences on Shaw Quad.

FADS puts on semi-annual fashion shows with “nuanced themes,” president of staff, Leah Jones said in her opening remarks. This year’s theme was inspired by aspects of the sci-fi world in film and TV. The organization prides itself on being a diverse, safe space for students to pursue their passions.  

Margo Venesy models Perry Schmitz at the FADS Spring Show
Surya Vaidy
Margo Venesy models Perry Schmitz at the FADS Spring Show “Neptune’s Ball” on the SU quad.

“We invite you to a ball in outer space on planet Neptune,” Jones said.

The show was composed of 70 looks, and the first to walk the runway set the tone: Slay. A sea of blues took the stage, including a dress with tendrils flowing off its lightweight skirt. A cowboy hat with sparkling fringe served as a strapless gown’s “Cowboy Carter”-approved accessory.

All garments were designed and created by students, with over 35 designers displaying their creations in the show. The overall color palette included shades of blue, black, gray, tan and white. Jones, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders, and incoming president Jada Williams, a sophomore fashion design major, both modeled each other’s designs.

Williams currently serves as the fashion director, a position created specifically for her. Seeing her designs on the runway was “refreshing and relieving,” she said, dressed in a structural gunmetal mini dress designed by Jones. “So much hard work and long nights went into it,” Williams said. “Seeing it on the runway and everybody enjoying it fills my heart up so much.”

Models walk alongside their designers to close the FADS fashion show on the quad on Sunday.
Surya Vaidy
Models walk alongside their designers to close the FADS fashion show on the quad.

During the show, models embodied their outfits, sauntering, strutting and dancing down the runway to a set of house music resembling a futuristic ’90s catwalk playlist. When pausing for a customary mid-walk photo-op, they struck poses worthy of a magazine cover. At one point, two models in succession walked — and kept walking. No paparazzi; no pictures.

The smartly dressed audience was lively, cheering as the show progressed.

“Oh, wow. That’s like [Princess] Jasmine, yassified,” an attendee said upon seeing a gauzy blue number.

Among the array of creations were garments with strategic cut-outs, crocheted pieces, a gothic gown befitting a modern Morticia Addams and a standout Fanta “purse.” Denim, veils, hoods and Balenciaga-esque face coverings were recurring elements. Overall, the design skills displayed were remarkable, and the makeup and hairstyling also deserve a shoutout.

Katie McPeak wears Gigi Gillard on the FADS Runway on April 28.
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Katie McPeak wears Gigi Gillard on the FADS Runway on Sunday.
Rui Guo models designer Cici Modin's garment on the FADS runway.
Surya Vaidy
Rui Guo models designer Cici Modin’s garment on the FADS runway.

Penda Diop, a junior studying psychology, modeled a look created by Williams in the show. “I went outside my comfort zone,” Diop said. “I would definitely model again because it was such a good experience.”

The day’s forecast called for rain, but a light sprinkling ceased moments before the outdoor show began. Rows of chairs were arranged on the grass in front of Link Halland an advanced array of lights and cameras bordered the event.

A multi-arched, milk-white structure by Aiden McGorry, a senior studying architecture, sat in the center of the quad, serving as a backdrop for the fashion show. The show’s elaborate set-up included flickering orbs nestled in gray rocks lining the “runway.”

Janluis Gonzalez models Leah Jones' design on the FADS runway set up on the quad on Sunday, April 28.
Surya Vaidy
Janluis Gonzalez models Leah Jones’ design on the FADS runway set up on the quad on Sunday.

FADS started planning Neptune’s Ball over winter break after Zoë Boise, creative director, conceptualized the show. The months’ worth of preparation was apparent in the final result. Jones said it’s the “grandest show” the organization has ever produced.

“Words cannot explain. This is honestly beautiful,” Jones said. “I’m so happy, like, over the moon.”

Bella Young, the FADS vice president and a senior design studies major, also expressed her happiness with how everything came together. “The designs were exceptional. I’m just so proud,” Young said.

Near the end of the show, the sun began to set. After models and designers did a final walk to “ALIEN SUPERSTAR” by Beyoncé, the e-board hugged and congratulated each other as attendees dispersed. 

Young expressed her thanks to FADS and everyone at Neptune’s Ball. The fashion show’s conclusion was bittersweet and sentimental, as it was her and fellow seniors’ last hurrah with the organization.

“FADS is my favorite organization,” Jones said. “The ability to fellowship and learn from other like-minded creative people leaves you feeling like you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

Anabelle Bradely wears Alexandra Howes' designs on Sunday, April 28 on the quad.
Surya Vaidy
Anabelle Bradely wears Alexandra Howes’ designs on Sunday on the quad.