FADS returns to the runway with live nature-themed show

FADS returns to the runway with a live nature-themed show

Biotic Wonders incorporated a natural healing experience into its production and design.
Published: December 5, 2021
FADS Fashion Show Fall 2021 - Biotic Wonders
Models walk the runway during the Biotic Wonders fashion show, put on by the Syracuse Fashion and Design Society students, at Skybarn.

The Syracuse Fashion and Design Society (FADS) returned to the runway with Biotic Wonders, its first in-person fashion show since 2019. Many people attended the show held in Skybarn.

Biotic Wonders explored the themes of nature, sustainability and healing. Designers, performers and models captivated the audience with an eclectic mix of fashion and live entertainment, immersing attendees in their definition of natural wonders.

The seats quickly filled as people arrived in their stylish outfits. The vibrant atmosphere radiated across the room as anticipation grew for the show to start.

The set design looked organic while sophisticated. A string of LED lights defined the runway, and sheer white curtains stood tall in the background while green and yellow lights illuminated them from behind. These elements together felt soothing and set the tone for the night.

Jessie Zhai, creative director and co-president of FADS, opened the show with a speech thanking her team for putting everything together and explaining the meaning of Biotic Wonders.

“We really wanted it to be a healing process; we wanted it to have that kind of power that is relevant but also new and helpful for the future. When we decided on the theme, I asked my e-board to present an idea, and we all agreed on nature elements for the theme,” Zhai said.

A live music performance by Bandier program junior Jordyn Tareaz followed the speech. Tareaz agreed to perform in Biotic Wonders for her love for fashion.

“I was honored when I was asked. I think I just have a very bold style. I don’t care what’s in trend, I’m gonna wear whatever I want and just rock with it,” Tareaz said.

FADS Fashion Show Fall 2021 - Biotic Wonders
Aman Johnson, wearing luminescent garments, stands on the runway in front of the a large crowd at the FADS Biotic Wonders Fashion Show.

Tareaz began her setlist with an upbeat cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” followed by her original song “So Good.” Her rich vocals filled the room as the audience cheered her on. Her music inspired authenticity and empowerment, just like her onstage personality. Her boldness and creativity merged with the show’s ambiance.

As soon as Tareaz finished her set, Outlaws Dance Troupe, SU’s first and only all hip-hop dance team, performed for the audience. The dance break elevated the show with a soothing twist as the dancers moved their bodies like water, creating beautiful silhouettes.

Outlaws danced to the relaxing sounds of guitar strings, harps, and angelic humming. The choreography set the tone for the evening, and the fashion started immediately after the performance ended.

Biotic Wonders featured 51 different looks with each garment displaying unique detailing and personality. The models walked at a slow pace, giving the audience enough time to take in the garments. They wore carefully-fitted pieces of elegant design produced with upcycled materials from hand-woven baskets to plastic. Some of the models’ faces were decorated with rhinestones while others sported bold eyeshadow looks.

“The designers have been working on their clothes all semester,” said James Goudie, one of the models featured in Biotic Wonders.

FADS Fashion Show Fall 2021 - Biotic Wonders
Seats filled fast for the first FADS fashion show since 2019.

Goudie, an international relations and French senior, is a self-proclaimed fashion fanatic. He made his runway debut at Biotic Wonders, bringing power to garments designed by Zoe Boise.

“Whenever I put on an outfit that makes me feel like more of who I am, it itself can bring confidence. So whenever I walk, even just to class or on the catwalk, I try to present that confidence,” Goudie said.

The models walked the runway barefoot, physically connecting their bodies to the earth to further the significance of the natural theme.

Ares Taylor and Bailey Davis, model coaches for FADS, explained their vision for the show when working with models.

“What if we had them walk barefoot? It’s well associated with being down-to-earth and being grounded,” Taylor said. “So much work and stress and love went into this show so I’m glad it turned out well,” Davis said.

Television, radio and film junior Hayley Lopez remarked on her experience attending Biotic Wonders.

“It was the coolest thing ever, just even from an artist’s perspective who has no knowledge on fashion. It was so great to appreciate and see the running theme of it throughout. I felt like I was in a trance with the music; everything was very much tied together,” Lopez said.

Another attendee, engineering sophomore Mazin Moia, also shared his positive experience from the show.

“The show was just brilliant,” Moia said. “I have never had a history with fashion before, but, after today, I’m stunned. It was just elegant and sophisticated. All of the minor details, even down to the blinking, was so composed and controlled. Everyone knew exactly what they were doing, and it just made for a beautiful atmosphere and a beautiful show.”