By Michael Vass | May 12, 2015
It was billed as a night of entertainment, and those that were in attendance on May 9, 2015 got exactly that in spades. The Night of Fashion event, put on jointly by JusJamstar and SimplyMe Boutique, was an attempt to provide residents of Binghamton and the Southern Tier a taste of the spectacle that is Fashion Week in New York City. This came with a bonus of song, dance, and even dinner. For $20 a ticket for VIP admission (which included the dinner and an open bar) a movie just paled in comparison.
To be fair, the Night of Fashion event had mixed moments. There was more to be enjoyed as a sum total, but the review would be false if the problems of the event were overlooked just because the companies involved are relatively new and growing. Even so, there is no question that attendees got their money’s worth. It also must be mentioned that this review is based on just about half the event – more on why in a moment. First, let’s address the few short-comings of the event.
The event was billed to start, at the American Legion Post 80, at 6pm for VIP and general admission. At 6:30pm, when I arrived, guest were still arriving but the dinner had been delayed. Not an unusual situation as every event has some hiccup. Eventually attendees would be notified that dinner would be served at the intermission of the show. The problem was that there was never a formal announcement of this fact. In fact, the delay lasted 1 hour, with the event starting at 8pm. Once the show started, MC Riz did her best to engage the crowd. Throughout the night she segued and pantomimed, and generally kept the attention of the audience focused on her and not the fact that the event, which was scheduled to last 2 hours, was actually taking double the time.
The format of the event was MC Riz introducing 2 performances followed by a fashion line, and repeat. For the scheduled length of the event it would have seemed implied that this meant each performer might have 5 minutes before moving on. That was not the case here. Instead performers were on stage for multiple acts, some for an extended amount of time. In comparison, the fashion lines were displayed on a relatively consistent 10 minute timeframe. The disparity gave the event more of a talent show feel than that of fashion.
Once the intermission started, at 10pm – an hour later than the entire event was supposed to have lasted – I had to depart. I did return later that evening to check in on the festivities for a bit. The event ended after midnight, fully 6 hours after the first guests arrived. Which is fine as it was a full night of entertainment, but not what was promoted.
Given that each of the above had the potential to kill the night. But much to the credit of the performers and the team of people working behind the scenes, the audience never balked. The show, once started, never felt like it was dragging, or a performance overlong. For any negative that can be pointed out (and many an event I have attended in my life have had far more and worse) the one thing that I kept noticing was that the event was entertaining. The audience wasn’t just getting their money’s worth, they were getting more. If anything, ultimately the biggest problem for the event (if it could be called that) was that the production team was striving to give attendees a full-on gala at a budget price – and they succeeded in doing just that.
The singers were new and upcoming faces that mostly provided original material. They were excited and dedicated. Each performer sought to win over the audience. MC Riz did her best to rev up the audience before and after each entered or exited the stage. The comic was blue, but energizing. There was even a spoken word recital – something that is rare in any event with a mix of entertainment styles. Night of Fashion was a rich mixture of things that all in the audience could and did enjoy.
And then there was the fashion. The following videos are just 3 of the 6 fashion lines displayed during the show. Not shown are the lines of shoes, evening-wear and lingerie. The models were a mix of not just the classic model type, but also models with real world bodies. It’s a pleasure to see a fashion show that features clothing that your girlfriend, or wife, or friend might be able to wear. Clothing that look good not just on a mannequin but on a woman that you can see walking down the street. The reaction to each clothing line was met by enthusiasm and excitement by the audience.
Fashion Line 1
Fashion Line 2
All in all the Night of Fashion event, by JusJamstar and SimplyMe Boutique was a rewarding experience. Considering that both companies are women-owned small businesses that were only recently created, the potential for growth is a much needed and empowering message to men and women throughout the Southern Tier. Adding to this is the fact that the performers and models are predominantly locally based, a key feature for JusJamstar president Jesula Saintus.
Ms. Saintus shared the following with me in an interview after the event,
“It’s awesome to know so many in Binghamton are working for their dream. The only way people can survive is to work together. That’s what JusJamstar does.”
JusJamstar can be contacted via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jusjamstar
SimplyMe Boutique, that provided all the clothing in the 6 fashion lines, can be contacted at http:facebook.com/simplymeboutiq . Their store is located at 192 Main St, Binghamton, NY 13905
** Photos are by Royal Pearl Productions – http://royalpearlproductions.blogspot.com/ **