Online Style Editor Hannah Worthington and Deputy Online News Editor Emily Vernall review this years circus soirée of fashion, dance, and music: FUZE.
Venue: The Passenger Shed’s impressive and atmospheric hall.
Creative vision: ‘I wanted all aspects of the show (dance, fashion and music) to fuze together, as it were, and create a slick show that ran seamlessly. I also wanted it to be clear that we were raising money for a great charity, so I publicised them as much as I could.’ – Seun Oyeleye (Creative Managing Director)
Cause: In support of One25, an outreach charity that offers relief to women trapped in, or vulnerable to street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction.
Epigram Style Rating: ★★★★★
A suspended circular screen hung above the dark stage. A dramatic digital opener, featuring moody video shots of the much-anticipated models and dancers, brought the screen to life in dramatic fashion. Sass and energy characterised the ensuing display as the dancers captivated the stage, seamlessly transitioning between fast-pace numbers in this extensive opening number. Curiosity and fascination abound, the extravagant spectacle did not fall short of the dazzling circus soirée promised.
Across the two acts, six catwalks, underscored by pulsing music and strobe light, took to the Passenger Shed's stage. Cossie+Co's one-piece swimsuits made fashion's debut, offering beautiful classic silhouettes and simplistic pastel shades. Paired with Glitta Glo's funky tinted sunglasses made by third year History student Maria Perry, style was effortlessly interwoven into the production.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb photographing Flora in Cossie+Co / Glitta Glo
Other brands that made an appearance at this years multi-media spectacle were Indiana Rose London, who displayed a beautiful array of lightweight paisley print coats on FUZE's models, as well as HalfPenny London who teamed with T.M Lewin to offer some graceful, and sleek fitted black tie inspiration. Returning FUZE Male models Joshua Wellington and Oli Rowlands continued to have a big impact on the FUZE crowd, as girls gushed over their perfectly defined abdominals. Theatre and Performance student Phoebe Campbell also proved her talents extend way beyond the theatrical department as she strutted in her killer heels.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb photographs Joshua Wellington
SAS (Sophie Antonia Scott) was Online Style Editor Hannah's favourite brand. Luxuriously soft velvet flares in baby blues and pinks, alongside soft snow leapord printed tie up crops were sported with Epigram Style's monthly favourite Pom Dot Com's fabulous pom pom earrings. See this outfit modelled by Molly Steere below, photographed by talented photographer Gaby Ekaireb, who was also responsible for marketing and social media this year under Commercial Director Harry's leadership.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb
Yet fashion was not just centred to the stage. A mixture of small student led style and accessory brands also appeared in 'The Marketplace'. Model Sophie Thomas doubled as 'Marketplace Director' creating a varied array of thrift shop stalls and student businesses. Epigram Style's monthly pick 'Marbelous Roo' was there, but now as a new brand, Roo Bannister, who took a stall offering marbled hoop earrings and 'penis' rings. Jazzy Glitter also pitched, retailing poly glitter sets, gels and gems for £5 a pot. This Marketplace epitomised the prominence of bubbling student creations and fashion in Bristol.
Image: Hannah Worthington / Epigram
Yet fashion was just one part of the tripartite spectacle of FUZE. The dance cast performed eight technical numbers across the two Acts, each one capturing its own unique sense of personality thanks to Dance Directors Ella and Joseph’s diverse showcase.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb
Beginning the circus themed showcase was contemporary trio ‘Clown’, a captivating piece with an effortless but raw emotion. This could not be more contrasting to the later numbers ‘How we burlesque’ and ‘Ladies on Stilts’. The former embraced all the glitz and glamour of the traditional burlesque movement whilst the latter proved that no heel is too high for the FUZE girls who donned impressive killer kicks yet still managed to perform with unrivalled sass and flair.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb photographing dancers
Empowering, confident and sassy: It’s fair to say that performance was everything for the FUZE dance cast of 2018 who did not disappoint with their ability to hold the stage as their own.
Music Directors Harry and Matt collated an incredibly talented variation of singers, sax players, pianists and guitarists for this years show. Frances offered a fantastic jazz number, and second year student Rachel Mailer continued this with an original composition dubbed 'Blues'. Both Will Bryant and Aaran Daniels delivered phenomenal male vocals.
Image: Aaran (Left) and Rachel (Right) photographed by Gaby Ekaireb
Yet it was Creative Director Seun's 'Purple Rain' rendition, supported by Marisa Lopes, Harriet Kelley and Rachel Mailer, which surmised the show in a perfect fashion. This raw, yet heartfelted collaborative work was at the core of the production, and this extended into the backstage seams as Sponsorship Directors were able to pull in the likes of high-end beauty brand Pixi by Petra and Pointe Apparel to support their work.
Image: Gaby Ekaireb pictures Seun and his team
For those of you who didn't go; you missed out on a damn good treat.
Featured Image: FUZE by Gaby Ekaireb