Students rock catwalk for Rip the Runway

Louisville sophomore Caylin Scaten (right) walks down the runway during Rip the Runway Friday, April 25, 2014, at the Preston Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Scaten is wearing a bathing suit designed by Nashville senior Coumba Sow who drew inspiration from carnival while studying abroad in Trinidad. (Mike Clark/HERALD)

Kae Holloway

Preston Center was transformed Friday night into a high fashion, adrenaline fueled runway show for the fifth annual Rip the Runway event, hosted by the Black Student Alliance. The gym lights were dimmed, spotlights were brought out and a makeshift runway with multi–colored sequins lined the floor.

With songs from artists ranging from the Notorious B. I. G. to Mike Will Made It shaking the gym, spectators and fashion fans poured in and lined the runway, flooding Instagram with selfies and tweeting using the hashtag #wkuriptherunway in anticipation of the big event. 

This was the second time the event was hosted at Preston after being relocated from its original location in DSU.

The show kicked off at 9 p.m. and was emceed by Al Greene and CJ Calhoun.

“We want to thank everyone for coming out,” Greene said.

The first collection kicked off the show with a catwalk full of white- and black-clad models wearing cuts and styles from tight body-con dresses to sharp blazers and pantsuits.

Five more collections would follow, with outfits ranging from evening wear to swimsuit.

The swimsuit collection, fifth in the show, was designed by Louisville junior Coumba Sow. Models strutted down the runway in suits adorned with feathers, jewels and flowers.

Sow was inspired to create the line after a study abroad trip to Trinidad and Tobago.

“I wanted to study abroad for spring break and see other cultures and how they dress,” she said. “They [Trinidadians] wear feathers, big head pieces and show off their bodies. I wanted to bring that culture here.”

The closing collection featured all models walking the runway, wearing Rip the Runway t-shirts and dancing along to the music.

Reactions to the show poured in through Twitter and were read aloud by Greene and Calhoun throughout the night.

Brea Wilson, the coordinator of the show, was ecstatic with the show’s audience.

“This was a huge turnout. We had 200 chairs, and people had to start carrying in more,” she said.

The show functions as a fundraiser with an admission fee of $5 or $3 with a canned good item. The canned goods are donated to local food pantries and organizations, such as the Salvation Army. The money goes toward BSA.

As for the next Rip the Runway, Wilson said if she can get her head around it, she’d love to assist with coordinating again.

“It was pretty stressful,” she said. “I would definitely help out again, though.”