The Runway Rundown: Frightening fashion show

Halloween hit the runway at the Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream’s “Runway Reveal” Charity Contest.

Five student organizations from different schools, including USF, came together at the event to compete in Howl-O-Scream’s own tantalizing fashion show. The winning team was awarded $500 to donate to the charity of their choice.

The event took place Thursday at Busch Garden’s Club Envy, a new nightlife addition to the park’s event, keeping with this year’s stylish fanged fashion theme.

After the event’s great energy and participation last year, Scott Swenson, director of Production and Creative Services at Busch Gardens, decided to bring the charity contest back to the catwalk for a second year.

USF students representing their organizations included the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Beef Studs and Babes, the Wakeboard and Water Sports Club and Phi Sigma Pi.

Each competing team was made up of four members: two males and two females. The females had 15 minutes to dress the two males and transform them into Howl-O-Scream’s main vampire character Ms. Vayne and one of her bloodthirsty models.

With creativity in hand and time ticking away, the women could use only what was provided in a bag full of surprises. The goody bags included everything from aluminum foil and paper clips to costume makeup and silly string.

DJ Dax kept the event alive on the spin table as zombies crept among the crowd. The judges of the event were all directors from the Halloween event: Swenson, Head of Makeup Hendrickje Matthews and Head Costume Designer Lauren D. Bracewell.

Once the men were transformed into fabulous vampire fashionistas, they strutted their stuff on the runway, where the judges chose the winner.

The Beef Studs team was anything but ladylike on the runway, as it jammed to the music with boxers in plain sight. They stirred quite an energized reaction from the crowd.

“That was so dirty, I’m ‘Purelling,'” Swenson said, using his hand sanitizer when the Beef Studs had finished.

Bracewell focused on the use of strange objects.

“I love the use of the paper clips,” she said after watching the AMA males brave the catwalk.

Runway Reveal may be the only fashion show where paper clips and tape are acceptable, but other outlandish props made their way onto the stage as well.

The men of Phi Sigma Pi hit the runway with beastly attitudes, whips and plenty of lipstick.

“It’s more than a fashion show, it’s performance art,” said Jill Revelle, senior manager of communications for Busch Gardens.

Unfortunately, there could only be one winner, and the USF Wakeboard Club took the $500 charity donation with a perfect score. They donated the proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House.

The Wakeboard and Watersports Club Participated in last year’s event but did not win.

Each team put on quite a show and the crowd was enthusiastic from beginning to end.

The competitive attitudes each team brought to the runway made for a great fashion frenzy, fitting with the holiday spirit that will hopefully continue next year.