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UA Runway: Block Party Edition

By: Teresa Pavia | September 12, 2022

Last Monday, the Student Association hosted the annual Block Party, University at Albany’s club fair which doubles as a fashion show. Though this year's theme, “Welcome to the Jungle” may have felt more like a rainforest due to the wet and gloomy weather, UAlbany students still made sure to turn out looks. Here are some of our favorites.

For Bailey, a sophomore here at UA, the jungle theme fit perfectly. She stated, “I have a lot of clothes based off my passions.”

Bailey studies herpetology, a branch of zoology associated with amphibians and reptiles. Literally dressed head to toe in a frog-themed outfit, Bailey sported a baseball cap decorated with her study species, a septum piercing decorated with a snake, a shirt designed to look like a field guide, and shoes that she called “Frocks”.

Many of the clothes she wore served as her research gear. “These are what I wear for fieldwork. They’re my tearaway pants that are usually covered in mud.”

Bailey does frog research here at the University and King Cobra research in India.

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

The Young Democratic Socialists of America table also used fashion to represent their interests, wearing thrifted finds and clothing they found that had been trashed.

Mairead, a senior who took more of an island approach with a turquoise maxi skirt and a blue lei necklace, said “We’re repping some garbage merch from the Dump and Run.”

Mehr, a senior, wearing what she called a “Mom on Vacation” look with beige cargo shorts, a green printed button-down, and green combat boots, got much of her clothing secondhand.

She connects her belief in socialism to what she wears, saying a big part of her fashion choices center on “being opposed to fast fashion and the harmful labor practices associated with fast fashion…my shorts were thrifted from Great Finds, the best thrift store in Albany with the best old lady clothes…this shirt my partner found in the trash at some point.”

Jay, a junior, echoed this sentiment saying, “Thrifting is great because you can get the clothes you like, and you’re not contributing to fast fashion and all the terrible things that the fashion industry does.”

Donning a green moto jacket, an animal print two-piece, and cheetah-inspired makeup, they said, “I think everything here except for the boots is thrifted…dumpster clothing is great…I saw [the clothes] at the free market and thought it was perfect for Block Party.”

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

Jay described their new hobby of sewing and altering, and how they put their own spin on the dress saying, “This is a dress I cut in half because it was too big on me, and tied it up…Thrifting is great because you can get the clothes you like, and you’re not contributing to fast fashion and all the terrible things that the fashion industry does.

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

Katie, a senior tabling with the Human Development Club, chose to look through what she already had to put an outfit together. Wearing green bike shorts with a camo-printed rain jacket and a tiger shirt, Katie said “I’m very casual and comfortable, I like to feel comfortable in my body and what I'm wearing…this is my only rain jacket, so the camo coincidentally worked out.”

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

Others, like sophomore Keiyara, searched for an outfit specifically for the event. She said, “I went with the theme…I wanted to do some animal print, and I found exactly what I wanted on SheIn…I also had a backup outfit, a snakeskin dress, but this ended up being the winner”.

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

Arshiya, a senior, showed off her personal style with neutral colors, wearing brown boots and beige pants which matched her tan hijab.

She said, “I would say my personal style is more simplistic, minimalist, neutral…today was a little bit out of my comfort zone.”

Arshiya opted for a flowy top with a leafy print evocative of the rainforest, saying, “this was the one thing I found in my closet that had some type of jungle theme to it, but even then I’m showing my personal touch which is very nude colors.”

Photo Credit: Nolan Adelsky

The person who may have had the most memorable outfit at Block Party, however, matched the theme the least. Going under the moniker the Black Owl, the anonymous superhero wore a skintight black suit with red gloves, knee socks, and shoes, complete with a homemade blue cape and headpiece, and a yellow N-95 mask that resembled a beak.

The superhero stated, “I’ve been seeing a lot of crime happening in the Albany area….I figured, you know, I actually might try to make a difference in this community.”

While the Black Owl isn’t actually a UAlbany student, he tabled with Fisheye Media (formerly Albany Student Television), who is producing a new docuseries about him called Albany’s Acclaimed.

According to the Black Owl, the idea behind the costume was, “I started to think about something that strikes fear into the hearts of criminals. I don’t know if you’ve seen what an owl looks like without its feathers, but that (expletive) looks really creepy.”

We may be in upstate New York, but UAlbany looked straight out of the Amazon!


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