Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 18, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Exploring the avant-garde: Brakhage documents experimentalist

Seeking security and music on the internet

Vani thrives off intimate atmosphere

Casing the joint for a little funked up house

Celebrity sightings

Groovin' around with fashion

New Wahlberg film too weak to corrupt

Groovin' around with fashion

Photos by Geoff Robins/Gazette
I'M READY FOR THE CATWALK. The Underground Groove Fashion Show looks to continue its successful tradition this weekend with Boogie Wonderland, held at the downtown club DV8.

By Sara Martel

Gazette Staff

Not many people associate London with glitter and extravagance. Forests, conservatism and country clubs maybe, but not so much the glam. Western's Underground Groove Club disagrees and they have the funk and the fashion to prove it. Once again, The Underground Groove has set up the runway for their annual AIDS charity fashion show.

Despite the title, Boogie Wonderland, there are no promises Dirk Diggler will make an appearance. But executive producer Elise Tremblay does promise plenty of excitement and fun.

"It is going to be groovy and full of glitz, glamour and a lot of excitement," she remarks. "We feature independent designers mostly from London, but also from Toronto. You cannot limit a designer's [work] to the title "Rave Wear," but mostly funky street wear is what I call it."

This year the Underground Groove is certainly earning the groove aspect of its title with an ultra-funky dance theme. Helping them with this change in appearance is a change in venue.

"It's sort of a disco type theme." Tremblay explains. "We have ventured off from Centennial Hall this year and we were looking for something different. We wanted a funky, techno, dance club atmosphere. The DV8 dance club was perfect for this."

Another change this year is the provision of both an early and late show. Included in the price of the late show tickets is cover for an after-party. The festivities will offer the sounds of DJs like Kenny Glasgow in one room and hip hop and R&B in another.

Despite the changes, the message and goal of the fashion show remains the same as it has for almost a decade – to raise awareness and funds for the AIDS cause. All of the money generated by the show goes directly to London's John Gordan Home. This volunteer hospice provides 24-hour care for people with AIDS or HIV.

Tremblay does not fear the glamorous and entertaining atmosphere of the fashion show threatens the impact of its serious message about AIDS.

"I still think the message is getting out there, that this is an AIDS fashion show," she comments. "We still raise money for AIDS/HIV patients, we just go about it in a different way [than other charities]. We have a lot of fun. I think that is why people like it and come back. We offer a bit of everything, like fashion or a bit of nudity, to keep people interested. But we do not go over the top."

Along with fun and entertainment, the Underground Groove provides AIDS/HIV education by showing clips about AIDS facts and the John Gordan Home throughout the show, as well as handing out condoms. The club also emphasizes the acceptance of all races, cultures and sexual orientations.

Between the fashion, the glitter, the message and the charity, anyone who enters this Friday's Boogie Wonderland is likely leave with a different and much improved idea of London's groove potential.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999