On July 30th, I had the pleasure of being an invited journalist for the Blake Martin production- iCandy. Although I had heeeaaaarrrrrd about Blake Martin Productions Company, I had yet to witness one…….Let’s just say that I was pleasantly surprised.
Each of Blake’s fashion shows has a format that audiences and performers have come to know and love. After selecting the songs and theme(s) for a particular show, the production opens with a filmed or live scene that provides background on the upcoming fashion. Following the opening sequence, models strut their stuff and show off the works of up and coming designers. The action of the show bounces between acting scenes, dynamic dance routines, and thematic fashion pieces.
Located on the IIT campus on 34th and Federal, the auditorium was full of supporters of not only Blake Martin,
but the featured cast and designers. Demilobo from WGCI was an engaging host throughout the evening, keeping the audience laughing and maintaining great energy throughout the 2 plus hour show.
The opening scene was that of a barber shop. The sequence held my attention, but the lack of coordination amongst the dancers wardrobe in this scene was distracting. Although the moves were nothing less than HOT, I would have loved to see a little bit more theme in the uniform, especially during the top of the show. To my liking, this did not continue throughout the show; Subsequent scenes showed the dancers unified in wardrobe and allowed the dance moves to stand out that much more!
The music did not disappoint the least bit. During every scene (dance, acting, and fashion) I wanted to dance on the sidelines with the performers, or be sure to go home and YouTube the tracks that were unfamiliar to me.
There were a variety of segments throughout the show, including “Saved by the Bell” filled with denim and white t-shirts and new school kids versus old school kids “Glitz and Glam”(after 5 scene) was my favorite fashion sequence while “Rain” and “Dominatrix” were SOOOOOO VERY SEXY, I wanted to learn the dance moves and purchase some of the outfits! Visuals included- a bed on stage, whips, umbrellas, and boxers…..
Overall, I believe that the fashion aspects of the show had lots of potential, but that for the most part it felt more like an entertainment show with fashion included. I am convinced that Blake Martin can produce a show where fashion comes across equally as important as dance, music, and theme, but a few more elements are necessary to bring that to life. For example, dynamic make up and stand out accessories, would have easily taken the fashion portions of the show from a 5 to 8 on a ten scale.
I most appreciated Blake’s choice to have the designers talk about their product, their history with fashion, and the direction of their clothing line. It was great to get to know and like (for the most part) young, fresh fashion faces. I also liked that the models were all shapes, colors, and sizes, showing that there is a platform for people in the entertainment industry, no matter, weight, height, or other physical feautres.
During the show, the World Performance Team, graced the stage. A drill team for children 12 and under, the World Performance Team almost stole the show (I’ll explain the almost later). These young boys were professional, entertaining, and did not miss a beat in their drill steps. I think this was a great addition to the diversity and creativity of icandy.
Sooooooo, the show stoppers of the evening were Tony and Blake Martin himself. Tony was one of the fiercest models I have EVER seen, and I was shocked to learn that it was his first modeling and design
performance of any kind. Blake Martin made his debut in the “Vogue” scene, showing the audience why he IS the entertainment guru in which he is publicized. Honestly, Blakes energy took the dancers from a
9 to an 11, making the end of the show a high end home run! Blake Martin is a world class choreographer!
The evenings featured designers were:
Blake Martin productions are self-funded by ticket sales, which helps determines the amount of models required for each show, the number of scenes, and even how many spotlights will be available. For each show Blake casts over 40 models more than needed to account for turnover. “Working in a production is very strenuous on your time. But they (models/ dancers) are not necessarily prepared for the time commitment and the intensity
of my rehearsals, etc. Some producers are very lenient, I am not that way.”
The work ethic was obvious, as the performers were professional, confident in their actions, and “brough it” to
every scene. I would recommend a Blake Martin production to others interested in finding out more about this rising star. The ticket sales were reasonable, the location was convenient, and the energy of the crowd and performers were positive and supportive.
Definitely a good way to spend a few hours of your weekend.