Interview: FS director Ally Ferrans

Image: Tibor Galam
Image: Stuart McClay
Image: Stuart McClay

Deemed by the Sunday Times as a ‘fixture of Scotland’s social calendar’, St Andrews’ Charity Fashion show has consistently raised thousands of pounds for charity annually – all while looking fantastic. As the day of the event – 15 February – approaches, the show’s director, Alastair Ferrans, opens up to The Saint on what we can expect this year from this legendary St Andrews event in 2014.

The Saint: What is going to be different about St Andrews Charity Fashion Show (FS) this year from previous years?

Alastair Ferrans: We always try to look at what the guest feedback has been on previous years and make changes based on that – but I don’t want to give away too many surprises! On the catwalk the most exciting change from last year is the number and calibre of Scottish designers we have involved.  Although we still work with established premium brands such as Topman and Hackett, we’re also trying to bring in up and coming Scottish labels that can use FS as a platform. We have Judy Clark, Rebecca Torres – labels coming through that are right on trend with this year’s theme ‘Bright Young Things.’

TS: Tell us about the Young Designer Award. What made the top 5 Young Designer Award finalists stand out?

AF: The Young Designer Award is now in its fourth year. We think it’s great because there are very few platforms for young designers in the UK to get noticed and achieve their big break. FS is important for these designers because we have a lot of press, and many designers from bigger labels in attendance who can see their work. Each year, the calibre of applicants has gotten better and better, with more applicants and interest in the award. I think we have done well this year documenting the progress of their designs through our online editorial collections.

Image: Tibor Galam
Image: Tibor Galam

TS: Are there any specific media outlets coming to FS that you’re excited about?

AF: This year, very excitingly, the New York Times fashion section is coming. On top of that, we have Tatler – and The Saint of course. The majority of our guests are students here, so it’s very important that student journalism within the town gets behind the show.

TS: What made the committee choose the Association for International Cancer Research?

AF: Working with AICR has been brilliant this year. They’re an incredible charity with global reach despite being located just next to Madras. So few students know about the amazing work they do funding cancer research projects around the world on a scale that is unbelievable. It’s been a real pleasure to work so closely with them, not just in raising money but also on smaller projects. They’re organising a Chariots of Fire beach run which our models helped promote, as well as launching their Smartypants campaign at our Starfields event during Freshers’ Week. They’ve been very generous in arranging for our committee to visit the cancer research centre in Dundee to get a better of understanding of what we’re working towards.

TS: Do you have any exclusive details on the FS after party?

AF: The after party will be called Stop Start, as in show stops, the after party starts. Having taken into account all of last years feedback it’s going to be fantastic. Excitingly, it’s presented by Yacht Week and ticket sales are this Friday. All the details can be found on

Image: Tibor Galam
Image: Tibor Galam

TS: Who will be the after party’s headlining act?

AF: Our DJ ACB will be playing a set at the after party, but our headline act will be John Christian – it’s pretty exciting to have him in St Andrews. He’s primarily based in the Netherlands but really went big when he remixed ‘I Could Be The One’, Romero’s wildly successful collaboration with Avicii.

TS: What’s your favourite part about being director so far?

AF: Apart from this interview [laughs], I think working with such a nice group of people. FS has been a big part of my social life at St Andrews and I’ve loved being involved. People spend a lot of money coming to the show so we need to deliver value on that by working hard whilst not taking ourselves too seriously. We always try to put on as good a show as possible so people think ‘wow I want to be involved in that’ and apply for next year’s committee so it can continue to improve year on year.

TS: How are preparations going?

AF: We start building the venue in five days, which will make for a very intense two weeks, but I think they will be the best two weeks of the year. The whole team is just really excited to see 12 months of planning come to fruition!


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