You’ve seen it plastered on the pavements around town. You’ve heard the chat of excited students. Maybe you’ve even received an invite to the main event. As St Andrews’ very own fashion season continues, DONT WALK is back for another year on Saturday 28 February and it promises to be as eccentric as ever. I sat down with DW’s Head of Press, Emma Freer, to find out what we can expect this year from St Andrew’s most elusive fashion show.
“DONT WALK has always been about subverting expectations and celebrating paradox, so [the show] will be taking a lot of inspiration from surrealism,” Emma explains and continues to fill me in on the show’s mystical theme: “Mind/Matter interfused with the spirit of surrealism”. Emma said, “Buried in the show’s seemingly nonsensical images are opportunities to see the world and our place in it in a radically different way. In Mind/Matter, the models don’t just walk. Using the eye of an artist or a poet, and not that of a scientist, they explore the realm of the unconscious.”
Not sure what that means? Me either, but DONT WALK is nothing if not a little out-there. What I can gather is that if you’re feeling guilty about ditching your studies to indulge in an evening of drunken revelry, you can at least use the excuse that you were exploring the world of metaphysics through the show’s abstract imagery, ethereal notions and “realm-of-the-unconscious-exploring” models. Also, I’m told that there will be “a lot of champagne on the tables” so even if metaphysics isn’t your thing, who doesn’t enjoy sipping on bubbles whilst gazing lustfully at hot models and beautiful clothes? On the subject of clothes, Emma is keen to underline that this year, fashion is taking precedence. She drops the names of well-known designers whose pieces will be featuring in the show, like Michael Kors, Lanvin and Salvatore Ferragamo. As always, the event will also showcase the lesser-known talents of up-and-coming designers, like Tabitha Dukes.
Wondering what you can wear to compete with those high-end designer labels? In spite of there being no standard dress code, Emma advises that ladies dare to leave the LBD at home for the evening and mix things up in jumpsuits, skirts and shorts. For the gents: bright blazers will keep you on the right side of eccentric. Careful to make sure everyone wears what their most comfortable in, Emma adds: “DONT WALK is the one night of the social calendar when you’re really encouraged to be as original as you can be.” Maintaining the format of previous years, tickets to the upcoming show are by invite-only, something which DONT WALK has been criticised for in the past. What does Emma have to say about the show’s perceived ‘elitism’? “I totally understand the perception that it is elitist but that isn’t the goal at all,” she responds. “Part of it is just space limitations. We also want to make sure that the models feel comfortable and not exposed or marketed.” Given that DONT WALK is notorious for its “scandalous” fashion, which sees some of the models scantily clad this seems like a valid reason to me. After all, how many of us would be brave enough to strut down a catwalk fully-clothed in front of our peers let alone do it in a state of undress?
Fortunately, if you’ve missed out on a ticket to the show this year, you needn’t fret – you don’t need to skip DONT WALK 2015 altogether. The after-party – which sells out every year – is priced at reasonable £20, with the entire cost of the ticket going directly to DONT WALK’s chosen charity, The Robin Hood Foundation, which aims to eradicate poverty in NYC.
After chatting to Emma, I’m officially psyched. With designer labels, a theatrical-sounding show and a good cause to top it all off ; DONT WALK 2015 looks set to be as unmissable as ever.