It is that time of the year again: dresses are chosen, suits are pressed and hair is perfectly coiffed. Whilst this sounds like the inevitable pampering routine prior to any event, it is in fact where all of St Andrews puts their most fashionable, Louboutin-clad foot forward. It is now fashion show season.
Excluding dRAG Walk, the first, and arguably most prominent, fashion show will be the St Andrews Fashion Show (FS), held on the 14 February. Now in its 24th year, FS has raised over £380,000 for charity, £28,000 of that raised from last year alone going to AICR (The Association for International Cancer Research). Moreover, this show marks the culmination of the Young Designer Award (YDA), whose work then struts the catwalk to the rousing applause of 1500 students and international media outlets. To say that this award is important is an understatement, it helps designers achieve international recognition alongside other brands and designers who are already established household names such as Topman and Nicole Farhi. It is a springboard to near instant success, coupled with a cash prize of £1000.
There’s no doubt then that this committee has been raising both money and fashion designers’ reputations, putting on outstanding shows and letting St Andrews let their hair down in the most wild way since 1991. But what about this year?
Well, that is a good question! After having contacted Executive Director Chris Travis and Creative Director Katie McNicol and receiving no answer, your guess is as good as mine!
What I am certain of though, is that FS will be a party. As I type with the accompaniment of the FS 2014 music mix (available on SoundCloud for the curious, an example of which is below), I am washed over with memories of last year. Yes, the models and the clothes will be beautiful, the venue an awe-inspiring space, but the music and the atmosphere of the catwalk is what strikes me most as the reason to be there. It is an overwhelmingly exciting experience and fusion of colour and senses that no other event can match, with a kick-ass soundtrack that will have you dancing in your painfully fashionable heels.
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However, the rarely asked question of many of the student body and, indeed, myself, is how this year’s show will compare to increasingly professional reputation and stature of DONT WALK (DW) and Sitara*? DW’s re- branding into a slick, modern aesthetic has begun to shift the perception that FS will always be the top dog in the St Andrew’s fashion stakes. Additionally, with Sitara’s beautiful meet-the-models campaign it is obvious that FS now has to be better than ever to prove itself.
Omar Ali, a member of the Marketing and Advertising team for FS, said, “this year, we [the committee] are taking on a much edgier approach to our creative theme than in previous years. We are really pushing the boundary between dreams and reality as we explore the pressing issues of our time.”
When asked to further delve into this year’s theme, Ali told The Saint that FS has used the marketing image of ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ in much of their material, to question whether or not our eyes really are open to the problems of the world or are we living in a dream reality. They aim to make people question the difference between dreams and reality, and the show is one way to do so.”
Even with knowledge of this catchy new theme, we still are left to wonder if FS will retain its elite status. Ali seems to think it will. “While we decline to comment on the DONT WALK rebrand, FS has a lot of things in the pipeline that will be released in the next two weeks,” he said.
With just two weeks until the first catwalk show of the season, Ali has promised that FS is just as revamped and edgy as it’s competition, with “lots more to come and to get excited for”.
FS has kept their cards worryingly close to their chest and given barely anything away. So, we have no choice but to wait with bated breath to see if this works for them.
But, I have faith. If you’re one of the lucky people to have been placed onto a table this year, you have a pass to one of, if not the best, event on the St Andrews social calendar. Enjoy it!