The first thing most students know about Label Fashion Show is that it is a completely new addition to the St Andrews (already quite full) fashion scene. It aims to be a completely original event and presents a modern goal: to provide a fashion show that promotes body positivity over fashion trends or conventional beauty standards. According to their website (labelledstandrews.co.uk, for anyone interested – it’s well worth checking out!), Label plans to “showcase and promote the daily experiences of a wide range of people through fashion.” Their focus is on diversity, feminism and intersectionality, which is definitely a departure from the established St Andrews fashion show line-up. If nothing else, Label is sure to provide a different take on a St Andrews tradition.
This bold goal is the driving force behind Label and has been a clear part of its message from the start. At the Label Launch Party, event founder Jo Boon (who is also coordinator for the Feminist Society) and the rest of the Label committee announced that traditional physical beauty is not a factor in the event’s model selection process. Instead, models who had a real belief in Label’s cause would be chosen. As part of the process, the individuals trying out would be interviewed in order to give them a chance to express themselves, their passion for the show and the reason they are invested in Label’s mission. The lack of physical requirements is meant to deliver a diverse group of enthusiastic models who represent a wide range of cultures while also bringing their own individualism to the show.
The inclusivity of the event has already succeeded in stirring interest, showing clearly that the students of St Andrews are ready for an event that is actually representative of everyone here and of the diversity that exists within this town. In fact, the show explicitly aims to be nontraditional and to focus on identities rather than glamour or elegance. According to the website: ‘Our focus at all times will be on gender, mental health, disabilities and sexual identity. The fashion will be a way into exploring these areas.”
In order to achieve this, the show will comprise modelling, performances and photography. This unorthodox mix promises to provide a creative and fresh perspective on issues that are important to many St Andrews students and that affect them in their everyday lives. Of course, since the event is so new, it is not guaranteed that Label will be able to pull all of this off. But if they succeed, the results could very well be ground-breaking.
The team is already off to a good start, as their successful launch party (held in Week 9 at the Adamson bar) demonstrated. The focus on inner beauty is the driving force behind Label – and what makes it unique amongst St Andrews’ many other fashion shows. So it makes sense that the theme of the launch party was: “Come as you are.”
While this may be unexpected for seasoned fashion show attendees, it exemplifies the committee’s commitment to their mission. As the Label website states: ‘This kind of show matters because we want to bring marginalised identities into the spotlight; we want to show that what some label “ugly” is beautiful.’ Using design and clothing to communicate this message is a bold move, but it is also one that promises a level of approachability and freshness that events centered around such weighty topics often fail to provide. If the launch party is any indication, the Label fashion show will be a true celebration of St Andrews’ diversity and creativity.
So what exactly is Label Fashion show? Their website advertises an event ‘based around clothes, accessories and design,’ although more concrete details are scarce. The show ‘will rely entirely on fashion and presentation but the focus is on what is communicated by that,’ rather than on the fashion itself. In fact, the show will not feature a runway, in keeping with the originality of Label’s approach. Given the brazenness of its mission and the obvious enthusiasm of everyone involved, Label is not to be missed. Stay tuned for more details about the April 2016 event.