A new year, a new concept, a new fashion show. This does seem like a slight contradiction due to the large number of fashion shows in our town, but as Label founder Jo Boon said: “Fashion is the culture [in St Andrews].” Boon chose to work with this culture to promote body consciousness and beauty in its many forms. Despite only having a recreational background in fashion, Boon has done an incredible job of creating this month’s most discussed event.
I have covered many events ranging from theatre to balls, and never have I felt so welcome. The Label team organised a press meeting for the morning of the show and was available to answer every question directed at them. This excellent rapport continued throughout the show, with committee members checking on members of the press continually. This service was extended to the whole audience, making the premise of inclusivity really shine through. Of particular commendation is the lack of any VIP section, which all other fashion shows in town have.
The Label team has garnered high profile designers over the course of the year, ranging from Neon Moon Lingerie (a company that does not sexualise or objectify women) to Phase Eight. Sponsors include the Adamson, Ted Baker and Swarovski. Just about every company that was approached by the team was incredibly enthusiastic about the project, a fact surely indicative of Boon’s wonderfully well thought-out vision.
Half of the night’s profits are set to go to MIND UK, a charity that aims to support those afflicted by mental health issues and obliterate the stigma associated with them. While no representatives of MIND UK were present, representatives from local charity shops that had provided some of the clothes for the show were, and they were clearly enjoying it.
One particular failing of the evening as an event was the lack of any sort of decoration. Single balloons adorned the few scattered tables, but otherwise the room was bare. The only aspect that made the room look a little less like the typical Club 601 was the lighting, often a blend of vivid colours. With such a large committee, more decoration could easily have been facilitated a n d used to create a slightly better ambience.
That being said, DJ Jakob Douling provided an eclectic mix of popular music, which had the audience dancing before the show, during intermission and straight into the after party. While the venue was only half full, those who did attend were all smiles and clearly enjoyed themselves. It is a pity that more people did not choose to attend the event, but since this is only Label’s first year, it was not a bad start.
As for the show itself, regular walks were intermingled with voiceovers recorded by the models, who recounted why Label was important to them. A variety of personas emerged on the catwalk, making for a show quite unlike any other. While a few of the models looked a little frightened, and several struggled with the idea of walking, instead performing more of a march, confidence was at the forefront. Connecting well with the audience, the models presented look after look with their own personalised touch, some wearing their “armour” as featured in a first semester photo shoot.
The Blue Angels and Shimmy Soc provided dance interludes throughout. The Blue Angels offered routines of tap, jazz and hip-hop, and they truly shone. All were on fine form; of particular mention are Lindsay Karman and Youngeun Lee, who thrilled the audience with a sequence of fouettés. The addition of dance to the show was clever, as it showcased the fact that dance can provide a source of inspiration for people to feel free and lose themselves in the music.
Label was met with much criticism during preparations for the show. Dealing with such a sensitive matter is bound to attract negativity, though, and it must be remembered that Label will not appeal to everyone. The show is there to welcome all if they want to be welcomed and recognises that one particular thing will not appeal to all. For those who did choose to listen to the message, I laud you. For those who did not, Label is set to continue in the future and encourages all to become involved.
Asked to sum up what Label means to her, Press Director Kim Kay said, “It’s amazing!” Her message is that if Label has made a difference for at least one person, then the committee achieved its goal. I would say that this goal has certainly been attained. Label is an undeniable success, and I look forward to seeing how they progress next year.