Runway season is nearly upon us, heralded by the return of the illustrious St Andrews Charity Fashion Show. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, FS is the largest student-run fashion show in the United Kingdom.

Spotlights glaring, outstretched hands reaching out towards models, stilettos strutting to the rhythm of a pounding bass, and champagne being guzzled straight from the bottle: these are the reasons why FS shows are a knockout each year. The paragon of haute couture, FS characterises much of the university culture and contributes to the somewhat glamorous image that St Andrews projects to outsiders. In years past, FS has attracted over a thousand guests per annum, as well as the much sought-after attention of Tatler magazine.

The theme of the show this year goes by “On the Pulse,” and is meant to capture the vitality and energy of the fashion industry today. Fashion is no longer reserved for the affluent and well-heeled minority, but is growing and evolving to encompass a wider range of lifestyles at a rapid pace. The theme is designed to capture the dynamism of fashion and consumerism today, and in particular strives to pay homage to the generation of millennials who propel the industry forward. FS Head of Marketing Gabriela Flax comments that the theme will be incorporated through the use of graphics which will be on full blast around the venue.

The Charity Fashion Show’s 25th year of running is a milestone anniversary, and so a special, celebratory weekend will be launched. The night before the show, a black-tie gala will be held to host the FS committee as well as previous committee alumni, past and current models, sponsors, and town officials. The newly collected photographic archives will be featured at the gala, exhibiting almost 100 images from past FS shows, along with a video detailing the history of FS. Guests can enjoy the archive photos and video in Lower College Hall during ticket pickup on Saturday morning.

This year, the music of FS will take an exciting turn. The Head of Music has produced the opening from scratch, and the beats during the show will parallel the theme itself—and synthesis of current hits and new, up-and-coming artists whose sounds have yet to be heard by large-scale audiences. As the 25th anniversary of FS is a significant year, the track list is also designed to include throwbacks reminiscent of earlier shows.

With its diverse fusion of both student designers and seasoned fashion industry veterans, FS is adding fresh new talent while continuing to honour tradition. Over 30 designers will be featured during the show, including many designers from previous years, such as Serge de Nimes. Brooks Brothers, John Varvatos, Theory, and Chiara Ferragni are some of the big new names that will be showcased this year.

Compared to previous shows, the visual layout of the venue – in particular the runway – has been revamped. Custom graphics will be displayed during the show, and refreshments will be available for guests upon arrival. Security and logistics have been tightened up to ensure smooth arrivals and transitions to the after party.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Veuve Clicquot, Eden Mill, FIXR, The Fairmont, Propercorn, Rekorderlig, Peroni, and several others.

As for surprises and goodies that guests will be able to take home with them as a memento of the evening, the committee is keeping exact details on the low. The official auction album will be published online the week before the show, but glitzy vacations and Fendi handbags are highly hinted at by the committee. Fendi is also speculated to make an appearance in goodie bags that guests will receive at the event.

FS is honouring one designer with the BID 2017 Young Designers Award (YDA), which will be selected by the general public through voting which be released live online next week. The YDA collection is hyped up to be unlike anything FS has showcased before, and will breathe new life into that section of the show. The FS Facebook page will be updated with information on voting as well as the official after party and YDA photoshoots, which will be released over the coming days.

Along with providing a platform for young designers in the UK to establish a name and reputation for themselves, in its past few decades of its existence, FS has raised a whopping total of around £500,000 for worthwhile charities. This year, the organisation will be collaborating with the Brain Tumour charity and proceeds from the show will be dedicated to research and awareness of brain tumours throughout the United Kingdom.

Abundant in hype and originality, the FS 25th anniversary is setting up to be a dizzying display of ritz, sophistication, and glamour that threatens to topple even the most acclaimed of St Andrean events off their golden pedestal.

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