Sitara, the Asian-fusion fashion show, opened with their first event of the year in Mammacita’s St Andrews on Thursday night. The restaurant was littered with decoration sourced from India and the Asian continent, creating a colourful and vibrant theme for the evening.

As a sold-out event, it was always bound to be busy. The party was a very slow start up, but it was good to see people making the most of their ticket prices. Arguably the best thing about this was that there was never a queue to get to the bar. The close quarters of Mammacita’s tightened the atmosphere more. However, this worked well in Sitara’s favour. With outside dedicated to Shisha smoking, the atmosphere was a perfect blend between Asian culture and heritage with a modern St Andrews twist. The only downside was that the Shisha was so popular that the outside garden got a little busy after the initial lull of the beginning.

The Saint received a comment from Sitara regarding the success of their event. According to Jessica, a member of the committee, “our goal was to start the semester by introducing a brand new Asian Fusion event to the streets of St Andrews. Raja Haze combined the colourful old-world atmosphere of Rajasthan with a smoky, decadent lounge-type shisha bar. As we continue to push and merge the boundaries of culture, we’ve discovered that St Andrews is the perfect microcosm to explore our collective limits.”

As for value-for-money, the event was on the pricy side. It would have been nice to have had a discounted menu – especially as it was not so clear as to what the ticket price gave you. However, it provided novelty of cocktail culture, which we rarely see here; which should definitely be commended.

The music was one of the highlights of the night. Who would have thought that Ed Sheeran and Bollywood would work so well as a combination? It was good to see the DJ experimenting with, quite literally, Asian fusion music, which gave a bit of everything to people who just wanted to dance. The committee also felt a personal connection to some of the areas of Asian-fusion explored, including Margaux Lautier, a member of the committee. She said “growing up in Hong Kong exposed me to a fascinating melting pot where foreign cultures merge into a collective identity. To me, Sitara creates this community, and brings home a bit closer.”

Additionally, it was exciting to be immersed in areas of fashion, food and culture which you don’t always see as a cross-section in St Andrews. Given the popularity of the event, it was unsurprising that it took a sartorial turn.  The committee’s design and decorations helped to spread cultural ideas from across the Asian continent whilst also bringing a fusion with more traditional Western music and clothing. Mammacita’s as a venue was both genius and disheartening. It would have been nice to have had some more Asian-inspired elements on the night, especially given the numerous Indian food vendors throughout the town. Additionally, the number of tables reserved meant that there was not as much space as would’ve been desirable – but the committee worked well with what they had. Overall though, this created a hazy, exciting, but not claustrophobic, atmosphere.

The fashion-show element of Sitara seemed a little jumbled on the night, without a clear vision of exactly what the 2018 event will do differently this year. However, if the committee ever decides to cancel their main event – they definitely have a good back-up plan here.

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