Last Saturday the long awaited Catwalk Fashion Show came to 601, bringing with it a plethora of diverse fashion brands as well as support for great causes. The most charitable of fashion shows, revelers could be happy knowing that 100% of the money raised went towards The Scottish Refugee Council, Save the Children and Families First, and what’s more tickets themselves were at reasonable costs rather than the exorbitant prices that you can find at other fashion shows. With your tickets you get the usual goodie bag filled with messages from sponsors (although this time chocolate was involved) and available on site they were giving out pick’n’mix as well as selling a special Nardini’s designed sorbet specially made for the night. All pretty impressive for an event that is usually written off because it’s run by Charities Campaign and not super up itself like Don’t Walk or FS.
It’s undeniable that this year’s event was brilliantly organised. Once the doors opened to the stage there was a smooth transition to the show itself without all of that frustrating waiting around that you usually have to suffer through. The event itself was sold out so I was surprised that the stage room seemed a little empty, however this just meant that everyone had a brilliant view of the stage. I also thought that the staging itself was really cool – as having the DJ on stage with the models made the night feel like a professional event rather than something student run. The visual effects throughout the night were really impressive and I loved that they had the names of the designers on the screens around the stage so that potential customers knew who to be interested in.
Now comes for the more critical part of the review: although, for the record, I really hate complaining about such a good cause. This year’s theme was the slightly random and ambiguous concept of ‘paradigm shift’, something that doesn’t really make sense and wasn’t truly involved in the show beyond a giant light sign that says ‘PARADIGM’ at the back of the room. Furthermore, the thing I had the biggest problem with was the fashion itself. While the team had obviously strived to find as many interesting and up and coming designers as possible, there was almost no cohesion in the show itself. There were some designers I enjoyed: Sarah Murphy with her crisscross of tulle or Jack Crawford with his edgy t-shirt designs, but there were others I just didn’t ‘get’ at all. Some of it looked professional but they would then be followed by not only something I didn’t like, but something that was completely un-cohesive and unconnected. Brightly colored sportswear would be followed with muted ladies dresses and it just didn’t work as a show. Maybe the focus should have been on creating a smoother line up rather than just fitting as many designers in as possible? Furthermore, the music of the show, particularly at the after party, didn’t really seem to work together. It kind of felt like someone had just thrown a playlist together in the final moments of getting ready.
Overall it was a great night, definitely something I want to see again. While there were some improvements to be made, I think everyone involved can be really proud they threw a good night out for a worthy cause, representing experienced designers and up-and-comers alike.
Photo: Tom Oldridge