Sitara* promised St Andrews an unforgettable night. With their preview shows, cocktail nights and extensive pre-show coverage, it was hard not to expect the best. They certainly delivered. They delivered in a way which was unusual: it is not an event which focuses directly on one aspect of fashion, nor a particular fashion aesthetic (although the organisers have termed it ‘Asian fusion’). Sitara* is both a main and a fringe event in St Andrews; it’s not quite like FS or Don’t Walk but it has carved a distinctive and powerful reputation for itself.
This reputation was definitely upheld. The music and atmosphere created by Sitara* was revolutionary – songs you knew, could dance to and enjoy were powerful in keeping the crowd entertained. It was the fun that really made it; it was the kind of event where you felt like you could dance in the corner, take selfies and wave your hands in the air without caring. From ‘Faithless’ to ‘The Shape of You’, it was a refreshing change to be able to dance along with the models – rather than just watching them.
Sitara* has created a special niche for themselves by continuing to include elements of a dance show with the fashion, it was an opportunity to really feel female power in the dance moves of the group. Perhaps, best of all, was Gurjit Singh’s drumming on the dhol. With light effects, vibrant colours, a unique sound and songs we could sing to, it did what events do not always seem to prioritise. It had fun. All events have their dramas and here it was the ultimate enemy, frenemy and bane of event organisers lives: the weather. Mud to rival Glastonbury after a rainstorm was present at Pondsite and the outside vendors deserve great praise for actually making it to the event – trucks and cars had gotten stuck in the mud. The show did work and the tent was surprisingly warm; if the tent had been any bigger, this wouldn’t have worked. It was the intimacy and the closeness which made Sitara* appeal – just as the clothes themselves appeared approachable.
Special mention must be made to the make-up. The bold, eighties inspired eye colours made the models stand out – they were just as important to watch as the clothes they were wearing. There were 15 designers represented in the show, with Stella McCartney and Relax Baby Be Cool standing out. It wasn’t so much the ‘out there’ fashion that impressed but the approachable: ‘I love it where can I get?’ that really made Sitara* appeal.
Sitara* wanted to deliver ‘Progression’. What they delivered was exactly that: the expectation. They gave people what they wanted – an evening of fun, something unique, and clothes they could see themselves wearing. Overall, it gave a change of pace and progress– never a bad thing in the tiny town that we call home.