“Origins”, the title of this year’s St Andrews Charity Fashion Show, kicks off the 2019 fashion show season this Saturday, February 16. I was curious to know what would make this year’s event different, if anything at all, and was invited by Head of Press Indigo Jones to have a tour of tech rehearsal and talk to some members of committee who could better explain the team’s vision for this year.
I first met Hunter Pruitt, Creative Director for the fashion show. Pruitt is a seasoned committee member having been on teams for various St Andrews events. This is his second year with FS. As Creative Director, he is the mastermind behind the theme and the overall creative vision for the show.
His passion for the theme and what it represents was evident the longer I spoke to him;
“I was really hooked on this idea of truth, and when I was told I needed to pull that back, I got the idea of ‘Origins’. It’s exploring who we are, where we come from, and where we are going.”
When asked what would make FS different than it has been in the past, Pruitt stressed to me the importance of having a show that made a statement.
“We have this platform, so it’s important that we use it to say something relevant. With Origins, we wanted to break apart what it means to be human and have social commentary on whats important to us and the ways in which we communicate that and with each other. How do we play a part in the artificial realities that contemporary society has become?”
The show explores this theme in chapters. Chapter 1, is, as you might assume, the origins. Not a lot is developed as of yet, a lot of more subdued clothing and repetitive music reflecting back to a more primitive time. Chapter 2 is Elemental, representing a time where human enterprise was less apparent.
“Here you’ll see a lot of young designers showing their upbringing and heritage and how it has affected them through their fashion.”
This, Pruitt explained to me, segues nicely into Chapter 3- Human. This chapter showcases the advent of human ingenuity which includes fashion and the digital world. Fashion, like humanity, evolves, and this will be seen with the clothes the models are wearing and the more eclectic music. Jonathon Quow, a student performer, will even be performing live.
“Were trying to get people to question themselves, that’s what we’re getting at it with this theme. We need to always be evaluating ourselves, always thinking, we can’t become complacent.”
The theme is also a social commentary, however, of where we are and could be headed, thus Chapter 4- Artificial.
“There’s this concept of how we communicate with each other. You’ll notice some hearts in the show, like Instagram hearts that can be so important to us. There is this sort of hybrid reality, this breaking of the boundary between our real lives and the digital ones and it becomes hard to discern between them. I mean, you have the irony of using technology to escape technology, but are we different people online than in real life? We don’t know, but it’s the question we pose.”
I was impressed by how much thought went into the creative vision of the show. I couldn’t help but point out that a lot of people could find the theme ironic, this theme of humility and self-reflection through a medium that many would consider superficial and elitist.
“We also have to remember that 10 per cent of the people are actually interested in the fashion, so we work really hard to make it a holistic experience. We actively want to attract anti-fashion people,” Simona Mezzina, co-Head of Fashion, explained to me. “Crazy stuff doesn’t automatically make a great designer, and creativity takes different paths.”
The other Head of Fashion, Hannah Symonds, added that that’s why they sought such young designers from all over the world, as from London to South Korea to America.
“All in all, we’re really excited for this year’s show. We’re really critical and were honest with ourselves about what didn’t work about last year.”
After talking to them, seeing the passion they had for their vision and statement and of course, the charity to which they donate, Social Bite, I can honestly say I am as well. Collect your wristbands this Saturday at Lower College Lawn between 9 am and 12 pm and for more information check out their website: standrewsfashion.com/launch.