After the unfortunate cancellation of the planned March 2nd event due to unforeseeable extreme weather conditions, DONT WALK rose up unmistakably renewed and untouched from the inferno. While having an event almost a year in the making canceled and reworked in a little over a month caused some furore on Facebook with several attendees seeking to sell their tickets, I applaud the DONT WALK committee for clearly using this time to ensure that they delivered an event to remember.
Unlike what could have occurred, the twenty minute journey from St Andrews to Bowhouse, the new location in St Monans, lent a lively air of anticipation to the experience, and after finally arriving at the venue, this anticipation transformed into an electric excitement that permeated through the entire space. Upon entry, attendees were greeted by an sweeping three pronged catwalk that provided excellent views of the show no matter whether you were in standard on the outside, a VIP guest placed in the center of the runway, or on the corporate terrace overlooking the space.
When the show began, I and the other attendees were spellbound by the two ballet dancers that started off the show. From the start there never was a dull moment, with a large assortment of collections shown from contributors such as Vivienne Westwood, Maxime, and Environmentally Conscious Outfitters, a label dedicated to promoting sustainability in the fashion industry. While the catwalk saw outfits that ranged from streetwear to ankle-length red puffers, on the ground the music had attendees dancing and cheering throughout the entire show, so much that one attendee even wondered if they could ask to have it turned into a Spotify playlist.
During the intermission and auction, I had a chance to explore the interesting venue further. In addition to the two bars placed on either side of the entrance, through a hall on the right side of the catwalk event goers could choose from several food options including some delicious tapas which I enjoyed. The opening of the show’s second half featured red lighting, and impeccable choreography that made it one of my favorite parts of the performance. As the night wore on the barriers between those on the runway and the audience wore down. Fierce model faces transformed to smiles, and hands began to reach out to meet those in the audience, and snag drinks and glasses of champagne, a kind of lightheartedness I’ve come to to appreciate from DONT WALK. At the show’s conclusion, the models and the committee strutted out accompanied by an impressive show of pyrotechnics that the audience raved about long into the after party.
During the time the venue was being prepared for the after party I took the time to speak several event goers about their experience at DONT WALK 2019. Second year Jeanne Adam commented that she enjoyed DONT WALK because “It always has a fun atmosphere, where the models can relax and interact with the audience, but always delivers an event with a high level of quality and professionalism.” She also went on to say that she enjoyed the change in location outside of St Andrews/Kinkell, and that DONT WALK 2019 was an amazing experience that made her glad the committee was able to reschedule, because the rescheduled event was worth the wait. Fourth year Laura agreed, stating that “I wasn’t sure what to expect because of the initial cancellation, but the show was well-done and it exceeded all expectations.”
In our preview for this event, Creative Director Theodora Chia stated that DONT WALK symbolized a return to the roots of the show’s dark and controversial nature; I think that the show’s lighting, themes, and overall performance quality of the show truly managed to embody this return in a captivating way. At the end of the show, one model, still exhilarated from the show’s energy said that “I was excited from before the moment the lights came up, and now that it’s over I just want to do it all over again.” I agree with her, as I thoroughly enjoyed DONT WALK this year: the ensembles were stunning, the choreography was flawless, the models chic and sophisticated, and the lighting and music tied everything together to make a superb show and event I wished wasn’t over