Meet the Choreographer: Kim Kay

We have four fashion exhibitions coming up this semester, so it's time to get the inside scoop on what you can expect from each of them. Kim Kay is choreographing each show, with the first in just three days time, so we sat down to talk through what her influences her, and what drew her to the project in the first place. Our creative theme this year is Elemental, hence four shows for each element, but we are also exploring issues such as class and gender presentation both in the town of St Andrews, and further afield.  

Please can you introduce yourselves to our readers, tell us a little about yourself and how you first got involved in Label. 
My name is Kim Kay, I’m a third year studying International Relations and Modern History, I became involved with Label in its first year, working as head of the press team. I also helped run back stage at the 2016 show, and I think that is what drew me to the role of Head of Logistics and Choreography. I have a background in dance and choreography and have always loved the creative aspect of managing shows. 

What drew you to the project? 
I joined the Label team because it is an exciting new project which I strongly believed in. I am passionate about opening up the discourse on mental health, especially the mental health and well being of young people, as well as gender and the other issues which Label helps to tackle.

What is your role this year, and what have you been working on? 
This year I am the Head of Logistics and Choreography. That means that I oversee the organisation of the music, venue and the stage tech. My main job is of course the choreography, I work with our cast of wonderful models to be able to put on the shows and design the runway walks and performance.

How was putting on Meet the Models? 
Meet the Models was my first event as choreographer and the models were so great in helping me work out what our artistic direction was going to be. It was a great night and the models were super confident which was great because I was kind of losing it. It turned out to be a great night though, and everyone who came had a great time.  

Were you nervous? 
Yes, I was pretty nervous, but most of the models seemed okay which was a relief. I also don’t think I was outwardly nervous. I was kind of nervous because I wasn’t sure that the audience were going to get what we were doing. In the Meet The Models event I tried to draw out the parallels between normal fashion culture and the kind of experience we want you to have at Label; we want our models to be seen as the fun and flirty people that they are and not just something we hang clothes on. Each of the models has a unique personality and I really wanted to show that in our Meet the Models event. 


What is it like working with the models?
I am so lucky to have such an amazing, talented and inspirational group of people to work with. They are so much fun, but they also each champion individual elements of what Label is about and I have so much admiration for them all. I was nervous to take on the job but the models really gave the inspiration I needed to go on and the reason that I put so much effort in to each element of the choreography is because of them; I never want them be uncomfortable on the runway or unsure about the artistic directions that I am taking with the choreography. They have also become great friends; and you don’t let your friends rock a runway with lame choreo or music.  

What do you have planned for this semester? 
So this semester, I’m really excited as we will be putting together four unique fashion events. This gives me the chance to use different choreography and our designers are amazing this year so we can showcase them in really great ways. Our creative theme this year is “Elemental" which is a really great theme to creatively work with as there is a lot you can do with it. The first show is about the models passion. In the second show we will be exploring the idea of gender and how it is constructed in our society; I have tried to really bring out gender fluidity as the main aspect of this show. In the third show, we will be doing some very different things, with the theme centered around air and linked it with the way we perceive class in our society. The last show will be on earth and we will tie this together with environmental fashion.

What is your artistic vision?
I want people to think. I really want what we are doing to have an impact so that people walk away and start assessing these issues in our lives,  in addition to getting to see these amazing designers showcased.

What are you particularly excited about?
Is it a cop out if I say I’m excited for the whole semester ? I think each event has something special to offer and together they are going to be great. If I had to pick one event, I would say the water event, just because it was the easiest to choreograph and the ideas came really easily so I think that is a sign!

How does it feel to be backstage at these events? 
I sometimes can’t help but be nervous just because you can’t do anything to help; like my job is to help the models get ready for the show and then that’s me. I want them to have so much fun so there is a bit of expectation there as well.