Caroline McWilliams, our Fashion Editor, recently had the opportunity to review Catwalk Charity Fashion Show, a vibrant exhibition that was held in exactly the same location as Label’s own inaugural show in April 2016. The St Andrews Students’ Association played host to RAG Week’s headline event on Saturday night to great applause and aplomb.
Photo credits to Lightbox Creative.
In February, New York holds its fashion week and from February to April, St Andrews holds its fashion season. Tickets to these shows are coveted with each different show catering to a slightly different market. Instead of specialising, Catwalk chose to branch out, featuring dozens of varying designers, displayed on a plethora of body shapes and sizes with many ethnicities and backgrounds. In short, Catwalk promoted acceptance of everyone, a value highlighted both on the runway and off, with a lack of any VIP section.
Catwalk took its inspiration from the rise of UK Grim culture entitling their show ‘Undergrowth’. Their aim was to deconstruct ideas of success, celebrity and luxury, amply achieved with the diversity of brands on display and decontextualized images of fashion shows mixed with street scenes projected at the back of the runway. The event itself was slick: at no times did the audience feel rushed or restrained. However, saying that, the show was on the long side with a half hour interval adding to the time everyone involved was on their feet.
While it is difficult to criticise the event as a whole, Catwalk is unlucky in the fact that this reviewer is a professional model and as such picked up on the faults another would perhaps fail to see. The choreography was well composed yet very predictable and at times, for want of a better word, simply boring. A small number of routines were repeated over and over; resulting in any audience member being able to predict exactly what was going to happen next. While the majority of the models oozed confidence, some tired over the course of the hectic two-hour show and lost energy, which impacted the audience negatively. Instead of inspiring the crowd, the models at times took their energy from the cheers they received.
The majority of the clothes were stunning and well displayed on the runway despite a few suspicious styling choices. Black tops are easy although they were overused. Clothing sponsors promoted the idea of diversity with up and coming high-end designers such as CoCo and VeVe sharing the catwalk with Phase Eight, New Look and local charity shops. The vast majority of St Andrews’ charity shops had loaned clothes for the show, emphasising the charitable nature of Catwalk and this town in general. Indeed, this was a concept used by Label Fashion Show last year and we are thrilled to share so many concepts with Catwalk.
Despite criticisms, Catwalk is an amateur show with amateur models who displayed exceptional courage strutting down a narrow platform time and time again. Catwalk’s models are beautiful, diverse people who were willing to pour their souls into an event to raise money to help the less fortunate around the world and for that, they, and the committee, must be lauded. Most importantly, Catwalk stated that they wanted people to have fun and that is a goal they easily achieved.