Promotions and Marketing: 4.5/5
Every year St. Andrews’ Charity Fashion Show remains the most anticipated event among the student population, as people eagerly enter their ballots for tables several months in advance to the show. This year’s show held high expectations after the incredible 2014 Fashion Show as well as the the scale and success of the FS-sponsored music festival, Starfields. During the months of December and January, FS began to announce an array of highly lauded partners and sponsors, including Louise Watson of Persephone Corsetry and a Young Designers Award 2014 Finalist; Mark Hogarth, Creative Director at Harris Tweed; Tessa Hartmann, founder of the Scottish Fashion Awards; men’s golf outfitters Tom Morris; and multinational professional services network PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Stating their desire to emphasize the creative theme, FS branded their promotional materials with the ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ campaign for their 2015 show.
The venue of choice for FS remains at St. Salvator’s Lower College Lawn, a likeable venue for its’ accessibility within town. Under an expansive white marquee, The Fashion Show featured bars at either end of the setting, with a raised platform for corporate sponsors located at the centre. The catwalk was located directly in front of this raised platform, with the catwalk surrounding said platform allowing for the models to be accessible to the rest of the venue.
However, this year’s stage design was not well received by those who had attended the previous year. With the stage set horizontally in the middle of the venue, it meant that the audience was then split in two, a logistical problem that remained unsolved when entering the FS after party as well. With the poor logistical decision, socialization, a huge part of the event for most of the student body, felt forcefully reduced. Upon entering the venue, the organization was a shambles as a near 2,000 students struggled through a single fenced-in entrance, a situation that did not occur in the previous year or the one prior.
The atmosphere during the show was incredible as always. Upon approaching the venue the thudding bass from the show’s music could be heard, and the chants from the crowd resonated through the whole venue. Approached a table, one would find a bottle of champagne as well as other items such as disposable cameras awaiting them, keeping spirits high. In a nod to the show’s charitable earnings, the bidding auction midway through the show kept the venue buzzing as attendees made extravagant bids for clothing, event tables and even internships, which contributed towards the organization’s £380,000+ total raised funds.
The atmosphere post show somewhat declined, with many stating their dissatisfaction with the music from the after party DJs. Once again, logistics came into play, and from my observation, half the people danced beside one end of the runway which acted as a divider as the other half danced over the other of the walk.
The fashion collection this year was interesting and pleasant to watch showcased. Styles ranged from business wear, urban fashion, lingerie, and more. Whilst at times the choreography seemed as though it should have been cleaner, the way in which the models showcased the clothing throughout the massive venue is something that should be commended. Music provided by Joe Jones was energetic, sexy, and fluid, and with a mix of old and new house hits, he definitely provided a much-appreciated continuity to the show.
Overall, the 2015 St. Andrews Fashion Show was a letdown in comparison to its previous events. Whilst the collections were interesting and worn well, the logistics and event management did not meet the precedent which had been set in previous years. The show at times seemed more like a Eurovision party than a fashion show; even the after party, which unfortunately was not as enjoyable as previous year, soon became more effort than it was worth to remain at, the difficulty in socializing with friends being a factor. Had the layout and event coordination been given deeper consideration, the show would have been improved drastically. Even with media presence from around the world, the show felt stiff and generic. As the largest and most successful student run fashion show in the UK, FS 2015 did not deliver as one had hoped.