Upon arriving at the Bow House, we were greeted with a striking all-encompassing view of the venue enabled by the open square space. Patterned kaleidoscope-like lights danced around the expanse of dance floor, walls and tables; Calvin Klein-esque photos of the models illuminated the catwalk; and a cool chrome color scheme laced with black light made for a chic ambience. Unfortunately the chilled tones of the color scheme manifested equally in the temperature of the venue—the heaters for which were no match for the size of the Bow House nor the shortness of our dresses. However the gradual influx of the attendees and their body heat eventually warmed us in time for the show.
Emerging from below the stage in matching white outfits, avant-garde headdresses for the girls and silhouette-producing screens, the models appeared together on stage in an impressive show opening. The girls strutted with dexterity in admirably high heels, while the boys (men?) marched with virile gusto alongside them, and together they executed a poised and thoughtfully arranged choreography. Their outfits displayed with enthusiasm and enjoyment apparent on their faces, the models pulled off with ostensible effortlessness an exhibition of fashion-forward artistry. Tastefully complimenting them were the powerful music and energetic light display, producing a thoroughly well rounded performance.
Though the division of the catwalk into thirds was an artful feature that also facilitated the models’ ground-up emergence of the opening sequence, its extensive width meant for a somewhat laborious viewing of the show. But aside from this—and a bout of heaving coughs brought on by the smoke machines, the show was an impeccably polished and well-executed affair.
The lull between between the show and the after party meant the dispersal of spectators to the tented outdoor smoking area or the portable loos, giving us an opportunity to peruse the tables and goodie-bags. They bore photos and information on the charities—the multiplicity of which was a first for DONT WALK: the African Network Against Illiteracy, Conflict and Human Rights Abuse based in Cameroon, and Croatia’s Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace.
Having never attended a DONT WALK show, I had no prior experience to which I can compare Saturday night, but I can nonetheless say that I would go again next year. From the compelling choreography to the striking stylistic features of both the models and venue, this year’s show was a visually impactful and overall immaculate event.
Image credits: Niamh Brady