Rarely do the eyes of the world turn to St Andrews. Over previous years, however, publications ranging from Vogue to the New York Times have found cause to mention our tiny town in a context other than golf or Wills and Kate. The St Andrews Charity Fashion Show boasts the title of the “largest student-run charity fashion show in the UK,” and in its twenty-four years it has never failed to disappoint in terms of size.
Held on Lower College Lawn, FS will welcome approximately 1100 standard and 350 VIP guests for a display of designers typically reserved for the fashion elite: Fendi, Topman, East Club. Even the date of the show appears to embrace its mammoth reputation. February 13th being in the midst of New York Fashion Week, FS has boldly placed itself on equal footing with any professional fashion show.
Chris Carroll, Head of PR, identifies this level of national esteem as what sets the show apart from its competitors. “[FS] is an exceptional fashion show in its own right, regardless of where it’s hosted,” he explains. “This is an impressive, stand-on-its-own fashion show.” Between hefty amounts of Veuve Clicquot champagne and a lineup of models that could rival any mainstream show, FS 2016 certainly seems to be confirming his words.
One need only to look at the flagship item on this year’s auction list to be further convinced of the sheer scale of FS. Referred to as “the Fendi Experience,” the winner and one guest will be hosted in Milan by Fendi for the brand’s annual Fall / Winter fashion show. Although last year’s big seller was an Oktoberfest table for just over £1500, this particular lot may prove to be a record-breaker. Whatever the final asking price may be, all proceeds will be put towards the good cause of this year’s charity, Sane.
The show itself intends to live up to its big name sponsors. With the open-ended theme Bare, there are a myriad of directions in which the committee could take the venue and the performance. Maggie Pancheva, Head of Creative, describes her vision for Bare as being greater than the more basic connotations of the word (simple beiges or stripped down models).
The most recent photoshoot, a two part series done by Paloma Fernandez, depicts four models in two radically different situations: The first, exposed to the elements on a windy hillside. The second, in the sterile environment of a modern art gallery. The contrast between the two segments reveals the flexibility of the theme, the ultimate goal of which is to promote the idea of stripping oneself bare and embracing the more natural aspects of our own selves.
While Maggie has the responsibility of crafting the show’s image, William Klinteberg, Head of Events, is responsible for the logistics of the night. By employing a professional bar service, he hopes to ensure quicker service at the usual cheap prices, two things that will surely please anyone in attendance.
Another crowd-pleaser would be a smooth transition from the show to the afterparty, which in previous years has failed to come to fruition. William assures us that this year’s guests can expect less queuing and less chaos when the notoriously difficult segue takes place. The afterparty, too, should be of higher quality than in recent years, and well-worth the already reasonable £25 price tag.
With only one week to go, expectations are higher than ever for our university’s largest fashion show. All things considered, there is no doubt the night will amaze even the harshest of critic.
Photos courtesy of St Andrews Charity Fashion Show.