Emily Allen reviews Label Fashion Show, held Thursday 15 April in Club 601. 

If there is one thing St. Andrews is known for, it is the many fashion shows. Known for being the event which facilitated the royal romance as Kate Middleton famously walked in the show, the Duchess of Cambridge surely owes a lot to DONT WALK. With so many fashion shows having already taken place throughout the year, reactions were mixed when yet another was announced to be joining their ranks. Certainly the first questions which sprang to my mind were ‘Why do we need yet another fashion show?’, and ‘Will it be a carbon copy of the ones we already have?’

Yet Label is a fashion show with a difference, as their motto says: ‘Celebrate beauty with a difference across gender, sexuality, physical diversity and mental health.’ As the evening progressed, the above motto became reality, and the distinctions which hallmarked this fashion show as different became obvious. Rather than being cruelly selective and exclusive as traditional models are (stereotypically tall, willowy models with outlandishly beautiful proportions), the models of Label were stunning and gorgeous in such a way that everyone could relate to them.

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this view was evident in the wide range of fashion and accessories modelled on the catwalk, as well as the variety of body types and hair and complexion combinations of the models. The variety was in itself beautiful, with each model looking determined, strong and courageous. Each model, having something which is deemed by society as an impediment -whether concerning weight, emotional or psychological disorders- rather than just being a clothes horse, had their own reasons as to why ‘Label’ meant something to them, as well as an outfit in which they felt comfortable and which they felt gave them strength.

This power of freedom that ‘Label’ provided them with was evident in their presence on the catwalk and the way in which they wore their clothes. One of the aspects which pleased me the most was the lingerie. I had been fearing more skimpily-clad girls who took their clothes off for effect, but refreshingly the lingerie (provided by Neon Moon) was neither objectifying nor overtly sexual. Paired with the range of body types possessed by the models, as opposed to purely stick-thin females, I found this the most surprisingly progressive event of the evening.

Further fitting in the theme of being non-corporate, not purely for profit, and inclusive of everyone regardless of factors for which certain people may be judged, the clothes were not all brand-new and with an eye-watering price tag. Instead the (sometimes) second-hand yet outstanding outfits were put together from clothes partially coming from local charity shops, or from the models’ own wardrobes.

Therefore rather than being a fashion show where the models had to follow strict diets and exercise regimes and wear clothes in which they did not feel comfortable, with the example of Label, the opposite was the case. A fashion show which was inclusive rather than exclusive, I for one cannot wait for its second appearance next academic year.

Emily Allen