Wulang Derrida, our Events Editor, sits down with AJ Brennan, this year’s Catwalk director.
Wulang (WD): Can you tell us a little bit about Catwalk? What is it all about?
AJ: It’s a fashion show which is a part of RAG week, the university charity campaign. So 100% of all the profits that we make go to charity. Last year, we raised nearly £10,000, while the whole charity campaign made over £100,000. These are distributed to a local, a national and an international charity that are chosen by everyone. But most of all it’s about having fun and celebrating personal style in St Andrews, while still doing good!
WD: We have a few fashion shows next semester. If I was to choose to only go to one, why do I have to pick Catwalk?
AJ: That would be a shame. Because they’re all so much fun in different ways. But, Catwalk will be the first on the calendar, it’s on 4th of February. You can’t miss the opening of the season! Other than that, we feel more inclusive and accessible.
WD: It’s interesting that you said inclusivity. I feel that you tackled the issue of diversity and inclusivity really well last year. Because the models are representative of the student population in St Andrews, which is unquestionably diverse. Are you aiming for the same goal? Most of the other shows have had their castings already, do you think you’ll be able to deliver this again?
AJ: Thank you, we actually have our casting on Friday and Saturday. So everyone who is confident, loves fashion and wants their personal style to be embraced and shared, please do come to the audition! We’re confident to deliver a good show throughout, from the models, the clothes and everything in between.
WD: Speaking of the clothes and models, can you spill a little bit about the creative aspects of Catwalk? Maybe a theme? Any visuals that we can look forward to?
AJ: Yes definitely, I can’t say too much, it’s very much in the hands of the creative team. But following last year’s show that speaks of street style in general, we want to specifically look at the mix of subcultures in post-industrialist areas.
WD: Wow, where did that come from?
AJ: It’s just something that’s always in the back of my mind when I go home. I grew up in Wolverhampton, it’s a small city that never had a pride of place and tends to be overlooked. But when you look closely, the narrative behind it can be so beautiful and full of energy that’s inspiring. Like an abandoned warehouse and places like that.
WD: That sounds similar to what Demna Gvasalia is doing with Vetements and at Balenciaga! Do you think you can channel that through the models and the clothes?
AJ: Yes. I think it’s all about the attitude that we try to create through the show. It’s not particularly about the cut or materials of the clothes or the shape and look of the model, it’s a celebration of the way people get dressed. Definitely not trying to catch some trends or present mainstream idea of beauty.
WD: Now that’s the show that I want to go to. So what are the challenges?
AJ: Well, you should! It’s coordinating all the committee members and soon the models. But it’s all part of the fun too, when you get to work with people who share the same passion.
WD: Any tips for fashion show goers next semester?
AJ: Make sure you go to Catwalk! Other than that, just enjoy yourself and have fun with your friends. Also, come to our launch party right after the reading week!