Our Lifestyle Editor Rachel Abreu reviews the CATWALK Charity Fashion Show 2017.


Perhaps one of the biggest highlights of RAG Week, Catwalk 2017 has proven to be a thoroughly creative delight.

This year, Catwalk 2017 is supporting Frontline Fife Homelessness Services, Anthony Nolan and Women for Women International UK.

The concept behind this year’s Catwalk was “Undergrowth”, and took its inspiration from UK Grime culture – a culture that that has divorced itself from the mainstream. Indeed the show did its best to steer clear of monotony and delivered an edge that solidifies its place as a standout fashion show, despite its size.

From the get-go, the committee already did a good job of making sure its audience was impressed. The goodie bags that accompanied the tickets were filled with unexpected surprises such as skincare samples and muddled vodka courtesy of Twisted Halo Drinks. If the goodie bags were any indication of how good the show was going to be, then they set some very high expectations – all of which were met.

The venue (Club 601) was kept consciously minimalist, something that again fed into the idea of a movement away from the mainstream. What the venue lacked in décor, however, it more than made up for in ambience, owed in most part to a killer soundtrack by DJ Tanya Krotovskaya. Chatter amongst the audience confirmed it: the music was a standout factor of the event.

But of course it did not distract from the main event: the fashion. The show definitely delivered on its intention to highlight urban and youth cultures, showcasing everything from independent boutiques to high street brands, such as bold prints from Dazzle & Jolt, kitschy patterns and baubles from Squint, “normcore” and athleisure from Superdry, to everyday wear from Phase Eight and New Look, and even some fashion from student designers. What stood out most to me in particular was the creative way in which charity shop fashion (such as Barnardo’s) was integrated into the show – offering both high fashion and street style alternatives that cost close to nothing. It was a refreshing change from the “exclusive” branding that is usually tied to charity fashion shows.

Finally, this article would be amiss without mentioning the diversity in models that audience members were quick to pick up on. The show deviated from the mainstream not only in its choice of fashion and décor, but also in the models themselves. While there were still the expected modelesque figures in the show, it was impressive to see some movement away from the “typical” model body type and to see a representation of different races, heights and builds that again pushed the boundaries and expectations of fashion shows.

All in all, the event was ambitious and rightly so, as the committee (led by AJ Brennan) succeeded in delivering an eclectic mix of music and fashion in order to create a truly memorable event.

To read reviews from the audience members, check out our interview article HERE.


Rachel Abreu