Staff Writer Anna Tumblety reviews Label’s fashion exhibition “Grounded”.
On Monday, Label ended an ambitious second semester with their fourth event this year. The Grounded: Fashion Exhibition was directed by the company’s co-founder Jo Boon. Grounded was advertised as Label’s ‘main end-of-year fashion show’ on their Facebook event, and captured environmentally inspired designs. It followed the magazine launches and other fashion exhibitions, such as Blown Away, continuing Label’s image of promoting body positivity and inclusivity. Grounded aimed to experiment with what is expected from a fashion show, and clearly, this was achieved.
Grounded took place at the Old Course Hotel Conservatory; the location was bright and open, allowing for the space to reflect the landscape and environment surrounding it. The choice of location connected the landscape with the environmentally engaged designers, creating a well thought out continuity between the space and theme of the show.
Tables with advertisements and the second edition of Label’s magazine were symmetrically lined up to outline the runway. Stalls from two of the designers featuring in the show were set up at opposite sides of the room, as was a small tea and coffee station — the space was undoubtedly aesthetically pleasing. The beginning of the show started after an hour of waiting and awkward mingling, which sadly left the intimate audience a little confused. The event was advertised as including an afternoon tea, although, what was provided did not exactly meet the mark. As tickets were priced at £45, attendees were not best pleased when there wasn’t an awful lot to show for what they had paid. Despite this, the fashion show itself could only be described as fierce.
The opening song, ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato, set the upbeat tempo of the fashion show at a high. The models radiated in their body positivity and clearly were enjoying themselves. They strutted their stuff in loose fitting clothes, embellished garments, denim patchwork pieces, and printed textile focused t-shirts — to list a few. Kim Kay’s simplistic choreography worked well with the show and allowed the individualism of the models to shine through. The show featured a host of stunning brands including; Casa Lefay, ACHIK, and Bright Accent Jewellery. It was, however, the models’ enjoyment which brought the show to life.
The event should be praised for its outreach to designers as it offered a great showcase of young design talent. The opening designer, April Hay, exhibited her textile honours collection with beautiful, sustainable, printed fabrics. Her designs tied in seamlessly with the environmental theme, as her textile prints were inspired by a combination of crystals and natural landscapes. A stand out piece was a black mesh dress, with large patches made from photographs of the inside of crystals. May as a designer is motivated to create a ‘one size fits all’ collection with her oversized evening wear and accessories; the light and flowing fabrics draped elegantly over the models.
The opening of the second act brought with it a surge of much needed energy and entertainment; Thrifty Little exhibited their clothing with a drag performance, executed by Bearberry McQueen, a catwalk show which really caught the attention of the audience as many couldn’t resist singing along to RuPaul’s Drag Race tunes. Her collection contained reworked vintage clothing and handmade embellishments — notably googly eyes. Her collection could be described as craft couture. Leather skirts were embroidered with empowering quotes from the Washington Woman’s March, which the designer had attended and used as inspiration for her collection, ‘YOU WOKE THE MONSTER.’
Again, the lack of organisation and clear running order hindered the event, which arguably was slightly overpriced. Equally, the show ended on an awkward note with the final runway sequence needing to be repeated to prompt applause. Grounded proved itself by creating the environmental theme in an ode to the rising popularity of sustainable fashion and exhibition of very talented designers.
Creative director Olivia Ives’s music choices were extremely fitting, providing entertainment for both the audience and models who were caught singing along, which achieved an extra layer of positivity. The thought behind the event was there. The dedication and talent of the designers and models was undeniable. Label is an ambitious company but perhaps instead of cramming four good events into a semester, fewer events could instead become fantastic events.
Confident, enthusiastic, inclusive mentality. 3/5 stars.
April Hay @textilesbyapril
Handmade jewellery by @Bright_Accent
Thrifty Little @thriftylittle