Our Social Media Manager Mayu reviews the launch event in the re-vamped Beacon Bar for Catwalk: one of the University’s charity fashion shows. 

This season, Catwalk launched a new look and a ‘new vibe.’ In what seems like a rather significant shift from last year’s theme ‘Undergrowth,’ the theme this year explores the concept of “Paradigm” (noun: a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model).


Being a university affiliated event, the launch was held in the Beacon Bar. While popular opinion may not exactly consider the top floor of the Union the ‘hottest’ place in town, the committee embellished the Beacon Bar with an abundance of balloons, fairy lights, portraits of recognizable celebrities and political figures and last but not least, various shots of this year’s models. Additionally, with a live DJ in the back and the newest videography being projected on a screen, this year’s committee gave the often unimpressive bar a unique, Catwalk charm.


As a food lover myself, I was delighted to see the glamorous treats laid out on the table: chocolate covered strawberries, iced shortbread biscuits, and vanilla frosted cupcakes – all dusted in gold. The cupcakes were especially impressive; all were donned with a logo printed on sugar. These nibbles were both delicious and popular – I myself had two (okay, maybe three) gold-dusted cupcakes.


Another exciting element on the refreshments front was the cocktail menu that featured some original names such as ‘The Paradigm,’ ‘The Philanthropist,’ and ‘Model Behaviour,’ which added some extra glam to the evening.


The event began at 8:30pm and started a little slowly – I was concerned, admittedly, at the early start time of the event that I doubted would coincide with the typical student night-life schedule. However, more students began to pour in to greet their model or committee friends as we approached 10:30pm and the much-awaited ‘model reveal.’


As the models started to make their way towards the doors to make their grand entrance into the central area of the bar, there was a change in the music and in the atmosphere, and we waited in anticipation for what was to come. After some rather frantic pacing and motioning to each other and to the models, the committee were finally able to wheel out their line-up for this year. Dressed in black from head to toe, the boys and girls made two adjacent lines, taking their turns to face the crowd. After holding their staunch model faces for the remainder of the song, they ‘broke character,’ so to speak, and dispersed with smiles on their faces, to thank the audience.


Catwalk, to me, is one of the most exciting events put on by the Charities Campaign because it adds just a little sparkle that almost makes one forget that the show’s proceeds go to charity. Despite some of the bumps hit immediately before the model reveal, the launch event was a successful one that gave the Beacon a different look and as a result, gave the event-goers a slightly different experience in the venue. In addition to being a great social space to chat to the committee and the models, the launch was a fun and unique opportunity to meet some student models close up and in a casual setting, in all of their varying styles and personalities. While I am still unsure how its creative elements may unfold, I am curious to see how ‘Paradigm[s]’ become manifest in this year’s show.