CATWALK 2013 Review

It was fast. It was sexy. It was CATWALK 2013.

Energy, anticipation and alcohol-enhanced excitement filled Venue 1 this weekend at the St Andrews charity fashion show, where a chic production of fashion and frolics enticed 300 of St Andrews’ most stylish students. With a budget of only £190, this fashion show certainly excelled in both decor and style, giving the appearance of a much more costly event. With a catwalk stretched along the centre of the venue, the excitable audience could either observe from the seating areas, or if they were extra keen, from VIP tables surrounding each length of the stage.

But who were this eager audience waiting to see? True to university esteem, it was none other than St Andrew’s very own, hand selected student models. The models took to the stage in pairs and wore everything from dresses, fur and feathers to underwear, sweats and wellies – painting an uncannily accurate picture of a student in the bubble! Each pair overlapped at the end of the platform, where they posed, pouted and paraded, and where they met whistles and cheers from the surrounding onlookers. Ongoing praise and encouragement from the audience grew throughout the evening and was well deserved, as the models were confident, charming, and most importantly in sync, making it not only an eye-catching show but a professional one too.

Throughout the evening the recently rekindled British pride swelled in the room as red, blue and white were incorporated into several outfits, reaching its peak when the Union Jack appeared across a model’s back. Maintaining this enthusiasm was the male fan club assembled to the left of the stage, hooting and cheering at the passing females, with one man quite deservedly losing his drink to a passing model! As the show went on this fan club expanded and by the end the stage was completely encircled by an applauding audience.

However, it was not only the models who kept the spectators entertained. April Vellacott DJ’d throughout the show and could be seen continuously dancing and smiling during her sets, all the while producing upbeat, high-pulsing music and fuelling both the performers and the audience with contagious energy.

If onlookers were unsure of the brands being showcased they only needed to look toward the screens at either side of the catwalk that displayed the labels of each outfit. Featured clothing came from stores and fashion lines based in St Andrews including New Look, Curiosity, Phase Eight, Superdry, Joules, Cancer Research and Fox and Bhut. The brands were distinct, with some using fur and feathers such as Curiosity and others displaying bright, block colours, bold patterns and accessories such as Joules. Perhaps the most unique feature however was the bubble’s very own red University robe, which made a brief appearance before being torn off to reveal multicoloured underwear during Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back”.

However, amidst this newly exposed stage of chiselled abs and slender hips it became clear that one thing was missing: plus sized models. The models chosen for CATWALK were undoubtedly ideal individuals for such an event, but the lack of variety in body shape and the absence of greater-sized models unfortunately added to the stigma correlating beauty to slenderness. This by no means discredits the performance given by the featured models however, and we managed to catch up with some of them after the event.

One of the female models, Alice Herbison, told us that most of the models were very nervous before the show and said being a model in CATWALK was “terrifying”. Yet despite the nerves, she thought the experience was “absolutely amazing”, and that she had “loved every second of it”. Having been a model the previous year she was in a position to appreciate the development of the event and stated that the team and the show was “bigger and better” this year. A male model, Alasdair McClellan, shared similar feelings and expressed his enjoyment towards the event. He told us how the models had met for drinks before the night began, allowing them to bond and relax before the show, and further expressed how the practicing and rehearsals had allowed him to be confident throughout the night.

Such confidence and enjoyment did not go unnoticed and undoubtedly ensured the event’s success. Overall CATWALK 2013 triumphed, leaving the audience, organisers and models fulfilled, as well as the well-deserving charities it was in aid of.  

Images courtesy of Lightbox Creative. Compiled by Kerri P.