CATWALK 2014: Review

I hadn’t originally planned on attending this year’s CATWALK fashion show. After coming into some tickets at the last minute however, I wandered off to the Union knowing essentially nothing about CATWALK other than that it was a fashion show… but hey, if my night started with scoring surprise tickets to one of St. Andrews biggest events, I was fairly optimistic about how the rest of the evening would unfold.

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After a brief wait outside of Venue One, which didn’t really bother me considering that The Accidentals were standing by the door singing what sounded like a Pitch Perfect-inspired set, we were let into the impressively set up stage and seating areas. Sadly my luck did not extend to getting a VIP table, so I filed up into the “stadium seating” in the back, which thankfully had a good view of the show and some goody bags as well.

If last year was the breakout year for CATWALK, then this was the year to prove they could be consistently exciting. They hit it out of the park. From the models to the music, and of course the clothes, CATWALK was an awesome night showing off some impressive artistry. Not to mention that, due to their dedication to charity, it was all done on a relatively small budget.

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In the small town that is St. Andrews, I can now add the gorgeous models to the list of people I see and awkwardly start to smile at before I realize that we don’t actually know each other. Thankfully, they seemed like a friendly bunch, reportedly chosen for their personality as well as their looks. This was key to the fun vibe that the show managed to maintain the entire night. In fact, probably the highlight of the show was how fierce the models were. Whether flirting with the crowd or giving us a thousand-yard stare, the fantastic confidence of the models was undeniable.

Also driving the enthusiasm of the night was the fast-changing mix provided by April Vellacott, returning to CATWALK with a great playlist of well-known songs, with the added spice of older and less recognizable tunes to keep things interesting. The crowd loved it, and it never got boring.

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I hadn’t attended a fashion show before, so this may be common practice, but I very much enjoyed the fact that the brands on display were, well, things I had heard of and could probably figure out where to buy if I wanted. Showcasing a range of brands from the reasonable to the only-in-St Andrews-would anyone buy/wear-that, the models looked great in their many outfits, and I think the performance was enhanced by the use of non-branded black outfits to show the models off a bit, which helped me figure out how much of a look was really just the model or was in fact about the clothes.

The theme of “Life in Print” didn’t really seem to really fit into the implementation of the night. Some of the outfits did in fact include print, and the VIP tables had print tablecloths, but from those of us among hoi polloi in the back the theme may as well have not existed. I was a bit disappointed by that, but it certainly didn’t take away from the impressiveness of the night otherwise.

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Of course its imperative to mention that as a RAG Week event, CATWALK raises money for the student-selected charities campaigns, MacMillan Cancer Support, Doctors Without Borders, and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centers. Whatever, the final tally, the sold out tickets prove that CATWALK continues in the proud St Andrews tradition of impressive events being impressively charitable.

CATWALK 2014 can only have been a huge success. The general party atmosphere made for a top-notch event, and above all else the talent of the models at working with the crowd made for a gorgeous, hilarious, and genuinely fun event. If all fashion shows are like that, I need to happen upon some more tickets.

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