Having never attended a DONT WALK Charity Fashion Show before, I was excited to see if the real event could actually live up to all the publicity hype. With copious amounts of sponsored Lanson champagne free for guests, an array of designer fashion on the catwalk, and music performances that had the entire place buzzing, DONT WALK 2018 exceeded all expectations. The event was a hybrid of fashion and future, with an atmosphere, an energy, that was simply electrifying.
The build-up on social media had been carefully planned not to reveal too much but instead offered a peak into what the night had in store. With spacemen outside upon arrival looking like members of Daft Punk, to the breathtaking space visuals projected on the walls, the Creative Team had spared no cost to ensure that the venue was quite literally out of this world. The moon and solar system projected on the white walls of the marquee were mesmerising, and added a chilled, kind of tranquil element to the dynamic atmosphere of the night. This was not just another student fashion display but rather a highly professional, incredibly organised and iconic show and afterparty, exceeding any other event on the St Andrews fashion scene.
Corporate guests were pampered with drinks at the Adamson. Regular and VIP guests were also treated to gin, whiskey, and rum bottles for the tables, and received great goodie bags, with many useful vouchers and some cool DONT WALK merch – lighters and water bottles. When everyone arrived, they were greeted by a massive light-box revealing the silhouettes of nude dancers which was totally unexpected and proved very popular with guests, becoming a massive photo spot. The layout of the tent and runway was unique – the triangular space was quite refreshing, feeling a bit more modern and energizing.
In the minutes leading up to the actual fashion show, an intense sound and visual display captured the room. Fast montages of a variety of clips with a narrator, using a dialogue composed by members of the committee, excited the audience and highlighted the versatility of the theme. The aesthetic of the photos this year was unbelievable – enigmatically lit in a range of dim, contrasting colors; and the videos utilised chill, slightly melancholic tunes that captured the show’s edge. With a voice that echoed throughout the room proclaiming that “SPACE IS SILENT”, the silence of the enraptured guests quickly turned into screaming enthusiasm and eagerness for the fashion show that lay ahead.
The show was personal and accessible. The runway gave guests clear views to the fashion whilst the lighting was bold and directive. The first segment of the show was mysterious and high-fashion, with some big designer names, the models displayed dedication to the art of fashion and serious runway modelling. Whilst the second segment saw lots of bare skin, swim suits, lingerie, but also personality from all the models. They appeared to be enjoying every moment on the catwalk, dancing and clapping hands with the guests, and the crowd roared and handed models the occasional drink as they all walked by. A real connection between the models and the audience surfaced, a relationship that brought fashion and performance together.
The afterparty was extremely fun. AJ Tracey had a great performance that had everyone trying to rap along. Whethan and Louis the Child carried the night through with all in good spirits. And when you needed some food to keep your energy up, the selection of wood-oven pizzas, crepes, and burgers really hit the spot.
Formed in the aftermath of 9/11, this student charity fashion show has worked endlessly throughout the years to use fashion as a way to unite and this year was no different. The entire committee should be proud of their hard work as it certainly paid off and honoured the charity’s mission of, “We combine the mediums of art, fashion, & performance to challenge all forms of structural inequality. We are unafraid and unbound by rules”. DONT WALK 2018 may have left many tired the next day but it hosted one the most iconic and unifying nights in St Andrews fashion show history.
All images courtesy of DONT WALK.