DONT WALK 2019: REVIEWED

DONT WALK: Sorgiamo stayed true to its word this week, as the event rose from the ashes on a new date, at a new venue, but with all the glitz and glamour one has come to expect from the DW committee. Originally scheduled to happen on the 2nd of March but cancelled due to safety fears, many were left wondering what was to come of the event: would a rescheduling hurt ticket sales, what would happen with rebooking acts, and the logistics of having to put on a whole new show.

The DONT WALK team did what they do best: they rose to the occasion. From the tears of some committee members at the Adamson press event before the originally scheduled show, DW banded together, had the afterparty (the Inferno theme fitting the nadir that the show had reached perfectly) and still managed to arrange Klangkarussell to perform their set at the Vic. Flashforward to Thursday the 11thof April, when many guests were found selling their tickets online as the rearranged event didn’t suit their plans any more. A TeenVogue article about DONT WALK in 2018 suggested 80% of their funds came from ticket sales, and losing attendees is hard on any event in St Andrews.
Guests were treated to the usual giftbags at ticket pickup, including discounts at the new North Street restaurant The Räv and some Vita Coco coconut water, but the murmurs through the crowds remained: how could DW turn it around? From a cancelled event, a new afterparty headliner, a different venue (even further than the last one, a whopping ~30 minutes out of town down by St Monans), the anxiety was that the event would be disrupted. This was about as far from the truth as it could be.

Speaking to a member of the sponsorship team on the press bus to the event, I asked about the difficulty in preparation for the rescheduled event and was reassured to hear that efforts were redoubled to account for the logistical issues. The sponsors for the event ranged from local businesses like The Adamson and Hotel du Vin, to corporate behemoths such as Bumble and FIXR, and even to fashion giants like Vivienne Westwood. The stage, like a bent horseshoe, had the DJ and VIP section in the middle and was flanked by two bars that had possibly the shortest wait time for drinks of any event I’ve attended this year. The corporate/committee/press overlook gave a great view of the relatively small venue, but the Bowhouse at St Monans was transformed and, as the lights went out, ballet dancers emerged to kick off 2019’s show.

The use of lighting throughout the show, aided by a myriad of light fixture rails above the guests, pulsated and changed with the music and the fashion. The first half of the show felt relentlessly paced, with designers Elena Greensill, Zaid Farouki’s haute loose-fitting wraps, Maxime and Sebastian Yager x DONT WALK branded outfits clad on the assorted models. The honeycomb-esque stage had an outside loop that encircled VIP, who had an inner loop of catwalk for the models to strut the professional designers’ wares on. At the interval auction, Westwood suits and Tom Ford sunglasses were de rigueur, while guests could refuel on Spanish tapas, oven-fried pizzas and seafood at the side hall while waiting for the second half. The latter stage of the night saw the underwear section of the show, more urban streetwear and designers like Beaufort & Blake London and Hasmik Karapetyan’s threads on the catwalk. As the show itself ended, Madonna’s “Call My Name” blasted out of the speakers as the models came out for their final bow and the committee emerged to rapturous applause and the usual bouquets.

The afterparty, at 11:15, saw the stage partially disassembled to make room for the clamour of the AP guests, and the new booked act of Matthieu Fauborg, a French DJ who mixes house, disco, jazz and garage sounds was well received by the crowd, who partied long into the night despite the venue’s chilly air, and the distance from home. The DW committee oversaw a fantastic production that did exactly as promised: they rose from the difficulties of the cancelled first edition, and deftly managed to iron out any logistical issues with their venues and their acts to create a slick, well-run event that should be top of any student’s wishlist for fashion shows.


Photos courtesy of Lucy Howie for Owl Eyes Magazine.

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