FS 2016: Reviewed

FS is one of the most anticipated events of the St. Andrew’s year. However, every year FS is faced with the controversial question: is the event really worth the hype?

This year FS was hosted in it’s usual spot on Lower College Lawn, dedicating its proceeds to SANE charity. Sneaking into the marquee 15 minutes before the VIP guests descended on their champagne and canapé reception, I got a chance to scope out the venue. You have to hand it to the FS committee; what they do defies student expectations. From the pristine, uniformly set out tables with bottles of Veuve Clicquot sitting neatly in champagne buckets, to committee members plugged into walkie talkies putting the finishing touches on the layout. This team has organisation and professionalism down to a fine art.

FS’s fame comes from the inevitably fantastic atmosphere it creates. The only way to describe it is ‘bubbly’, and yes that is a terrible pun on the sheer volume of champagne that is flowing. If ever there was an event that made you feel more like you were at a London party, rather than Lower College Lawn next to the building were you sat last semester’s exams, this was it. The fashion forward outfits, and the almost embarrassing ease with which a St. Andrew’s student holds a champagne glass would have made the cast of Made in Chelsea proud. The disposable cameras on each table were the perfect icebreakers, to put the guest immediately at ease, as corks were popped and photos snapped.

Despite the electric atmosphere, the Fashion Show itself lacked the wow-factor of previous years. While the choreography was flawless as always, starting the show of with an ethereal edge in black veils, only to be snatched away at the music pumped up, feeding into the creative brief ‘Bare’. The designers were excellent as always, my personal favourites were the bold and sharply tailored outfits from Weruzo, and the embellished tops and trousers from Mané. It felt like they had too few designers to fill the length of the show. The show had the feeling of being a little too long; despite featuring live performances, the audience’s attention wondered quickly returned to the bar rather than the runway. The finale, was one of the highlights of the show with the cast of models and audience chanting along to ‘December of 1963,’ tapping into the enthusiasm of the increasingly impatient crowds, itching for their chance to dance the night away.

Some of you may remember the sparse shambles that was the FS after-party last year. Well I am glad to say our faith in FS’s ability to throw a good party has been restored. The set up of the stage in a U shape accommodated for a buzzing dance floor in the heart of the venue, with two distinct bar areas on either side. To fuel the night of dancing, Blackhorn was set up with their famous wraps in the entrance to the marquee, an excellent addition, preventing the usual exodus to Courtyard halfway through the night. The DJ was on top form; I confess it took five of my friends to eventually extract me from the dance floor.

Yet this still brings us back to the question: was FS this year worth the hype? Honestly, I think it was. The squeals of excitement as the first set of models strut out are a testament to the unique excitement FS invokes in its audience. Any flaw was a result of the high bar they have set themselves in past years, however, FS still remains one of my favourite events in St. Andrews.