Spring is fashion show season in St Andrews, and in the wake of a show-stopping FS and a stopped-show DONT WALK, CATWALK: Perception had much of an occasion to rise to. And rise they did; goodie bags featuring coupons for a slice of the St Andrews staple Mozza’s, pink Slingsby’s G&Ts on entry, and cupcake servers meandering 601 prepped guests for a night perfectly organized and choreographed to showcase the beautiful boldness of CATWALK. This year the event was supporting the local, national, and international charities Fife Women’s Aid (FWA), Wave Project, and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) respectively.
Even following last year’s cancellation, and with the threat of this year’s event going the same way after DONT WALK’s postponement, Oktoberfest 2019 proved a unmitigated triumph. Having an Oktoberfest celebration in March… in Scotland… may not seem like the most sound recipe for success for an event. Yet the committee managed it superbly, organising an all-day affair to rival the Polo in April with a hall decked with three bars and traditional German decorations.
Whereas on a normal Friday night you would typically find me ‘bopping’ to mainstream music in 601, last Friday I attended an event new to my usual line-up: Bacchanalia. Now in its third year, this event is best described as a cross between a ball and a festival, offering a celebration of the music talent in St Andrews.
Looking around the room, one could feel the celebration of African culture at the second annual fashion showcase, Ubuntu. Guests followed the dress code of “regally bold,” wearing bright blues and purples and bold prints representing the styles of countries throughout Africa. The St Andrews Afro-Caribbean Society hosted and honed in on all the details, decking out the Stage in colourful patterns as guests were greeted with tables covered in the beautiful designs that they were encouraged to wear.
DRA Ball, typically the largest of the hall balls with a huge budget, took place last weekend on Lower College Lawn, bringing the first of the more typical black-tie events for second semester. With free sweets upon entry and huge resident/non-resident ticket sales, anticipation built for a party that famously (verging on infamously) promises good music and good times. The tent was decorated almost as if you were looking through a blue Pablo, and the Atlantis-esque theme with Grecian statues proved understated decoration – after all, you never want to go too overboard on a zany theme for a standard black-tie ball.
dRAG WALK: Season Six invited the students of St Andrews to the table, and when the food was finally served, the host stood up and said, “Tuck in!”. On the menu? Fish. Now, typically, I am somewhat closeminded about Club 601, but the audience of Saints LGBT’s dRAG Walk was rather more clothes-minded, and consequently the event was a glorious phantasmagoria of colour, sound and campy behaviour. With a purple Pablo in each hand, the honorary drink of RAG Week, my friends and I (severely underdressed) tenaciously approached the catwalk, curious about the evening’s paw-sibilities. Following a quick succession of risqué tunes, see Khia’s My Neck, My Back (Lick It), and a pastiche of slut-drops and flexible hip gyrations, the time had come for the kings and queens of St Andrews to offer up their filthiest, fiercest fashion for consumption, in the style of this university’s most glamorous fashion extravaganzas; riotously proving their wit and intellect are just as sharp as their contour.
Every year, second semester rolls around and St Andrews fulfils all the stereotypes we hear about before arriving, with an inundation of balls and fashion shows. For some of us, that means filling our weekends with glitzy hairstyles, dresses/suits and glamorous nights out with our friends. For others, myself usually among them, it means that our studies and/or sleep is periodically punctuated with the loud revelry of people returning from those nights out.
At the earlier time of 3:30pm (whether this is to avoid collision with Christmas Ball pres is up for debate), the Acapella Society committee scheduled a holiday bonanza this year. All six St Andrews groups performed alongside worldwide hit, Trinity College Dublin’s The Trinitones, following their successful US-tour and having gained 23 million views on their viral video of a George Ezra medley. This event, supporting Music in Hospitals & Care Scotland (MiHC), helped not only to boost the town’s morale in the longer, darker nights, but also to raise much-needed funds for a charity whose “live musical sessions are designed to humanise clinical settings, to reach and connect people, to encourage communication and meaningful interactions and to elicit emotions and memories when it matters most.”
From thousands of twinkling lights, to multiple chocolate fountains and spirited Christmas music, guests truly fell down the rabbit hole at this year’s Mermaid’s Christmas Ball. Christmas Ball is always one of the most anticipated nights of the year, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Everyone was having a fabulous time, whether it was their first time or their fourth.
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland