Sitara: Reviewed

As a part of On The Rocks arts festival, Sitara held their fifth annual fashion show this weekend. After a twenty-minute delay before entering the venue, due to tardy security, guests walked into a beautifully decorated Younger Hall.


Bringing south Asian culture to St Andrews, Sitara sheds light to the often-overshadowed high-end Asian fashion industry, showcasing unique designers from countries like Pakistan and Hong-Kong. In keeping with this idea, the proceeds raised by the event will be donated to Kiva and SOS Children’s Villages to battle poverty in south Asia.

Upon walking in, the first thing to grab our attention was a single, talented belly dancer on stage, dancing in sync with the calming Indian melodies that played as people settled in. Bottles of wine and spicy crisps were distributed on tables for VIP guests to enjoy. Unfortunately, the set up of the room and the seating for standard ticket holders was awkward, as they were unable to see the crowded stage. The audience quickly resolved this issue once the show commenced by moving towards the stage and mingling with the rest.


The entertainment from the show had great variety, opening with a Bollywood inspired dance number. From this dance, a love story was unraveled on stage, and the two lovers in the dance continued to enact their story between the sets of designers. Though this may have confused guests at first who had not read about it in the program, guests were emotionally invested in their happy ending by the end of the show. After the initial dance number, well-rehearsed models paraded down the runway in beautiful attire by Sun, John Yau and Stylemart (among others) to a mix of house music. Encouraged by the theme of Rangoli, meaning colors, the guests dressed in an array of vibrant hues. Not even I put on the usual little black dress.


The organization of the after party wasn’t very well suited for a large group of people who had already had quite a bit to drink. After the show, the party was relocated to Rascals until 10:30pm when it would be reopened in Younger Hall. Having cleared the stage and tables away to create a dance floor, the venue became a little too spacious.


What I did love about the event was that Sitara is not attempting to be typical. I was expecting a traditional fashion show with perhaps a slightly more creative structure, so I was surprised by the addition of the performers. The back up dancers to the “demon” that was stealing the princess away had vivid choreography. And if you are going to fight a duel with a demon that stole your princess, a dance-off is of course the best way to go about it!


Photos courtesy of Lightbox and Jonathan Gibb.