This year’s SITARA* fashion show promised to be bigger and better than ever, and it definitely delivered. I had no idea what to expect as I arrived at the marquee at Station Park on the grounds of the Madras Rugby pitches. I was told repeatedly that SITARA* was very different to the other St Andrews fashion shows—in its artistry, in its aims, in the crowd it attracted and in the overall character of the night. Having never been to any other St Andrews fashion show, I came with an open mind, excited to see what all of this year’s hype had been about.
As I made my way into the venue at Station Park, I immediately liked the smaller size of the event; not only did it feel more specialized and intimate, but I quickly met up with friends and succeeded in not losing them for the entire night (what a concept!). The marquee fit the crowd well, and the bar and photo booth seemed to be able to handle demand. I was also impressed by the diverse range of attendees: as I had been told, SITARA* indeed appeared to attract an interesting crowd, with girls wearing everything from stylish Saris and Bindis to regular cocktail dresses, and guys sporting a variety of suits and more casual—yet still sleek—shirt and trouser combinations.
But all that really mattered when the dancers, actors and models took to the stage was the contagious energy of the crowd, as everyone swarmed the catwalk to cheer for friends and to dance along to the DJ’s mix of ethnic and modern music. With the integration of a talented group of dancers, actors and models, the show was meant to tell a story that fit in with this year’s theme of Street Culture, and this aspect certainly added originality and spark to the event. I really admired the tremendous work that must have gone into the coordination of all three groups, and they fit seamlessly together. All performers were extremely professional, and I was so amazed to see a show of such high caliber produced entirely by students.
The most unique thing about SITARA* is its connection to South Asian culture, notable in the fashion displayed and in the charities that the event chooses to support. This year’s show was held in support of SOS Children’s Villages: Multan, an NGO that provides homes for orphaned and abandoned children in 14 cities across Pakistan. The event’s Co-Head of Marketing, Jonathan Gibb, stated that the organization will see a direct impact from SITARA*’s contribution. With the expense of the ticket, greater than in past years, it’s nice to know that a large percentage of the money raised goes to such a worthy cause.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at SITARA*, and everyone else I saw seemed to be having a great time as well. Of course, there is always room for an event to improve—some of the VIP guests I spoke to would have liked more on their tables than just fishbowls of WKD and Poppadoms, and I personally would have liked some more upbeat ethnic music at the afterparty, rather than just house music which can get a bit repetitive. Overall though, Kalliope was a huge hit with the crowd and kept everyone dancing all night long. In addition, with the higher price and the change of venue for the event from Younger Hall in past years to this year’s marquee, a few guests expressed concern that SITARA* “was trying too hard to be like FS or DONT WALK.” However if Saturday night was any indication, SITARA* will continue to grow in the future while remembering its roots, and students will continue to love it because it offers something out of the box. With the success of this year’s event, I have no doubt that SITARA* will maintain its trend of uniqueness and creative excellence, and will always attract a fun, funky crowd that loves the spirit of this amazing show.