Sitara* will always have a fond corner of my heart. In my first year it was one of my favourite events I had ever been to. It was inclusive, it was well-done, it was a drunken milieu of limbs all fighting to be closer to the catwalk and I loved every second. Last year it lost its way a little, but this year it seems to have attempted to fight back to its prowess of two years ago.
I arrived with my VIP pals feeling a little guilty with my Press lanyard around my neck, but not guilty enough not to convince them that I deserved every slice of burger on the table (read: slice. It was very weird). The marquee did look fantastic, and whoever was Front of House did a spectacular job; in a town where we are in and out of marquees like clockwork, to make it look as different as it did with the screens, lights and decorations was a feat that did not go unnoticed. But back to the food. Each table had two plates with a quarter of a burger, a spoonful of Mac N’ Cheese, some beef and some bread, leaving the tables looking like someone very organized had abandoned their plate from a buffet. This was made up by the sheer volume of free cans of ‘Afrodysia’ which I will hand on heart say is more addictive than crack. And has glitter in it. So who’s winning.
The one sticking point which I have to mention is that the physical barriers between the Standard and VIP were the most depressing things in the world. The plebeians who hadn’t forked out the £60 were relegated to the very end of the catwalk, so that most of them seemed to give up trying to watch the show and instead chose to spend their time fighting towards the solitary bar in the corner. Speaking as someone who spent all of last year sneaking into VIP (sorry sorry sorry) it was a shame to see they’d ramped up security this year and there was no chance for any mixing at all. Although the standard section did have free popcorn so prizes to who guesses where this reviewer spent all her time.
The show was fine, overshadowed by the dancers who I have to mention were particularly fantastic. There was a narrative interwoven through the entire show which I tried to figure out but all I could really tell is there was a man who liked stroking his hair who was on the lookout for a girlfriend. If anyone actually knew the story please let me know, figuring it out gave me a headache that may or may not have come from the six cans of Afrodysia I drank. The fashion was a mixture of beautiful saris and more modern clothing that I don’t think anyone really paid attention to, but the same goes for any student fashion show; the models deserve a prize for their poker faces. The enormous smiles they had at the end of the show do them credit, they looked like they were having a blast.
Here we must have a moment’s silence for whoever forked out £10 for the after party. Most people seemed to leave after the show, leaving an eerily quiet marquee that I kept expecting to warm up again, but with some very quiet music and people packing tables away it had the atmosphere of a school disco that the teachers really wanted to kick you out of. But there was an inexplicable rickshaw, so after entertaining myself playing on that for a valiant hour or so, with a mouthful of popcorn and energy-drink shakes that I still have this morning, we decided to give up on it.
I may go to Sitara* for my fourth and final time next year, but there are definitely one or two kinks they can work through. I hope they get back to the chilled atmosphere of their Bindi nights, but if they keep trying to slide upmarket then at the very least I want a lot more free popcorn, and hook me up to a drip of Afrodysia.