Review: Glasgow University Charity Fashion Show 2017

Admittedly, my expectations for the Glasgow University Charity Fashion show weren’t high, due to it being the first student-run charity event I had attended. I confess, however, that I was wrong: the effort and production that transferred the harsh brick and steel interior of SWG3 into the 2017 show was flawless.

In the darkened main room, the horizon-like beams of light that stretched from the front to the back complemented the name of this year’s event, “Horizon”. With a venue as crisp and industrial as SWG3, it’s not hard for the whole atmosphere to feel naturally cool – especially with a crowd of spectators unafraid of dressing boldly; very aware of the pressures of dressing well for a fashion show.


It was not just the fashion that was the main focus of the night, after all, the purpose of the show is to raise money for charity. The charity this year was the Scotland Association for Mental Health (SAMH), for which they raised a notable £3,000, which is something to be commended. It’s no easy feat to put on an event like Horizon and still raise a considerable amount by the end of it all. The philanthropy and fashion coincided to create a celebratory atmosphere of benevolence, and of course witnessing some impressive fashion.


The models, all of which were brilliantly professional, were frosted with white icy make-up – perhaps in juxtaposition to the golden hues of the Horizon theme. The first models wore white ensembles with strips of hair sweeping off the dress: a bit more avant-garde than I was expecting. I admit I was initially sceptical of what I’d see in the GUCFS, and I’m delighted that I was proven wrong. The models continued to sport more impressive yet wearable pieces as the show progressed.


Where almost all of the women’s looks were unusually creative; the men’s were generally perhaps a little uninspiring in comparison. Having been showcased a collection of women’s clothes including ultra-modern garments with accessories including genuine floor-length hair, the men’s t-shirts and hoodies that walked later were perhaps a little overshadowed and less moving. The futuristic feel evoked by the women’s outfits was not really to be found in the men’s. For a Scottish fashion show, it was ground-breaking seeing kilts, but as for the Edinburgh Bow Tie Company… the audience were quite enthusiastic about them, although it’s hard to tell if the excitement was for the bow ties themselves, or the naked torsos they were modelled on!


After the show everyone headed upstairs for the after party, which was equally as entertaining as the show. Indie band Model Aeroplanes performed for the occasion and the whole thing felt a bit too ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ for me, despite my friend claiming otherwise. Maybe I’m being too cynical, after all, they were good at performing, and everyone else seemed to love it.


By the end, the fashion show seemed so long ago, and the whole event shifted from a room full of people conscious of looking and acting “fashion-show” worthy, to being completely relaxed – or at least drunk – and dancing to the playlist curated by DJ Khalid Hussain. The celebrating was well deserved. An outlandishly entertaining night, weaving together feel-good philanthropy and a memorably produced fashion show.

Article by Donna Salek


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