Photo: St Andrews Charity Fashion Show

FS: A Retrospect

One month on, Laurent de Cardeville and Ludovincimus d’Amiby look back at the ultimate fashion show.

Laurent de Cardeville: Gone with the wind, eh? Who would have thought that a mere gust in a more-than-gusty country would put a spanner in the works of FS, particularly on its 25th Anniversary? Regardless, apocalyptic visions wafted across St Andrews – the end of FS? Too big to fail? A rush to the refund tills? So, down to the last moment, it was wildly unclear what, if it even came to that, would happen at its rescheduling on Tuesday the 14th. As Madam Ludovincimus and I bumbled in, after a rather rushed set of sippers half an hour previously to kindle the fire for the night, we expected little. What we found was not tumble weed rolling along the catwalk. Rather, a bustling, colourful, and suave start to the night.

Ludovincimus d’Amiby: The immediate separation between the different ticket prices reminded VIP holders why they had dug deep into their wallets. Greeted with a cascade of complimentary drinks on their respective tables, walking over into the segregated VIP section was comparable to crossing the Rubicon. While the champers bubbled away in the flutes held by an increasingly excited crowd, the faint memories of a postponed event dissipated into the hinterlands of the mind. The Renaissance witnessed at St Andrews on Tuesday may not parallel the works of Roger van den Weyden, however the start of the night certainly signposted a most impressive turnaround.

Laurent: Excusing my friend’s pretentious and obscure references to art history, the sentiment remains true – quite frankly, I rapidly forgot it was a Tuesday at all, something I was reminded of all too painfully the following day as I was wrenched out of bed at 8 am, stinking of and steaming with the no-longer chic Clicquot, for a 9 am tutorial. That the organisers worried about numbers was largely lost on attendees – it is relatively impossible to make a tent that vast feel full regardless of the bodies you pack in, and anyways, a healthy drink made up for lost numbers once one began seeing double.

What always is rather enjoyable about these fashion shows is the opportunity to dress up “fashionably” – which explains why I still ponced up in full costume on the fateful Saturday, despite having heard that it was cancelled. Though I suspect some might question my sense of fashion, I leapt on the opportunity to wear a cravat, and though I probably looked like a second-hand car salesman, I was delighted. Looking around, I did feel that the cue word “fashion” translated into a sea turtlenecks, so at least I wasn’t the only fellow looking like a schmuck.

Ludovincimus: While my press-man-in-crime focused on gulping down every drop of liquid he could place his hands on, I, on the other hand, concentrated on the admirable silhouettes strutting down the 40 meter catwalk. For the first time I was able to appreciate the show as a fashion spectacle due to an ill-timed sports match the following day – which heavily restricted my alcohol intake. A sober perspective certainly altered the experience. I suddenly noticed the models were not as serious as may seem while inebriated. A bite of the lip here, a blow of a kiss there, the male models, some resembling the walking replicate of Michelangelo’s David (pardon the extra not-so-obscure art history reference), helped energise the ever adoring crowd. The female models showed off their magnificent figures which sent a sense of envy among the crowd as they brushed past the hypnotised onlookers.

Never had we attended a fashion show on a Tuesday, especially not one that was postponed. The tension had risen and the frustration among the people involved was apparent, as the decision had been out of their control. However, in a time of trouble, the FS committee rose up to celebrate their 25th anniversary in an equally majestic style as previous years, and maintained the anticipation for next year’s event.

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