The St Andrews Charity Fashion Show: Baptism by Champagne

Lucimius d’la Buvette and Natasha Franks take on their final FS.

Natasha Franks: Another year, another charity fashion show. The theme of FS 2018 may have been Fracture, but the show itself was a seamless blend of choreography, music, fashion, and style. The committee’s triumph is particularly sweet on the heels of FS 2017’s abrupt cancellation and rescheduling due to wind issues; however the weather could not have been more perfect this past Saturday evening. The annual annoyance of entry queues was alleviated slightly by the lack of rain, as impatient Standard and VIP guests thronged across the Quad in anticipation of champagne and smooth jazz and washboard abs.

Inside the marquee, blue and purple lighting set an unusual scene: a larger catwalk, twisting towards a reimagined VIP section. At twenty-six years old, it seemed that FS had been reborn.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

Lucimius d’la Buvette: A rebirth in the late twenties, but also a slightly predictable one. The identical marquee, in size and location, the classic 24 h ballots, and the lack of headline acts all left me hesitant as to the originality of FS 2018. However, these suspicions vaporized as I entered into the wilderness of the smokey bass-filled lightning. El Directorio*, with the help of his committee, certainly established a sense of anticipation for the night to unfold. While there may be features you want to shake-up, the excitement and popularity of FS definitely is one to maintain!

NF: Although the aforementioned coloured lighting impacted guests’ ability to take scrutable selfies, it certainly contributed to a heady pre-show atmosphere. The wide runway foreshadowed an intricate opening act, viewed easily from the circular VIP section. The tables themselves were comparatively smaller than in previous years – a logical choice, as this year champagne was not waiting for guests upon their arrival. To minimise theft, the committee provided table heads with tokens, redeemable at the bar, ensuring that every bottle made its way into deserving hands.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

Once Veuve Clicquot had been fully imbibed, complimentary beverages by Eden Mill littered the room, consumed alongside goodies from official snack sponsors Ape Snacks and Pulsin. Cash-carrying guests could further sate their hunger on treats from the Cheesy Toast Shack and Barnacles & Bones, both of whom supplied upmarket street food befitting such a plush event.

LB: The dramatic change in rhythm alerted to the emergence of the much anticipated chiseled models. With the sound of screeching fans, the models, seamlessly pivoting on their heels and big toes, emerged from the depths of the standard section. My eyes were too incredulous at the emptiness of my Veuve to truly appreciate the choreography, but I heard many great things about it. The opening of the second half, on the other hand, had all eyes glued to the runway. Needless to say, a true spectacle of utter beauty. A. Rochal’s 4-pack certainly put my beer belly to shame – and I won’t even mention the rest of my pear-shaped bod.

Photo: Lightbox Creative

But enough of the models and back to the ambiance, as by now everyone seemed to be dancing, drinking, and even, may I say, canoodling. No one held back. One of my own flatmates, enthused by his fellow dancing partners, fell over under his own weight while holding onto two bottles of bubbly (his initials are O.M. if you were wondering) but amazingly bounced back up after a tactical rolly-polly.

NF: Aided by the appearance of the iconic saxophone player, guests’ spirits remained high for the duration of the show. The auction, in particular, prompted dozens of breathless bids on a variety of lots, from Fendi to FIXR. By the time FS alum Joe Jones took to the DJ booth, the night was solidified as a rousing St Andrews success.

LB: The last resounding memory won’t be the scare of seeing four poor committee members fall into the gaps of the runway, but rather the glowing tears in El Directorio’s eyes as he overlooked the void ahead. He sheds a tear and FS shakes the town. Another show, another success!

*Director Joel Othen-Lawson



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