This week I was fortunate enough to spend my Friday night at Label, one of the most individualised fashion shows in St Andrews. The show’s theme, deconstructed Fairytales, proposed a disarrangement and reinterpretation of social normality to promote self-expression and positivity. To emphasize the designers and their work while maintaining an enchanting atmosphere, Label organised their runway pieces by moving from light saturated fabrics, to dark contrasting materials in Act I, and Act II followed by shifting down the spectrum once more, ending with Holly Jade O’Leary, the only designer whose items belonged in a fairytale. Although much of the clothing flattered Label’s models, many pieces like the dresses of This Modern Love Bridal, were often underwhelming or poorly made.
The electric music played by a DJ did not resemble the other-worldly atmosphere I would have thought them to portray for the theme. And although the melodious opening performance of St Andrews acappella group, the Bells, was fitting, the intermission program featuring a K-pop dance group was not. I love K-pop but there is a time and place for everything and this was simply not it. Additionally, Label’s location, the Rufflets, is enchanting and perfectly embodies the fairytale atmosphere one would hope for, but it was poorly used. Besides the fake vines outlining tables, and mason jar firelight centerpieces surrounding the bar, there wasn’t much to look at. Had Label stuck with their theme on and off the runway, the show would not have only bewitched its audience, but also stress the idea that a prince, princess, or mythical creature can come in any form or identity.
But while the clothing was disheartening at times, the models were not. The models of Label presented a life of fashion I have never seen before, and I loved it. It’s safe to say, their personalities and energy stole the show. On Friday afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking to Label model Hope Powell and asked her to define Label in three words; her response, ‘positive, confident, and modern.’ Every model possessed those characteristics. At one point my heart practically stopped when model Sebastian Taylor stepped out confidently in a stunning violet one-piece lingerie ensemble, and in that moment, I wanted to call my editor and thank her for assigning me to Label. But while the models did wonderfully, there were a few organisational mistakes on the runway that could not be ignored, especially since they’ve been practicing this walk for months. But what bothered me most, was the unexpected and noticeable lack of body diversity among Label models. It was disappointing to see the show, a representation of body-positivity in St Andrews, resemble a mainstream runway.
But overall, the show was great. The arrangement differed from fashion shows like FS and Don’t Walk as it allowed the audience to sit and equally see every model or outfit walking. The distinctiveness and originality brought to the show is an accumulation of all those who participated, organised, and attended. Personally, I am so happy I attended this show because it has shown me that self-style is important but having the confidence to self-style is even more so.