The theme for CATWALK this year was announced as “Playtime.” Can you tell me what that means and what the inspiration for the theme was?
“Playtime in its essence means fun. This is the real driving force of what we’re trying to achieve in the committee and with our models. We’re very aware that everything we’re doing is alongside our degree so we may as well make it fun and worthwhile.”
Isi went on to explain to me that the theme seeks to embody the outrageousness, creativity and playfulness of fashion and other expressive enterprises. The inspiration for this year’s theme came from various graphic designers. Some of these are Eleanor Bowmer and Isabelle Feliu. A simple Google search of their names will give you an idea of the vibrant aesthetic the show is striving for this year. Isi was also inspired by Iris Apfel, a fashion icon known for her eclectic style of pairing bright colours and statement jewellery. Isi was captured by “big bold graphics that are in vogue nowadays.” She is looking at “prints and bold silhouettes like big puffy sleeves and oversized clothing. All these convey a sense of fun and playfulness in fashion and self-portrayal that we are trying to encapsulate in CATWALK this year.”
How will the theme “Playtime” be portrayed in this year’s show?
In terms of the fashion, the theme will be embodied with designers who are all using “big bright colours, oversized patterns and a mixture of textures. They are playing with ideas of childhood and memory which are the creative motifs we are also pursuing. There won’t be much subtlety on the runway”.
Isi also spoke to me about featured artists, one of which is Noemie Jouas, a third year student in St Andrews. She will be making the clothes for the opening walk, one of which is a dress decorated by children from Yard Fife, one of the charities CATWALK works with. If you want to know more about her, her brand website is Noedresses.com. In addition to this, CATWALK is also working with Here for Sport, a charity Sam Winton, also a student in St Andrews. Here for Sport is a charity championing inclusivity in sport.
In terms of the choreography, there has been a big step up from previous years. Isi says that the aim of the choreography is to interest and engage the audience. “This year we’re hopefully going to throw in elements that people won’t expect to make it a fun and exciting show, because at the end of the day who wants to watch people walking up and down for an hour and a half?”
One of the values of CATWALK is philanthropy, how is this conveyed through the charities CATWALK is donating to this year?
“CATWALK is involved with three charities this year. Yard Fife is a play centre in Kirkcaldy for children and young adults with special needs and we are raising money to support the centre that provides an inclusive space where everyone is welcome to have fun in a community that is familiar with their needs. CALM is our national charity which stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably. It is about reducing stigma around male mental health as suicide is one of the biggest killers of men under 45. This is good to start conversation about mental health with our male models and male members of committee. Our third charity is Women for Women which supports international refugees and their children who have been displaced by war and conflict in their countries.”
What makes CATWALK different from other fashion shows in St Andrews?
“I think the fact that all the money put into at any bake sale, any ticket, any event goes straight to the charities. This captures the philanthropic essence of CATWALK as none of the money raised goes to expanding the CATWALK budget or to make it a bigger enterprise. This means that any support you can show to CATWALK is instantly a charitable action. In addition to this, we also have the support and security of being connected to the union which allows us to have more creativity, to be more daring and fun with the creative themes and shows.”
What can guests expect from the fashion show next semester?
“Fun at an affordable price! An evening where by the end of the night you will be supporting the models, loving the music, amazed at the clothes and revelling in the atmosphere filling 601!”
The CATWALK fashion show will be on the 26th of February, so mark the date on your calendar as the committee and models have much more planned for the night!