Source: Caroline Vining for Sitara

Sitara Launch: A Night of Inspiring Creativity

Christy reviews the Sitara launch show and afterparty.

On Thursday night, I was lucky enough to attend the Sitara launch show and afterparty. It was a well-organized event revolving around a captivating and very smooth show. As such, anticipation should certainly be high for the main Sitara event later in the year.  

Having been promised ‘a beautiful synthesis of culture, history, emotions, taste of life, and ethnic power’, I honestly had no idea what to expect upon entering the Sitara 2022 launch. Therefore, I stepped off the bus at Falside Mill filled with nothing but anticipation. After being greeted with glasses of prosecco, we were ushered into the main event space where a somewhat intimidating-looking runway dominated the space. Decoration was very much pared back, with the industrial chic décor of the venue more or less left as it was, again building anticipation as we truly didn’t know what to expect.  

The show itself consisted of two parts, divided by spectacular acts of live music, dance and even tai chi. This broke up the fashion itself and brought variation to the show while drumming up excitement.

 

Source: Caroline Vining for Sitara

The models walked in pairs and the clothing, in general, spanned a large range of styles from takes on traditional dress to streetwear – and even a leather harness paired with gold body glitter! The models walked with an unreserved confidence that really showed off the clothes, and the choreography of movement was so smooth it seemed almost professional. 

One of the things that stood out to me with respect to the fashion was the detail on the clothing. Whilst from afar outfits often looked simply like dresses or slogan t-shirts, when the models came closer there was a plethora of details to drink up.  For example, stunning pearl jewellery pieces not noticed from afar were paired with some of the dresses. Another thing I think Sitara did really well was blend a selection of old and new styles – from crochet knit tops and cargo pants to more traditional capes and robes. One trend that did seem to prevail throughout the show was light-coloured pastel dresses that were really very beautiful and, for me, seemed to encapsulate this blend of old and new Sitara seemed to be aiming for; they mixed a more traditional and demure style of dress with bold colours, asymmetrical cuts and even chunky cargo boots, creating a fresh and interesting outfit. 

 

Source: Caroline Vining for Sitara

Following the show itself, the event very smoothly transitioned into festivities as the St Andrews Jazz Band immediately began performing in the entrance room. As always, the Jazz Band is a reliable act for any event and they really helped to bridge the gap between the show and the afterparty, giving people a change to order more drinks and discuss the show whilst playing a well-selected range of jazz standards. Though not a new feature of events, Jazz Band is a tried and tested crowd-pleaser that similarly worked well for Sitara. 

The afterparty itself occurred within the main performance space and was all-in-all dominated by a very jovial atmosphere. The DJs played a good selection of classic songs blended into club remixes. It does have to be said, however, that the venue space was a little large for the number of people at the afterparty. Considering it had been sold out prior to the event, it is interesting that such a large space was used, particularly because one of the nicest things about the launch was a sense of intimacy. That said, this is a very minor criticism as everyone that was in attendance was very much there to dance and party, so a fun event atmosphere was still maintained – and I’m sure this will be even greater at the larger scale main Sitara show.

 

Source: Sitara

Despite all this, the factor that I think made the event stand out was the atmosphere of support and sense of closeness between the cast and crew. One of the models, Jamie Shellem, said to me afterwards ‘we really have become like a family’, and a sense of camaraderie (something that doesn’t always go hand in hand with the modelling world, I think we can all agree) really came through in the cohesiveness of the show. There was a real sense that everyone involved was very passionate about Sitara and believed in the creative event, making it much more enjoyable for the audience and the afterparty much more fun. One thing I had been sceptical of was the concept that a fashion show was the right medium for showcasing diversity and creativity, considering the fashion world can be quite toxic. Therefore, I was thrilled to see the welcoming atmosphere Sitara created – they showed a creative vision being brought to life by people who all believed in it. Since everyone involved seemed heavily invested, Sitara didn’t struggle to draw the audience into their vision, making the event a success. Considering this was only their first show of the year, I am very excited to see what Sitara 2023 has to offer us.  

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