At the end of November, I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch and afterparty of VS 2023, a fashion collective focused exclusively on street style. Despite its streetwear focus, the Launch Show this year was inspired by the ethereal and heavenly, or the ‘Dream House’ (as apparently influenced by the Louis Vuitton 2020 show). Building from this theme, The Vic was decked out in clouds and light blue lighting, creating a lo-fi, dreamscape aesthetic. I think it is fair to say that streetwear can sometimes have a reputation for being somewhat dull, since its core inspiration comes from the everyday. Therefore, I can confirm that VS’s take is anything but, as their well thought-out colour palette and large range of outfit choices created a very enjoyable show.
Before even attending the event, I noted that The Vic is a fairly intimate venue – as opposed to those chosen by other fashion shows in St Andrews – and was wondering if it would fit a fashion show setting. Nevertheless, it did suit the laidback air VS seemed to be trying to project as a streetwear show. On top of this, the VS launch was a lot cheaper than other fashion show launches – 15 pounds for the whole event – and they had said on their launch page they were aiming to create a more attainable event. With many other fashion shows often costing upwards of forty pounds, I was further interested in seeing if the lower cost was reflected in the calibre of the event and am pleased to say that nothing seemed to be lacking. Quite the opposite – I think this drive for a more attainable fashion event in St Andrews paid off, as there was a high turnout at both the show and the afterparty, creating a buzzing atmosphere.
Moving on to the show itself, it played on celestial-inspired colours, experimenting with moody shades of blue and white. A personal favourite of mine was a silken handkerchief top in a mixed floral pattern that paired beautifully with statement eyeshadow, tying the look together.
Another original take was their experimentation with headwear from masks to balaclavas. Again, this displayed the trademark blend of creativity and practicality that you would expect from a streetwear show. In general, what was enjoyable about the majority of the fashion was that it did seem to play on the kinds of trends you might wear out on a day-to-day basis, from cargo pants to corset tops. Therefore, there was definitely a sense that VS was trying to incorporate youthful and trendy sportswear into their creative vision, furthering the attainable and down to earth vibe.
For me, what made VS particularly special was its incorporation of dance alongside the fashion. Considering that streetwear is first and foremost a style dependant on practicality, it seemed particularly apt that the show began with a dance performance, seemingly symbolizing fluidity of movement and elevating the experience of the show. No one had been expecting the show to start in that way, and so it definitely added to the performance value when the dancers entered in blue, fitting in with the celestial theme, before performing an exhilarating blend of contemporary and hip hop to a Kendrick Lamar soundtrack (as a move from the Kanye West of the year previous). It is fair to say that Kendrick Lamar is himself a street style icon, making him a fitting choice.
After the show, the event evolved quickly into a party atmosphere, with the music continuing from the Kendrick Lamar start to the night with DJ remixes featuring hip-hop classics. Although nights out at the Vic are something that most St Andrews students are familiar with, the afterparty sets were a refreshing display of a genre not showcased that frequently on St Andrews club nights. This has certainly paid off for VS, as it is fair to say that successful hip hop-centric club nights are often associated with them.
To get an idea of what can be expected for the main VS show next year, I would highly recommend checking out the VS23 launch video, which was previewed after the show. VS seems to be a fashion collective that likes to keep their cards close to their chest, in that they save much of their fashion for the main show. Therefore, if streetwear is something you are interested in, based on the cohesiveness and creativity of the launch, as well as well as VS’s consistent ability to throw a good afterparty, I would highly advise you to keep your eye on tickets for the main show itself.