The Future of Fashion was the theme for this year’s Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show (ECFS). Students have worked tirelessly between September of last year until March 11 to create a captivating and inspiring show, involving a display of innovative designs, which showcased the contemporary talent of the designers, photographers and models participating in the event.
Place2Be was the chosen charity for this year’s production. The organisation works with schools in the UK, offering children one-to-one counselling, parent counselling, and parent partnership sessions. Supporting 4,881 children and young people and 567 parents throughout the 2015/16 academic year, this charity provides essential care to struggling families and gives children an outlet to express their troubles at home as well as on issues concerning bullying, friendships and self-esteem, making this a truly worthy cause for this year’s spectacle.
This year, the show was held at the National Museum of Scotland. The Museum exhibits collections of art, design and fashion, with pieces ranging from Picasso to Vivienne Westwood.
This carefully selected location perfectly complemented the futuristic theme of the show, with its displays celebrating the evolution of style, as well as exhibiting excellence in the arts. Guests gathered with anticipation in the museum auditorium, whilst enjoying canapes and live music from Tenterhook. Guests were guided upstairs to the Grand Gallery, where the fashion show would shortly commence.The spectacular venue featured bright white balconies and sweeping staircases, stunning the guests. The blue lighting almost created a sense of a transportation to another world, in keeping with the futuristic theme.
Beginning with a heartfelt speech from the fundraising director of Place2Be, Dr Olivia Curno, the audience were reminded of the purpose of the show and the charity’s important role in supporting the most vulnerable children in the country.
The modern and unconventional runway was bursting with creativity as the University of Edinburgh models strutted with a fierce confidence to a pop, electronic and rock soundtrack. The female models kicked off the show draped in beautiful gowns from the Alice Elizabeth Brown collection, where the contrast of black ties across the body of the dress, with soft pastel pink tones of outward ripples in the skirt, mirrored the women’s ability to strike a balance between professionalism in their work as well as playing to their vulnerable side; a fitting start to the show following International Women’s Day. Brands including Topshop and Pringle also featured in the show.
The audience’s captivation remained, as the concept of the ability to ‘wear art’ was introduced. The expression and application of designers’ skill allowed for an appreciation of the collections – not only for their imaginative design, but also for their artistic beauty and powerful emotive and expressive impact. The use of digital and 3D design captured the essence of ‘the future of fashion’, allowing the designers to convey a message through their artistic pieces.
Throughout the interval guests enjoyed live music from the talented group Barry and Benjy and Joey and Kpyp, their performance creating an energised atmosphere in the auditorium of the museum, maintaining the exciting momentum of the show. A raffle and auction were also held, with all proceeds going to Place2Be. Audience members remained involved in the production, winning incredible prizes, one of which was donated from the show’s platinum sponsor: Topshop.
The seamless transitions throughout the night and perfect execution in all aspects ensured an entertaining and enjoyable night for everyone. Only months of dedication, preparation and effort could achieve the sense of class and professionalism which the show exuded from start to finish. Not only was the vision of ‘The Future of Fashion’ brought to life, the production emphasised the essentiality of the work of Place2Be, by ensuring a brighter and more prosperous life for future generations.
image: Sajni Riyah Shah