Now, as someone who’s more accustomed to strolling the streets of St Andrew’s in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, the concept of high fashion is one that is usually lost on me. However somehow, on the morning of the 14th of February, I found myself donning an FS wristband wondering how the hell I was going to clean my suit in 5 hours… and more importantly, how the fuck I was going to review an event I literally had no idea about.
I must confess, after being asked to review the event for The Sinner and being more familiar with writing satirical articles, I really was hoping to dislike FS. You know… write something taking the piss out of our rich and famous peers who bid stupid amounts of money for an internship, or poke fun at some knob pouring champagne over half the crowd. I genuinely thought this would be an absolute breeze; just walk in there, have some drinks and a good laugh at how religiously everyone there endorsed the stuck up “eating pheasants, beating peasants” St Andrews stereotype. But lord did the FS organisers make my life hard.
As soon as we walked into the tent on Lower College Lawn, it was clear that this was unlike any other event that St Andrews has to offer. The sheer scale of it is something both to be admired and commended. After getting through the formalities at the gate and taking an entrance photo with the four closest people I could find, we could truly appreciate the beautifully decorated and well-arranged venue. The catwalks thrust out from the changing rooms like some kind of Berlin Wall imitation separating the VIPs from us peasants, with tables scattered either side. Unlike most balls, people tended not to hang around at the tables for too long and they were very much just an elaborate coat hook and alcohol store, and before long everyone began congregating around the catwalks as the show began.
Following an intro video based around the theme Eyes Wide Shut, that felt like the best bits of an acid trip combined with the most unnerving parts of an eye to eye interrogation, the show began in all its glory. Now this is the part of the event I feel very unsure of reviewing, because I’m about as fashion illiterate as you can be, but to reassure those in a similar boat who might be thinking of going next year… you’re not alone. Sure, for some people there this was their forte, however for the most part, people were just there to have fun and try to not feel too intimidated by watching beautiful people float past in beautiful clothes, with not an iota of emotion in their faces. Accompanied by an excellent DJ set from Joe Jones, the models displayed items of clothing ranging from suits to underwear, from urban to classy with impeccable style. The catwalk show flew by until before long it was over, and the models had been replaced by drunken members of the crowd clambering up onto the catwalk.
After the spectacle that was the fashion show, the entire venue was emptied and everyone went off to kill an hour or so until the after party, ‘Insomnia’, began. Unfortunately I feel this is possibly the one part of the evening that let down the event. Although the music was excellent, the crowd just felt a bit underwhelmed and the previously buzzing atmosphere seemed to have left after the fashion show and forgotten to come back (maybe it was passed out in a friend’s house). However, in fairness, a good proportion of the crowd were having a great time, although before long I heard Dervish beckoning, and decided to call it a night.
All in all, I had an excellent evening and if anyone is even slightly considering going, I would thoroughly endorse it. My recommendation would be if possible, to buy a full ticket for both the fashion show and the after party, because this year I would have felt slightly disappointed had I shelled out £25 for just the after party, and not got the goodie bag, or any of the alcohol which were included in a standard ticket. Good work FS, you managed to make this satirist’s job very hard indeed!