Behind the Scenes at SACFS

It’s difficult to believe that the St Aidan’s College Charity Fashion Show is only days away. On

February 23rd , Aidan’s students will be filling Missoula to capacity for the most anticipated

night of the year. With amazing entertainment, to-die- for raffle prizes and many models

donating their ‘skills’ to the auction, it will undoubtedly be a night to remember.

 

Taking on the running of the show is a huge task. Every single element of the night has to

flow seamlessly, which requires months of preparation. However, being on the fashion

show exec has truly been one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of our uni lives

this year. From deciding the theme, to picking the clothes, to raising funds for the charity we

have chosen to support, it’s been an experience like no other.

 

Our show’s theme this year is Arcadia. Our chair, Megan Clube says: ‘We’d begun to collate

brands for the show before even considering firm ideas for the theme, and we found

ourselves inspired by the works of all the up-and- coming designers tracked down by fashion

coordinators Flora Stafford and Ilona Phillips. The problem was, we loved everything so

much that we wanted to showcase it all! With visions of ethereal dresses, rave wear, logo

tees and beautiful lingerie colliding in our heads, we knew we had to find a theme that

would allow us to encompass anything and everything’.

 

We eventually settled on Arcadia for a number of reasons. Arcadia, in modern terms, means

a kind of beautiful, unattainable wonderland; therefore, we wanted to create this

wonderland, but make it accessible to all. We wanted something unusual to make the night

as magical as possible, and we thought there would be no better way than to invite the

guests to be a part of a wonderful utopia.

 

However, Arcadia also meant, crucially, that we had a lot of freedom with our clothing

brand choices. Many people have their own idea of what an Arcadian wonderland is. Some

see it as it was first portrayed; a beautiful, quiet, pastoral landscape. Others see it as a crazy,

‘’weird and wonderful’’ place, where anything can happen, as it was portrayed by Lewis

Carroll in Alice in Wonderland. So, we could combine everyone’s idea of this fantastical

place, and easily use both elegant gowns and psychedelic two pieces whilst staying within

our theme.

 

We decided to take this idea even further, and take the audience on a journey through

different types of Arcadia. The structure of the show will be ‘From Order to Chaos’,

travelling from visions of a tranquil Arcadia into the chaos and hedonism of an ‘anything

goes’ Arcadia. We used the same idea in our pre-show events. Our ‘Theme Release’ party

took place at My House Durham, where guests were given delicious, creative cocktails and

socialized under a beautiful pink blossom tree inside the venue- a wonderfully classy

evening. Our official pre-party was at Fabio’s, where there was dancing, shots and glitter- a

hazy, crazy night out. We also had a fantastic event poster designed for us by Charley Ray, a

Brighton student, showing the mixture of calmness and chaos through figures partying and

lounging in and around a beautiful forest lake.

 

Our show will begin with an idyllic, serene feel, and one of the brands that we felt best

embodied this is Belmont Designs. We are especially proud to showcase these gorgeous

dresses given that they are designed by an Aidan’s alumnus, the talented Clare Lichfield.

These dresses are classic yet quirky with an ethereal feel, and are inspired by Clare’s

upbringing in Paris, her life at Durham and her year abroad in Hangzhou. The result is a

mixture of regal ball gowns and light, breezy maxi dresses. This unique elegance ties in

perfectly with our initial tranquil, ordered paradise, and our models gliding down the

catwalk in Clare’s creations will definitely be a special sight.

We will then be transitioning gradually into an eclectic, psychedelic expression of our

theme. One of the brands encapsulating this will be Babydol Clothing, whose founder,

Megan May, aims to celebrate individuality through custom-made, colourful statement

pieces. We’ve been particularly inspired by the brand’s use of holograms, rainbow colours,

fur and sequins to create some truly stunning items, and we love the trance festival/rave

vibe that the pieces all have. The extravagance of the pieces links with our exploration into a

more hedonistic, delirious side of Arcadia. Expect to see the models under crazy lights, with

pumping music, dressed in Babydol’s most colourful, sassy clothing.

 

We were lucky enough to use Babydol Clothing for a photoshoot in the Durham Botanic

Gardens. The shoot, named ‘Into Eden’, demonstrated the juxtaposition of serenity and

chaos which we are focusing on in the show. Models in Babydol holographic two pieces,

holding snakes, were photographed against the peaceful backdrops of rolling hills and

tropical greenery, capturing perfectly the essence of the pastoral transitioning to the wild.

Model Meg Anderson wears a Babydol catsuit

We can promise an unforgettable evening, a truly unique blending of classic elegance and

intoxicating chaos- all in aid of our chosen charity, Children North East. We knew we wanted

to fundraise for a local charity, and once we found Children North East, we felt we had to

support the amazing work they do. Children North East works with local disadvantaged

children and young people, as well as their parents, and their ethos has always been, ’Give a

hand up, not a handout.’ They support families in crisis, help children from backgrounds of

domestic and substance abuse, and provide advice and counselling for young people facing

mental health issues, to name but a few of their services. Their work is invaluable to the

community, and they won the Charity of the Year Award at the North East Charity Awards

2016. We are proud to be supporting them.

So, if you aren’t coming to the show, stay alert for separate after-party tickets, which will be

released a few days before the show. If you are, be prepared for a night like no other, as we

guide you through our very own Arcadia.

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