FS2016: Dare to 'BARE'

Harry and Elliot wear YDA finalist Shoni Vakin's menswear collection.

Harry and Elliot wear YDA finalist Shoni Vakin's menswear collection.

By: Neha Luthra and Stephanie Liddell

With big-name show sponsors Fendi and Veuve Clicquot backing their vision, the 24th persona of FS was a theatrical and luxurious occasion that made it all too easy to forget that it is in fact a student production.

Rather than just relying on the notorious names we may expect the committee to push for (including sponsor Fendi, whose generous contribution was reserved for the auction), niche brands from across the globe were bolstered. One example was Brazilian designer Francisco Terra, who recently featured his work in Vogue Brazil and whose collection closed the show. St Andrews and FS itself are idylls for brand exposure, and credit should be given to the show for using this to their advantage.

The clothes initially took on a restrained and austere quality, but this quickly revved up to exquisite couture-inspired looks, including the luxurious Persephone Corsetry collection in the second half. With a balance of knit and swimwear, BARE and clothed, FS’s oeuvre proved to be carefully curated with seductive flair. Among the 28 designers showcased, there was a large, sometimes undefined mix of men’s and women’s fashion. It was exciting to see androgynous and unisex clothes on the runway, a particular feat for FS’s endeavour to defy expectation and push the boundaries of possibility.

To understand the aesthetic vision and creative inspiration behind the show, one must consider the fashion in the context of this year’s theme ‘BARE’. In a recent interview with ST.ART, Creative Team committee member Chris Govier emphasised the way in which the clothing reflects the notion of models stripping themselves ‘bare’ before an artist’s canvas. The theme also plays out in reference to this year’s beneficiary, the Edinburgh based mental health charity SANE. As Chris explained, ‘BARE’ can also be interpreted to reflect the need for our ‘true selves’ to be revealed. The fashion drew upon this idea, with an array of nude textures and beige colours echoing the concept of transparency in mental health diseases. In this respect, particular applause must be given to the Young Designer Award contestants, whose work ranged from the bondage-esque latex lingerie to the androgynous, heavy outerwear that both painfully expose and conceal inner psychological pain, respectively.

Margot and Ivy wear Elissa Poppy Latex Lingerie by YDA winner Elissa Grainger.

Margot and Ivy wear Elissa Poppy Latex Lingerie by YDA winner Elissa Grainger.

Overall, the YDA designers definitely stole the show. Having met the finalists when they officially exhibited their collections at the Hotel Du Vin, I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with them again at the show. Their amazement at the scale of the show and the bass-pumping energy (‘This is crazy, it feels like New York fashion!’), as well as their thrill at seeing their collections brought to life on the runway, further reinforced my admiration for the production. The YDA facet of FS must be commended for creating a platform for such young and talented creatives to showcase their work. Their collections were not only remarkably innovative, but also stunning and exceedingly impressive, and without a doubt, they stood out to me as my favourite looks of the night.

ST.ART Magazine