LABEL Review: The Fashion Show St. Andrews Needed
By: Ileana Livingston
On Thursday night I had the privilege to attend the LABEL Fashion Show representing ST.ART Magazine as Fashion Editor to review the show. I previously worked with LABEL on a collaborative photo shoot where I was able to see a preview of the clothes and the models working along side the committee members. The experience was great, the models and members were a joy to work with and the clothes truly expressive, I could not wait to see what the show had in store.
Empowered doesn’t begin to describe the affect the show had on me, they created an environment that celebrated diversity and individuality in all its forms. In a town with a significant amount of shows, often repeating a rehearsed mantra of fashion, LABEL truly redefined the meaning of a fashion show and the power of expression through clothing. They created a narrative that celebrated their motto of inclusivity, recognizing beauty in all its forms- across gender, sexuality, physical diversity and mental health. Every one was represented, bringing all marginalized identities into the spotlight. Their mission was perfectly summarized by model Briony Sturgis, in which she stated "We're establishing individuality rather than just being a hanger to hang our clothes on," profoundly emphasizing the power of fashion as a tool for expression.
Their motto and ethos stemmed to the sponsorship clothing, each brand containing a message that aligns with the concept and ideals of LABEL. Neon Moon Lingerie one of the designers presented, prides itself as a body positive feminist lingerie brand, revolutionizing an industry that is notorious for sexualizing and objectifying women. GFW; Clothing without labels, another brand showcased, creates gender neural clothing that promotes self expression and masculinity and femininity across its spectrum. The diversity in brands continued with the designer Capr Style, which creates handmade adaptive clothing for those with additional support needs and Bibico, a brand creating easy-to-wear clothing made from natural materials by producers they know and trust. Each article of clothing represented a message, and was matched with the models own clothing emphasizing the ethos of self expression and individuality. I felt this was epitomized when a model walked down the runway with a defiant smile wearing one of the sponsors t-shirt that stated boldly in large letters "Its OK If you disagree with me", from the model to the clothing, the meaning of LABEL was perfectly encompassed.
One of the aspects of LABEL that caught my attention was their screening process in deciding the garments each model was wearing. The committee members had meetings with the models before hand to find out what they liked and were comfortable with. This meant that each model pre approved and helped create the outfits they modeled and showcased. I felt this was a crucial and defining characteristic of the show that authentically portrayed their values and ideals they promote. When each model walked down the runway, you knew they believed in what they were doing and what they were wearing, with each model exuding confidence and self love.
The most empowering facet of the show was the portion when the model would walk down the runway alone, with either a speech they wrote, or poem or song they felt represented them playing in the background. This was a beautiful and powerful moment, as each model walked confidently and self assured to the words they believed in, their confidence emanating to the crowd, leaving the guests with their own sense of self assurance and empowerment.
LABEL was an incredible show and one that was needed in St. Andrews, one that diverges from what is expected of a fashion show, redefining its meaning and that of beauty itself. I hope to see LABEL next year, spreading its motto and values around town, transforming the perception of beauty through diversity and inclusivity.
Images from http://www.lightboxcreative.me/