Review: Label, "Ebb & Flow"
By: Briony Sturgis
Amidst the St Andrews Fashion Show Scene, Label’s most recent production ‘Ebb and Flow’ was a celebration of water, gender, fluidity and motion. The second exhibition of a series of four, its new location in Beacon Bar created an intimacy marking the performance apart from the other fashion shows featured in St Andrews. Ebb and Flow proved itself to be not just a show for observance, but simultaneously an experience of self discovery in being able to watch the different displays of personality from each of the models.
Guests were greeted upon entry with a complimentary glass of wine, however it is interesting to note the lack of non-alcoholic option available that was furthermore denied upon request. The ambience of the bar from the beginning was set by video shot by Dan Sajjad. It’s repetitious playing helped to reiterate the elemental theme of the performance by displaying a multitude of different shots and interactions between the models in the sea. The models themselves throughout the show were also barefoot, helping to reinforce a prioritisation of movement and a grounding sense of unity with the natural world.
The show itself featured a plethora of clothing, from recycled clothes made by student designer Madeline Beach and unisex brands such as Guinevere Launcelot, FADE OUT Label and Gender Free World, and some of the models’ own clothes as well. In this way, whilst the construct of gender as an entity malleable and fluid was exemplified with items of clothing being paraded on the runway by pairs of the opposite sex in unison, self-expression was simultaneously emphasised as the obvious mantra underscoring each walk. The energy of the models throughout was not only palpable, but also contagious. As the show progressed, the displays of confidence and individuality from each were both inspirational and empowering in their rawness and realism. The exhibition in this way became one of layers, each outfit not only a showcase of its beautiful design and construction, but also of the beauty found in the human underneath the fabric as well.
In emphasising the personality of the models throughout, the show became one centred around people. Outwardly, it was a thought-through aesthetic display, however, it was the highlighting of each of the model’s beautiful internal that unified Label that made it a true masterpiece of art. In offering a mantra proclaiming fluidity and motion, the show became a vector through which each model was able to further their own personal momentum and confidence by having the courage to walk along the runway. In this way, Label as an entity can be argued as the flint stone providing a spark sometimes necessary to highlight an internal fire. It is each model that in reality then sets it alight for themselves, and by doing so in front of an audience for all to see, made Beacon Bar become a source of light and of contagious energy like no other on the 21st of February.