Review: Sitara* 2018
By: Christina Riley
Sitara’s annual charity fashion show brought high fashion back to Pondside for a second year. A strong media presence in the weeks preceding the show built up anticipation and excitement for a night of glamour and inclusivity. As well as previewing their designers well before the night, a photoshoot collaborating with Sophie Butler Hairdressing displayed ‘Drop Earrings, Not Bombs’ beautifully handcrafted jewellery, made by those affected by the Syrian conflict. Thus, throughout the year, Sitara has shown their work is not only concerned with modelling fine clothes, but fostering a sense of community with cultures outwith our own, and helping those in need.
In their first walk, the models adorned masks which I thought was a strong start, and one that made a firm statement. In this way, race did not matter and showed a oneness with each other; recently being criticised for their choice of models, Sitara whether intentionally or not, conveyed that they are an inclusive and diverse community, representing beautifully the spectrum of our university. This year, the theme for the fashion show was ‘Progression,’ and much of the designers on display showcased this. The men’s fashion was particularly striking, blending elements of South Asian culture with some familiar styles from the West; sarongs in colourful prints were paired with more conservative shirts, the result mesmerising. The simplicity of the first ensembles let the stunning embroidery take focus onstage, while pieces from Relax Baby Be Cool transformed the catwalk with their unique prints. While the first half of the show comprised more wearable everyday fashion, the second wowed with high end statement pieces, the theme of progression incorporated into the clothing itself, the dynamic continually building. Designs from the likes of Laura Szulska were vibrant and unique, epitomising Sitara in a fun and inspiring way. Drawing from designers inspired by South Asian culture, as well as Scottish based designers such as Cloh, Sitara represented a plethora of different cultures, including our university homeland. For the finale, all the models took to the catwalk, enjoying the buzz of their adoring crowd. Letting loose and dancing their way through the throng of adoring viewers was an upbeat and fun close to a seamless show. It was obvious they were proud of their work, and well deservedly so.
Fusion fashion, as well as music was represented tastefully, and was entertaining from start to finish. A favourite addition to the night, a breathtaking drum and bagpipe mash-up intensified the already electric atmosphere. The dancers incorporated some traditional dancing, as well as sultry moves which added to the show. However, they were upstaged by the models whose perfect composure was nothing less than professional. Each element of the show was entertaining and kept the momentum of the catwalk alive during the breaks.
The catwalk itself was designed well, meaning that VIP and standard ticket holders alike had a great view of the models. However, as for the most part, only one side of the catwalk was worked by each model, this meant some of the beautiful designs were missed. Under time limits this is not unusual, and criticism stems for the desire for more, as both the fashion and models were captivating.
Sitara’s only downfall was their bathroom situation, which was less than fashionable. Having no other choice but to make use of portable toilets, the undesirable situation was not necessarily the fault of Sitara. However, their lack of maintenance and the mud bath surrounding them needs to be reviewed for next year as many found their stilettos sinking into the mud, a sobering experience and one that Sitara’s attendees are not eager to repeat.
Szentek was unfortunately anti-climactic and lost the energy which accompanied the fashion show. However, I still found myself dancing the night away and loving every minute, despite many making their way to the Union. To round off the night, bratwurst and Janettas could not have gone down better, far surpassing the 2am trip to Dervish, solidifying this in my mind, as an unforgettable night. Overall, the event was put together extremely well, and a great time was had by all; the minor issues it faced did not detract much from its success and are easily remediable. My first trip to Sitara did not disappoint and I eagerly await for next year’s show and what it will bring.