DCU Fashion Show the ‘Evolution of Style’

Amy Lawlor

DCU’s Fashion Show process begins on the first day of college, organising models, sponsorship and most importantly clothes for the show is a monumental task left up to DCU’s very own Style society, and Lifestyle Editor Amy Lawlor attended the show this year to see what the massive production entails.

DCU Style Society was founded in 2005 by Laura Whitmore and Mikey Robinson. It has since grown to become one of the largest student societies in Dublin City University. It organises fashion themed events throughout the academic year for aspiring stylists, fashion journalists and photographers. It’s main event being its student-run fashion show, this year themed the ‘Evolution of Style.’

The ‘Evolution of Style’ marks the 12th  annual DCU fashion show. Ran entirely by students, the show is deemed to be ‘one of DCU’s biggest events’, according to DCU Style societies chairperson Rheanna Waters.  This year the show was presented by social media star and colourful commentator James Patrice, who immediately got the show off to a vibrant start.

The first half of the show consisted of statement, classical pieces whereas, the second half had an edgier modern vibe to the collections showcased. The glamorous 32 models were brought to life by Inglot make-up artists and hairdressers from Dylan Bradshaw.

“For the hair, we decided to go for a sleeked back style, which we felt would tie in with the first and second half of the show … as for the make-up we went for a minimal dewy look for the first half and decided to add a bit of glitter and a statement wine lip for the second half,” said vice chairperson Shaylyn Gilheaney.

The process of obtaining the clothes for the fashion show wasn’t an easy task for the two head stylists Soraya James and Gráinne Binns. “Contacting shops to feature in the show begins at the start of January, from this we can gauge their interest in featuring in the show,” said chairperson Rheanna Waters.

“It’s a really long process, you need to bargain with shops to see if they’ll give you as much looks as you want, then there is the process of pulling the clothes, which usually happens the day before and the day of the fashion show.”

The styling team consisted of the two head stylists and five assistant stylists who were faced with a major obstacle just hours before the show. Retail brand Jack & Jones decided to pull out last minute which left head stylist Gráinne frantically looking for an alternative solution.

“It was really stressful but I managed to pull a few more looks from nine crows which balanced everything out, …I was just lucky to have such an amazing styling team who pulled together last minute to make it work,” said Gráinne.

Although the unforeseen fashion obstacle, the production of the show was seamless. Choreographers Sine McGoff and Leanne Brady took a contrasting approach to last year’s strict catwalk regulations.

Instead of your typical narrow constructed walks and front-facing stricken poses this year’s choreography had flairs of personality and originality. The models had feeling in their faces with the occasional smile and giggle and appeared to be enjoying the show as it progressed from walk to walk.

The staging of the catwalk gave the show a different dynamic to previous years. With a set featuring scaffolding and an on stage grand piano, if the audience weren’t impressed by the clothes, then the staging was enough to grab their attention.

The opening of the show saw model Kelvyn O’Riordan play a soft sequence on the piano as an introductory to the first walk. The music later was brought to life by DJ Jaz Keane whose energetic beats brought life to the show.

The final of Project Young Designer is an annual ritual that takes place during the show. Student designers throughout the country compete to earn their design a place in Om Diva’s fashion house. The winners design will be available to purchase from the Om Diva store located in Temple Bar in the heart of Dublin City Centre.

The three fashion renowned judges, stylist Justine King, Cari’s Closet owner Lisa Kavanagh Duffy and Totally Dublin fashion editor Sinead O’Reilly carefully choose their favourite pieces from the five finalists. The winning design was awarded to Kirsten Clancy whose dress was a sheer pink material with an intricate beaded design of a set of eyes and lips. The undergarment of the dress was a red bralet and high wasted red shorts, which caught the attention of the judges.

“I was in awe of this design when I saw it in the semi-finals, it’s sheer chic and valentine inspired colour palette left me wanting to wear it for the romantic occasion,” said judge and stylist Justine King.

The show came to a close with thank you speeches from DCU Style societies chairperson and vice chairperson, flowers were given to the head stylists and choreographers and finally the models took to the catwalk for the last time, where glitter fell from the sky and the audience applauded until the final person left the stage.

Amy Lawlor