It has been a main topic of conversation on campus since, well, forever, and on Thursday night the world of fairytales manifested itself in Leeds RAG Fashion Show’s ‘Through The Looking Glass’ themed event. With over 30 committee members, 70 models, 7 production assistants, 40 runners and 20 dressers, you would have thought you were at London Fashion Week instead of inside the walls of The Refectory.
LRFS delivered a maze of high fashion, involving exquisite designer collections all the way from Rome, modelled by our very own students. And if you thought the designers and models were enough to satisfy your thirst for glamour, VIP ticket holders were privy to their own private reception, met with canapés and champagne, followed by cocktails. They also received a charming serenade from barbershop quarter and Leeds University students, The Ashatones.
After the glorious reception, guests were ushered into the Refectory to take their seats. The room was filled with glamour and sophistication, as though students were re-living their end of year proms all over again. The front row (FROW) had taken their seats, photographers were in place, spotlights were shining, and so the show began.
The show would be journeying through various whimsical fairytale worlds, and models Hayley and Isabella Fletcher started things off by taking to the runway in an Alice in Wonderland inspired striped trouser and shirt combination. The show then began to morph into a realm of optical illusions as models wore various jumpers with trippy psychedelic patterns, and dresses with lights embedded into the fabric.
The focus soon moved to woodland inspired clothes, or lack of, as male models strutted topless, and ladies presented a selection of dresses embellished with feathers and fur. A personal favourite came in the form of a Hansel and Gretel inspired collection, where models paraded the runway in candy inspired prints, carrying giant sweets whilst being played out by a live saxophone from Elliot Labbate. Très chic!
After a brief interval, LRFS presented a selection of outwear with eccentric coats and knitwear. The next musical performance of the night came in the form of a contemporary dance piece from performers Finn Smith and Luke Turner. As the show began to draw to a close, its final collection, ‘The White Collection’, was dreamy and charming. Models wore a selection of couture, lingerie pieces, and dresses embellished with jewels. With this collection closing the show, Leeds Alumni Laurence Schuman sealed the event with a live solo performance that left everyone lost for words.
LRFS have once succeeded in delivering a show that goes above and beyond all expectation. The Gryphon briefly spoke to Graeme John, a model manager at LRFS this year who said:
“I think the success of the show is really down to the hard work of everyone involved. It really was a team effort. As a team, we have really pulled together in the last few months to create a very different show to previous years in terms of both organisation and concept. It’s been amazing and we’re all so sad to say goodbye!”
And LRFS should certainly be proud of this achievement. They are a symbol for what is possible when students from all different areas of study at Leeds team up and deliver something that gives both enjoyment to students and supports worthwhile causes such as Leeds Mind and The Richard Mayne foundation.
So far LRFS have raised around £17,000.
Joshua Taylor & Esther Eldridge