Unveiling the Upcoming 2024 Leeds RAG Fashion Show
For the sixteenth year in a row, the members of Leeds RAG (Raise and Give) kick-started their annual fashion show by hosting its launch party—in style, at Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen last Monday.
Leeds RAG’s Fashion Show (LRFS) is the largest student-led charity event at the University of Leeds. Student-run, the fashion show encourages creative minds to come together and practice what they love, all while raising money for a great cause.
The fashion show will take place at the end of February, but thanks to its accumulated buzz, committee members have been planning the event—including Monday’s launch party—for months.
“Everything will be bigger, bolder, brighter.”
– Michael Marinakis
Archie Summerhayes is the casting director of the 2024 LRFS and reveals that the student-based organisation opened the doors to over 120 models at this year’s casting. When asked about the deciding factors in choosing models, Summerhayes answers that it comes down to ‘personality and confidence.’
“We’re all shapes, sizes, and colours; it’s not about being skinny here,” says Jack Nonis, a model in this year’s fashion show.
‘Everything will be bigger, bolder, brighter this year,’ announces Michael Marinakis, general director of the LRFS committee. This comes as no surprise, considering the excellent standards set during Monday’s festivities. From live bands to DJs, a personalised drink menu, stellar lighting, and—as you guessed it—a carpet set up for photo ops, guests might as well have been at Paris Fashion Week.
Models, guests, and performers at LRFS 2024 Fashion Show launch party/Photo credits to Britta Carlson and Eleanor Reilly
While the LRFS launch party serves as a great opportunity for members to connect and celebrate last year’s achievements in their show-stopping outfits, its true essence lies in their core value: charity. Annually, the LRFS committee uses the event to draw attention to their chosen fashion show’s theme and charitable cause. This year, the LRFS profits will be donated to Ditch the Label, Yorkshire Mesmac, and Leeds Nightline, which was announced at the launch party shortly after revealing the theme of this year’s show: Eclipse.
“Fashion gets more exciting when you can help others,” says the LRFS committee after disclosing the chosen charities.
The exposé made by RAG is not a mere formality; it is a stylish affair. This year’s ingenuity involved engaging guests in a guessing game, cleverly done in style. It was achieved by letting guests guess using the dress code, ‘shine bright,’ and decorations as clues.
Striking decoration, strategically arranged by the LRFS committee, serving as a photo op while offering a glimpse of this year’s show theme: Eclipse.
Photo credits to Britta Carlson
“Eclipse—the sun and the moon—symbolises something bigger in our show,” the committee tells the launch party guests shortly after debuting the promotional video for this year’s fashion show. “Eclipse symbolises the defiance of cosmic norms. Going against what society expects, we want to encourage people to show their true selves,” describes Marinakis on stage while the audience cheers in support.
Marinakis goes on to explain that the LRFS will be the first carbon-neutral event at the University of Leeds and that they will solely showcase designs made by local Leeds students.
The money raised by LRFS is not the sole source of donations. The fundraising and sponsorships director informs that there are numerous fundraising events beyond the show, also arranged by the student-led organisation.
“I am most excited about seeing it all come together at the show,” she says after elaborating on the numerous subcommittees and various divisions of labour within LRFS.
“Mark your calendars for an unforgettable event on February 23rd and 24th at The Refectory, University of Leeds. Dive into our world of celestial elegance and be a part of the change.”
– Leeds RAG Fashion Show committee
For more information about Leeds RAG Fashion Show:
Look Book: LRFS24 Launch Party
Look book images taken by Eleanor Reilly