After last year’s more subdued atmosphere, the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show is back to the typical grandiose venues and designs we know and love it for.Inspired by this year’s theme, the future of fashion, ECFS will be held in the National Museum of Scotland on March 11, 2017. But it is not just about the fashion. The spectacle is mostly focused on the charity itself. This year, after a gruelling process, the committee has chosen the Place2Be charity, which focuses on children’s mental health across the country, providing in-school support not only for children but their families as well.
Chloe Grabiner, the chairwoman of ECFS, revealed that choosing a charity to support can be an impossible task. “The whole process [of selecting a charity] makes you realise how many deserving charities there are, and I actually realised how much charities do. One of the main reasons for selecting Place2Be was how engaging they were in the process.”
Apart from the fashion show itself, ECFS organises various events throughout the year to promote Place2Be, from the launch party and comedy night, until the after party. But this is not a one-woman show; the whole committee have an input over important choices. Lia Chiarin, the creative director of ECFS, tells us that “being part of ECFS is like a full-time job, taking about five hours a day of meetings and decision making. It’s like doing another degree.” This kind of pressure seems to be the driving force behind the team, giving them experience they would not be able to get anywhere else, and doing a job they hope to be paid for in the future.
Brooks Hudgins, the co-head of production of ECFS, believes that “making something professional and seeing the end result makes it all worth it.” The committee told us that their roles in ECFS have made their years at university more fulfilling, occupying the dark, cold and stressful days with a purpose. So, if you think that being part of the show is only for a select few, think again. ECFS has many opportunities for everyone, no matter what your interests are or how much time you are willing to devote. They are always looking for creative people to be a part of their team.
With regard to the futuristic theme, the committee decided not to pick a particular time period and instead to emphasise a more alien, dystopian point of view. Although the theme could be interpreted in many different ways, Lia took the idea and made it her own, focusing on gender neutrality. As mentioned, this theme goes hand in hand with the beautiful venue. The museum, as Brooks described, is a “pre-made stage, which you could never replicate. From a production point of view the venue is worth every cent.” The combination of the theme and the venue is, without a doubt, going to create a tantalising night that you will not want to miss.
While creating the show, Lia spends her time looking at other fashion shows to gain inspiration. A particular focus has been Rodarte SS17. Although other shows may give her some inspiration, there is also a sense of competition with the fashion shows of other universities, including St Andrews’s renowned one.
After speaking to our committee, however, there is no doubt that this year ECFS is going to reach a new level of incredible, and that the final product is going to be something very special.