Don’t Walk Fashion, a collective launched in 2001, host an annual runway show in St Andrews, Scotland that delves into a multi-media world to explore beyond the parameters of fashion to speculate on the many puzzles that face modern society and challenge forms of systematic inequality.
Thanks to new student social networking site Campus Society, I got an inside look into the conceptual catwalk last night.
This year’s concept is ‘Progress/Regress’, focussing on the tension that exists between progression and regression in society, exploring the anxieties that go along with it, and questioning the definition of progress itself. It aims to pose the question, does ‘progress’ in the 21st Century help us or hurt us? I’m not sure how the fashion, the music or the location fit this theme, to be honest, but they had clearly worked hard to develop this concept and the marketing materials surrounding it. The show itself was one of the strangest events I’ve ever been to. It felt like some sort of elite cult. Turns out St Andrews is full of beautiful rich people and I wasn’t told it was black tie, so I looked and felt like a potato. The models were having a whale of a time which was nice to see (shock horror- models having fun and smiling?!) and the crowd were dancing to the beats from a local DJ, popping champagne bottles and bidding on real fur coats in a drunken auction. All for a good cause though!
Designers were recruited from all over the world, but it was great to see Dundee brand Dreamland Clothing there too. Most of the outfits were pretty basic, as was the hair and make up, but it appeared that the fashion itself wasn’t the point, it was the party. And to be fair, it was a decent party. Even if it did have festival-style portaloos.
The purpose of Don’t Walk is to raise awareness and funds for charities seeking to alleviate poverty and violence, and to encourage creative people to spark meaningful intellectual debate. It launched in the wake of 9/11, and continues to produce groundbreaking work in fashion, art and music 16 years on, being celebrated by press giants the likes of Vogue, Tatler and Marie Claire.
Don’t Walk supports the following charities:
The Robin Hood Foundation
The worlds leading organisation fighting poverty in New York. Its unique approach to aid allocation, using investment metrics and strict financial transparency, ensures that 100% of donations are used to directly fund projects and with maximum efficiency. To date it has raised more then $1.95bn, and annually funds over 240 programs working to tackle all forms and underlying causes of poverty; from education to food and housing, providing New Yorks’ most impoverished citizens with the tools they need to build better lives.
A charity based in Lebanon aiming to provide long-term education, social, and welfare assistance to thousands of refugees. Working innovatively with local communities and volunteers, Salam guarantees 100% of its funding goes directly to those who most need it, as well as promoting community relations at a time when they are severely strained by growing competition for aid and employment.
One Million Miles for Ellie
Overwhelmed by the death of her daughter Ellie, a former St. Andrews student, Michelle turned to adventure, kindness and the help of others to overcome her grief and fulfil her daughter’s greatest dream: to destroy cancer. The challenge: to reach one million miles by any means, by anyone, in one million minutes, and to raise one million pounds for Maggie’s, Cancer Research UK, and Macmillan Cancer Support. In doing so Ellie’s spirit of adventure and determination lives on.
About Campus Society, one of the sponsors of this years Don’t Walk fashion show.
Campus Society is a student-only community that allows you to connect with other students in spaces dedicated to the topics that you’re interested in, collaborate effortlessly on group work with your team and discover great insights from students who have done it all before. Find out more and join us at http://www.campussociety.com