Impending Decadence

It’s been a long journey across the marble floors of British fashion houses and throwing themselves at the feet of potential sponsors, but Roz Wikeley can confidently say, the Fashion Show is Coming

Photographer: Lucy Swinton


Inside Story

“May I take your coat for you. . . would you like a glass of champagne. . . the show will commence in approximately ten minutes.”

Not my customary reception when walking into Burberry. My entrance, especially in teenage shopping cliques or on some courageous solo venture, was usually accompanied by some hostile glares from Burberry’s floor bitches, and unfortunately/rarely/never ‘Daddy’s plastic’.

Harriet Bamford, the President of ‘Durham University Charity Fashion Show 2013’, had cordially invited the Vice President to a live streaming of the LFW’s Burberry Fashion Show at the swanky new flagship store on Regent Street.

Blinded by the marble floors, the clinical illumination of the glistening jewellery and the neon spirit of a few of the fashion pack; I barely had time to appreciate the beauty of the palatial store and the creative prowess behind this shrine to the British fashion house.

We were shown our nursery school ‘seats’ whose fragile hinges quivered beneath our tense and potentially underestimated backsides for the entire duration of the show.

The lights dimmed and wafts of expensive perfume disturbed the air as guests shimmied into their ‘seats’ for the grand entrée.

As the operatic music blasted through the speakers, lifting the hair on our arms, akin to a certain Shawshank scene, Burberry’s metallic collection paced towards us with fierce confidence, so enchanting, so captivating… you could have heard a hairpin drop.

Spellbound, we stared until our necks ached and our mouths turned dry. A pretty Italian photographer, squatting to the side of us, capitalised on our transfixed expressions, regrettably…

Post-show, Harriet and I took refuge in an empty coffee shop, sipping green tea to lull the body-envy-hangover, and, there, in that overpriced, average-to-poor cafe, we began to formulate a plan…

While the President thought logistics, venue, theme, money…all things rational… the Vice President lost that crucial sense of reality, dreaming up opulent colours, lavishly tailored dresses with pins cutting through lengthy slits in the fabric, a frenzy of suited students sipping patiently for the girls underwear walk, chocolate fountains, candy floss, backstage scandals, champagned guests clambering onto their chairs for a better look, sculptured bodies, dancers captivating the crowds, pearls, rings, feathers, hats, gloves, silks, sequins…

An overactive imagination has been reigned in on numerous occasions, by several sponsorship setbacks, by model diva behaviour and by that nasty, brutish fact that a degree must be simultaneously achieved. But, we strove to find those funds, we sought out those handsome individuals, we found that two-hour window to bash out those formatives, and, from now till February, we will not yield.

While our venue may not be Regent Street, our clothes may not be adorned with fine jewellery and our budget for the show would probably cover Anna Wintour’s lunch bill, we have, nonetheless, decided to go ‘decadent’ – be it frugally.

It’s nearly December, the heat is on…

The exec are really starting to feel the pressure…

The choreographing, the pitching (begging) to companies for funding, the music, the lighting, the venue, hair, make up, clothes, tables, tickets…. everything is starting to come together, albeit slowly.

The posters are edited, the video screenplays are written, and the models have all met and mingled…it appears, also, and incredibly unprofessionally, with the Exec…

As the Englishman will never admit to capitalising on appalling weather conditions for unrivalled moaning material, we will never plead guilty to the satisfaction gained from stress- fuelled ventures exempt from essay writing or the agony of Wednesday-night outfit decisions.

No, there is nothing quite like the quintessentially British symbiotic relationship of ‘gaining and complaining’. We’ve complained a lot, but are now in more of a position to showcase a few achievements…


Behind the Scenes

Some impressive sponsorship…

Posters coming soon

The pick of Durham’s finest, one of whom was recently spotted by the Grazia Team… testament to our impeccable taste….

Entertainment (simply cannot give this away…)

Goodie bags (again…sorry…too good)

An auction and raffle UNWORTHY of students…

A Tab competition to accompany our promo video…coming soon…

And did we forget to mention the ‘decadent’ cocktail bar?

And the cause you may ask?

The cause, as Durham students, is unfortunately incredibly close to home:

The Durham University Charity Fashion Show is in aid of the CRY Charity and in honour of the gorgeous Sara Pilkington, the Vice President of last year’s Charity Fashion Show, who unexpectedly and tragically died due to cardiac related issues, shocking all here at Durham to the core; a sharp realisation of what truly matters.

Thus, as a surge of memorialisation and celebration and in true Durham tradition…of pursuing tradition… we will endeavour to bring you the greatest show yet!

Website and Facebook page coming soon…

Save the date for 1&2 February 2013!

For table reservations for ten please contact Harriet Parker.

Tickets £15
Friday VIP £38
Saturday super VIP £48

Flash photography and ankle grabbing by third parties prohibited. For contractual and press related enquiries please contact the models’ publicist and custodian, Camilla Jessel, on 07760992529.