Around The World In 80 Outfits

Beth Balkham went to Durham’s first International Fashion Show

countries dance fashion fashionshow global performance show style world

Venturing to a part of Durham I had yet to discover, I turned up at the Radisson Blu hotel completely in the dark as to what to expect from our international students. The first International Students’ Association Fashion Show was organised by the society’s social secretary, Kaayva Lakshmanan, and well done to her for transforming Durham’s  vanity-obsessed views of fashion shows.

With a lovely venue, meal and audience, the show was destined for greatness from the emcees’ Callum and Matt’s, opening speech. Starting with a performance from the African Drumming Society, the lively atmosphere soon had a great effect on the audience, with several members standing to join in with the singing and dancing. The catwalk showcased an array of costumes from all continents; it was colourful, creative and, all in all, one crazy night.


Not being biased towards my sex or anything, but the girls were gorgeous and I brought a little bit of Britain with me with my sense of Spice Girl’s girl power. Controlling the catwalk and strutting their stuff, the models’ smiles and attitude bought even more glamour to the intricate colours and details of their outfits.

Herrani wearing a traditional Mauritian Sagya, worn during the Sagya dance

Beth Yeung looking gorgeous in a Grecian costume

Venus sashaying in a traditional Nigerian lubee

Not only were the girls’ outfits beautiful, but the models wore them with style and elegance. My personal favourites were Morgan and Anusha, who brought sassy and sexy to the stage, as well as causing many male heads to turn…

Anusha yee-hawing in her Jessica Simpson inspired Wild West outfit

We all know where the boys were looking…

India was my favourite catwalk, walking to the well-known Indian tune ‘Beware of the Boys’ by Punjabi MC and Jay Z. The Bollywood beauties worked well as a team, bringing an attractive air of Asia to the stage.

Nikita in an exquisitely embroidered lenga

Amavir strutting in a Sherwani, a formal wedding costume worn in Punjab

The fashion show’s feminine side continued with performances from the Belly Dancing society and one of the show’s own models, Herrani Woodun.

But it wasn’t all dress to impress, girly glamour that brought a smile to the audience’s faces and this is why I thoroughly enjoyed the night. With the past few weeks being fashion show mayhem in Durham, this show was a real twist. It wasn’t about who had the prettiest face, best body or sexiest strut, but about celebrating the diversity of dress and the fun of world fashion.


David brightens the stage in a Bavarian outfit

Andrew sharing his Scottish pride in a traditional Scottish kilt

Sondre went back in time in a soldier’s uniform from the Napleonic Wars

The boys brought an edge of humour to the stage, wooing the ladies as ‘men in uniform’ from a Queen’s Guard costume to Sondre’s Napoleonic War uniform. Fun was constantly emphasised with the boys braving clothes such as Taekwondo uniforms. For this show, forget the lingerie diets and extra weight training – anything goes.

This show stood out from them all, with the ongoing message of diversity. The outfits weren’t all a case of ‘what’s hot’, but a journey through fashion history and an exploration of outfits around the world. Models styled clothes from countries different to their own, bringing a sense of unity and friendship to the catwalk – something we should all take back to our Durham student lives. It doesn’t matter who we are, what we look like or where we are from, everyone’s welcome in Durham.