Everything you need to know about this year’s Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show

It’s the biggest of its kind in Europe

Those of us who have been at Edi long enough to remember when Teviot did half-price nachos (soz, still not over it), will be well aware of the roaring success that is the Edinburgh Charity Fashion Show.

With the ECFS launch party happening on November 8th, we sat down with the powers that comittee responsible for Europe's biggest (and best) charity fashion show; Chairs Lucy Hyland and Suzie Nash as well as Creative Director Sophia Dowson- Collins.

For the freshers out there, give a little background info about the ECFS.

Lucy :The ECFS runs every March to raise money for a chosen charity. The charity typically differs every year and this year we have chosen the Super Power Agency. It’s a small locally based charity in Leith which aims to increase literacy rates among Edinburgh’s most deprived young people.

A lot of the children are fourteen with the reading age of a seven year old. We want to run workshops to fill in gaps where schools cant. Every child has a Super Power and that needs to be fostered to fulfil their potential.

Suzie: We were really keen to focus on a local charity where we can speak to the organisers and track the progress of its patrons. We really wanted an intimate placement which is something we haven’t had in previous years.

The fashion show appeals to creative types who can go into workshops with the children and get involved. Our aim is to help the Super Power Agency throughout the year in addition to giving it a donation.

What is the theme this year?

Artwork from last year's urban themed show

Artwork from last year's urban themed show

Lucy: We are so excited because the theme this year is “ECFS: The Greatest Show On Earth”- think old school circus and performance fashion.

Sophia: I want to take from this theme ideas of curiosity, delight and the immersion in the fantasy of running away with the circus.

There's something inherently juvenile about it, but it is also an escapism that resonates across the ages and centuries. The circus was very ahead of its time, and within its community people were valued equally in mutual respect for their talent and drive regardless of gender, disability or ethnicity.

It showcased talents in a huge varieties of areas, from the construction of the tent to the music to the costumes, the talkers and the clowns. And it reflected its time, blending the old and the new.

Suzie: With a circus anything goes so we are also hoping to get circus performers, such as gymnasts and magicians.

What is different about this year?

Sophia: Collaboration is really important this year, I want to showcase inventive spirit across creative discipline, focusing on craftsmanship, performance and set as well as the collections.

Lucy: We wanted to make it more of an event and a spectacle, especially with the theme being circus.

We are really excited about potentially using Dynamic Earth as our venue. They have a massive rotary that really boosts the big-top feel- although this is still to be confirmed.

Suzie: We are going to be featured in Tatler this year which is really cool as we only made it onto the website last year.

How can aspiring models get involved?

Lucy: Approach us personally our via our Facebook page. We have places for fifteen female and fifteen male models. It’s still to be confirmed but we hope to run casting at the Whistle Stop Barber Shop and advertising for it is going up in next few days.

Suzie: Anyone is welcome, not just Edinburgh University.

Should people expect a strict dress code?

Lucy: No, but you should dress to impress, it definitely won’t be black- tie. You don’t have to be “into fashion” as the focus is on charity not on fashion per se. We just want to make it as accessible as possible, so not to eliminate people based on clothing.

Do you have any rogue stories that’ve happened backstage?

Lucy: Not so much rogue but we’ve had many learning curves so there probably are some funny anecdotes out there that have shaped our understanding of the industry.

Suzie: Committee headshots are always interesting as we put the backstage team in the place of the models. It definitely makes us appreciate what the models have to go through.

What is one fashion item you swear by?

Lucy: I'm deffo an accessories girl, especially in Edinburgh I love big scarves. But if I lost my Whistles backpack it would be the end of the world.

Suzie: Bags, bags, bags. My mum gets so annoyed as I have really impractical ones that I can't use for anything.

Sophia: A conceptual hat.

Lastly, your launch party is happening soon, do you plan on having any other events in the lead up to the fashion show?

Lucy: Our launch party is on November 8th at the Mash House. With the theme being old school circus we are keen to stress that this isn’t a cross over with “Cirque du Soul” but a more performative old school feel.

Suzie: We have some really cool student DJs from first, second and fourth year playing everything from funk to soul to disco. It will probably be a bit mad and whacky and definitely not your typical Mash House night. There’s no dress code but expect people to be covered in glitter.

Lucy: We have some top secret events coming up too, but you’ll have to wait until they’re announced for details.

To stay up to date with all things ECFS check out their events page and make sure to snag launch party tickets here before they sell out.

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