For their 5th show GUCFS stunned audiences with a bold approach towards fashion, organization, and nuance. The vision for this cycle, FLVX, was an abrupt shift from the ethereal vibrance of their 2018 show, focusing on the concepts of contrast, impact, and necessity and creating beauty out of bold urban juxtapositions. And wow, was some truly astounding beauty was created. This review will break down the ambiance of the run up, the fashion itself, and the execution of the event as a whole, so let’s get started so we all can catch a glimpse into the most beautiful night of the year!
No one in their right mind can claim a better social media aesthetic than that of GUCFS. Since the announcement of their 2019 theme, their instagram and facebook have been utterly gorgeous explorations into the contrast of their models and brutal cityscapes. This theme was transferred to the tangible and continued to thrive in SWG3. Against the stone and metal laid light washes of neon green, pink, and blues, emphasizing the rugged nature of the venue under the gloss of topical lights. Granted, this might have been lost by those bee-lining for the bar, but the subconscious impact of this attention wasn’t easily shaken. The runway was stark, set up in the massive void that is Galvanizers, and what looked empty and a bit unimpressive at the start soon bloomed with the presence of the models. The afterparty glowed with linear light shows and vibrant washes of neon but began with a 30 minute prelude of ambient techno that genuinely desensitized me to the point that any simple beat that played after sounded like the best music in the world. After that though, decently mixed tunes rang out for the rest of the night to receptive ears.
The looks of this season were an overall win. The bold color and textures of each designer’s work were counterbalanced with delicate nuance and attention detail that truly spoke to the striking theme of the year. From the bold, brassy knits of Maisie Edge to the blunt and burnt blues of Zaw, the runway showed us a wide and refreshing interpretation on contrast and the conception of bold.
FKD: Montclair meets Golf le Fleur as audiences were treated to athleisure gone right. The grungy, utilitarian glance at streetwear encapsulated not only a critique of fast fashion but the very essence of what all Glasgow Uni students think they look like after leaving the gym.
Amber Osgood: Luxurious texture, rich colors, and dense tailoring brought a crisp wintery motif onto the runway. The balance between the apparent comfort of the garments and the technicality of the tailoring yielded a gorgeous contrast between warmth and inaccessibility.
Kennedy: This collection was slinky yet boisterous: nightwear for us all, day wear for the bold. Definitely the fiercest take on contrast, what could have easily been construed as tacky was worn as armor by defiant models. Metallics, reds and blacks, flames, what isn’t there to love.
HCF GIBBINS Designs: A personal favorite, this subtle collection was a breath of fresh air against the more obvious takes on the theme. Bold textures in muted sets seemed to grow with the model’s walk, transforming simplistic sheets of fabric into dynamic interpretations of contrast against the body itself. The mustards, grays, oranges and blues hued down the expectations and provoked a more nuanced glance, revealing a relaxed but oddly refined collection.
Honorable mentions: Edinburgh Bow Tie Company and Pomberry Swim
I’m sure your designs were astounding and impactful but this is a thank you for giving the most beautiful humans in Glasgow an excuse to strut the runway without the burden of clothes. There was positivity all around, a markedly large increase of diversity: nothing can be said… art in its purest form. No notes.
First the mechanical stuff: I completely understand the pressure that the venue and the committee are under with an event of this magnitude, so things can easily slip into disorder. The organization of people was a bit off, with large crowds milling in the foyer and getting entangled with a central photoshoot. The packed bar and the free-for-all style VIP experience could do with a touch of refinement, but honestly everyone was having such a good time that I don’t think that any one but a decently sober me noticed.
In many ways the biggest night of the Glasgow Uni student’s social calendar is the accumulation of the Uni’s most image centric.There’s a disconnect between the art on stage and the audience itself, (a mixture of rugby lads and those who have only seen the inside of flat 0/1). The people I saw spilling drinks onto the runway and screaming over charity announcements didn’t expressly deserve the astounding ambiance of the venue and the diligent work of the committee and models. But it is of course not just a fashion show, and who’s about to roll up to such a notoriously boozy event with a copy of Vogue instead of a fifth of vodka? Pretty much just the press… and by the end of the night I was pretty deep in the pocket myself and all these criticisms got a bit blurry.
Being able to say you went to the fashion show is in many ways the best reason to go to the fashion show. I am 100% guilty of this, having peppered in my attendance and my lime green VIP badge into far too many conversations since. However the tickets are being sold, money is still coming in, and the charities are being supported so does the reason why really matter? Is this a night about fashion? About charity? About status? Whatever the impetus, GUCFS is something uniquely entertaining that deserves all the hype it gets. Just make sure you’re attending for all the right reasons and respecting the unbelievable amounts of work that go on to pulling off this otherworldly evening. FLVX 2019 was a stunning event, set apart by an incredible dedication to theme and quality that made for an engaging, entertaining, and enlightening event that made everyone involved feel beautiful… at least until the morning after.