With the audience applauding as the models walked their final lap of the catwalk, Annelies de Jong the organiser of this years GLADRAGS Fashion Show knew she had triumphed again.
After last years great success, Newcastle University’s Raising and Giving Society decided to recreate the GLADRAGS event which was held at the Students Union. With more acts from Newcastle University’s Dance Society, better clothing retailers, fabulous singers, all dedicated to supporting the #SmartyPants campaign for the fight against cancer.
So on the 14th November the show began with Annelies and her co host, Christian Cargill introducing the first walk of the evening. The clothing was supplied by Love Niche, a company owned by Nisha Vedhara. The walk was opened by the stunning Hayley Durrant a 3rd year student to the sound of ‘F For You’ by Disclosure.
Nisha promptly tweeted commenting on the atmosphere: “Loving the buzz at @NUSUrag #fashionshow” and later the success, “Fab night at @NUSUrag #fashionshow Great show, fabulous models overall a brilliant night by the whole team. We were proud to be a part of it xx.”
Officers Club and Chateau Boutique were featured in the next two walks. The audience were particularly taken with the glamour of the dresses by Chateau Boutique as they were custom made for each girl and had a certain pizzazz. Daniel Hewitt, PR and Marketing Director for the brand said: “The clothes are like a classy version of the Gypsy Wedding.”
Other suppliers included Topshop, Jack Wills, Deep, Melanie Kyles Collars, Lancelot Knight Satchels and Ann Summers.
There were twenty-one models involved in the show, all belonging to Newcastle University. Annelies de Jong choreographed most of the walks with the help of two models, Activities Officer Rosie Leatherland and Newcastle Dance Society President Inga Chen.
Inga spoke of her experience: “Last year I danced at the fashion show and also watched. I thought it looked so fun! So this year when I saw casting calls I made myself go and I’m glad I did because it has been a great experience. The first walk was nerve wracking but after that it was really fun and the audience were cheering which always helps. I’d like to say thank you to the RAG committee and all the designers for making it possible!”
We also caught up with David Morris one of the brave underwear models. He said: “There is too much truth in the saying, ‘it is not as easy as it looks’ when practicing for a catwalk. It’s humbling to realise skills you thought you had mastered have by no means been ‘mastered’; yes, counting and walking did prove difficult. The adrenaline rush during the show is incomparable to anything I have felt before. Having everything come together in front of hundreds of people was a mad buzz!”
The evening wasn’t all about the clothes and the models though; Newcastle’s award winning Dance Society also performed three saucy numbers. The audience particularly appreciated the advanced jazz dance choreographed to Hurts’, ‘Wonderland Life’ by Lucy Winckle a 3rd year psychology student and Yasemin Bettina Karanis who is carrying out cancer research at postgraduate level.
The girls talked about their evening: “The only thing better than getting made up and performing is knowing you’re doing it for charity! We really enjoyed performing at the RAG fashion show and would love to do it again.”
“I think the show went really well, lots of people turned up to support us, and we raised over £1600 which is a great total.
Singers Faye Shearer and James Houston, who have also performed with Newcastle Dance Society at their annual show, made an appearance. Faye sang ‘Liquid Lunch’ by Caro Emerald and ‘Wrecking Ball’ by the infamous Miley Cyrus. She put her own unique swing on things in her fabulously glittering stilettos and commented that, “It’s always so much fun to get involved and perform for the RAG events. It’s such a worthy cause and the enthusiasm from everyone involved make events like these so successful!”
James’ performance was also well received; he sang two of his own songs, ‘Ghosts’ and ‘The Unknown’. The eerie atmosphere as he sang was enhanced by the blue lighting and the sheer silence of the audience’s entrancement.
On speaking to event organiser Annelies, she said: “I think the show went really well, lots of people turned up to support us, and we raised over £1600 which is a great total. What was great about the show this year is that we show cased many different brands from well known designers to local boutiques, meaning we had a great range of clothes and catwalks. We collaborated with the Association for International Cancer Research’s campaign #SmartyPants, as they were interested in accessing students with their campaign and it was a fantastic way of getting lots of support.”
Overall the GLADRAGS fashion show did an amazing job of raising awareness and money for the #SmartyPants campaign. The RAG society hope to continue the new tradition that is the GLADRAGS fashion show and continue to provide funding for charities which they are passionate about. Footage of the night is available below: