This was pretty good.
7pm Friday 13th (risky) saw the inaugural Cambridge University Charity Fashion Show, at £25 a ticket.
Cambridge finally succumbed to the fashion show craze that has been infiltrating the ranks of British universities since Durham led the way 30 years ago.
The evening commenced with a lively drinks reception, with the emphasis on the drinks – no, really, their drinks bar was impressive both in abundance and variety, someone on the committee clearly has their priorities right.
With the crowd well lubricated, the atmosphere reflected the excitement that had been building up after months of launch parties and fashion shoots. Everyone had but their fashion foot forward and there was a real buzz in the melee of high heels and dapper suits.
The show itself started at a leisurely 8pm, and in all was quite spectacular.
CUTAZZ kicked off the show with an upbeat and thematically relevant dance mash-up which set the bar high for the energy to be continued throughout the show.
The fantastic speech by Karin Woodley, Chief Executive of the charity Cambridge House, was definitely one of the highlights, reminding us of what the show is all about. The fact that Karin was so engaging and entertaining was an added bonus.
The catwalk itself was fascinating: strong performances by all the models who made it look both professional and fun. There was a good variety of designers showcased, with Mulberry a favourite, a gorgeous Vivienne Westwood dress (!), and the stunning modern couture, designed by Hiroshi Goto, stealing the show.
Interspersed through the show was a good range of dance performances and music acts which provided some fun relief from all the fashion, which had the potential to become quite monotonous.
The music stood out as the highlight of the show. It synchronised almost perfectly with the movements on the catwalk whilst at the same time getting everyone up and dancing, both on stage and off, making for a really celebratory atmosphere.
My only slight criticism is that it ended too abruptly. Buzzing from the show (and, maybe, the ridiculous quantity of alcohol) there was nowhere really to go – the after party was taking place at Life, but the thought of arriving there at 10:30 was not attractive.